Furniture News #361

Page 1

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade #361 April 2019 |

Westbury, Celebrity Motion Furniture

CHATEAU CHIC Design Studio’s new partner

FN361_Pages.indd 1 FrontCover361.indd

DIMINISHING RETURNS Building customer loyalty

ANALYSE THIS Tracking the cabinet trends

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INFORMATION ON THE COVER Editor-in-chief Paul Farley 01424 776101 Twitter @FurnitureNewsED

“We have far less compunction sending back anything we deem even remotely sub-par”

Sales and marketing director (Furniture News portfolio) Sam Horscroft 01424 776100 Twitter @FurnitureNewsAD Sales executive Caroline Littler 07861 231461 Production manager James Ash 01424 775304 Production assistant Mike Beales 01424 775304 Digital production assistant Nyall McCurrach 01424 775304 Copy administrator Steve Merrick 01424 776108



ike religion and politics, our feelings on when and why to

return just under half of that value. And although the clothing market is

return things we’ve bought are

probably suffering the worst of these

often deeply personal. Once

excesses (try before you buy, anyone?),

in-store, our responses run the gamut from

returns are becoming a bigger headache

awkward, hand-wringing pleas to angrily

for the furniture sector as the adoption of

and implacably demanding our money back.

online purchasing creeps inexorably higher.

Of course, what the process looks like

While Amazon has a lot to answer for,

depends on the retailer in question, why

the boxed mattress disruptors blew any

we’re complaining, and how much of the

established returns culture out the water

debacle is, in fact, our fault. Either way, that

when they introduced 100-night free

confrontation is generally something we’d

trials and no-quibble returns in a bid to

Editorial director John Legg 01424 776104

rather avoid.

align themselves with the FMCG markets.

inconvenience of paying the store a visit,

policy bar – and consumer expectation –

Publisher Nigel Gearing

or the uncertainty of a personal challenge,

extremely high.

Accounts Wendy Williams 01424 774982

anything we deem even remotely sub-

policies is debatable, but, as parcelLab CEO

par (the biggest hurdle is repacking, and

Tobias Buxhoidt writes in this month’s issue

remembering which piece of cardboard went

(p24), “a fair and generous returns policy

Magazine subscriptions (UK-£65, Europe-£85, RoW-£95) 01424 774982


isn’t a one-way street” – generosity and

Connect VIP packages (UK-£95, Europe-£110, RoW-£120) 01424 774982

been the bete noire of distance sellers – and

Repro, print and distribution Stephens & George

Proofreader Keith Fitz-Hugh

Gearing Media Group Ltd 4 Red Barn Mews, High Street Battle, East Sussex TN33 0AG ISSN No: 1475 - 3731 © Gearing Media Group Ltd 2019 General information No part of this publication may be reproduced without the specific prior written agreement of the Publisher and may not be stored on any type of retrieval system. Furniture News/ Gearing Media Group Ltd accepts no responsibility for variations in colour reproduction. Special colours (Pantone etc) can be catered for with prior arrangement. Some elements of the editorial content in this publication are submitted by the trade, however, all efforts are made to ensure that the editorial remains true to fact and unbiased. Monies may have been accepted to offset the costs of colour reproduction. Gearing Media Group Ltd reserves the right to alter without prior notice any content other than customers’ advertisements. No correspondence will be entered into regarding altered or adjusted editorial content. The editor’s decision is final. All material submitted for inclusion in Furniture News is done so entirely at the owner’s risk and no responsibility is accepted for the safekeeping or return thereof. Advertiser information is reproduced in good faith and Gearing Media Group accepts no responsibility in respect of adverts appearing in the magazine, and the magazines expressed do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s views. The Publisher accepts no liability for any loss arising from an advertisement’s late or non-appearance.

FN361_Pages.indd 3

It’s a different matter online. Without the

we have far less compunction sending back

Since catalogue and telephone shopping first became commonplace, returns have

In taking this path, they set the returns

The long-term sustainability of these

convenience go a long way towards securing customer loyalty, online and/or off. Returning to the topic of this month’s

their role has only become more pronounced

magazine, our highlights include an

since the Consumer Rights Act was reformed

interview with Design Studio’s Gareth

in 2015. Whereas physical stores aren’t

Coxall as he embarks on a collaboration with

required by law to have a returns policy at

Escape to the Chateau’s Angel Strawbridge

all (other than a responsibility to replace

(p28), the lowdown on a new cabinet trends

faulty goods), online sales are at the mercy

report from prolific designer Paul Galley

of a cancellation period which ends 14 days

(p54), and a look back at a successful

after the goods are received.

London Fabric Show (p16).

Simply put, if you haven’t seen it in the flesh before you buy, you can just change

I wish you all a productive month – may your returns rates be negligible.

your mind. It’s a costly business. Globaldata predicts that online returns in the UK will hit a total of £5.6b by 2023, while Barclaycard has found that a new breed of serial returners are costing the retail industry £7b, creating what it describes as a “phantom economy” for online retailers. The latter found that while the average British shopper spends £313 on online shopping each year, they

Paul Farley Editor-in-chief T 01424 776101 E Twitter @FurnitureNewsED

27/03/2019 10:11

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19 15:41

Contents | 5




The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade #361 April 2019 |

Partner Comment

8 News 14 Events Westbury, Celebrity Motion Furniture

CHATEAU CHIC Design Studio’s new partner

DIMINISHING RETURNS Building customer loyalty

ANALYSE THIS Tracking the cabinet trends

FrontCover361.indd 1

27/03/2019 09:50

Sofamaker Celebrity Motion has been busily redeveloping its range to include Mammoth’s pressurerelieving foam (p32)

24 Resources Paul Galley, Antelope Design (50)




Living Room


Beds & Bedroom


parcelLab’s Tobias Buxhoidt explains what constitutes a good online returns policy

48 Furnisher 50

Trade Services


60 Designer

The Hastings Furniture Company (34)

Angel Strawbridge (28)

BFM MD Nick Garratt reflects on the London Fabric Show’s networking opportunities

At Furniture News, we want to bring you the most relevant content and offers. Scan this QR code with your phone’s camera – or visit – to opt into the communications you’d prefer to receive (including the printed magazine)

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The Furniture Trade Directory The indispensible guide for UK suppliers and retailers, in print and online

27/03/2019 10:11

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Partner Comment | 7

Why networking is a neccessity We are a member of the BFC (British Furniture Confederation),

As we enter spring/summer 2019, it has never been more important to come together as a community to make sure our

and we need to be aware of problems in the industry to be able to

industry is as strong as it should be.

lobby for changes on your behalf. We are stronger together.

We are a unique industry, it must be said – an industry that

Being part of an association that brings the industry together

historically looks out for one another in the face of tough times in

under such an intimate and unique roof is an honour. Looking

the market, and this should be spoken with pride. As our recent

round as lunch was served at the London Fabric Show and seeing

State of Trade survey reported, trade conditions have worsened

the networking opportunity we had provided for manufacturers,

still since October 2018, but the industry community needs to

retailers, suppliers and our trade association just highlighted that

become stronger than ever, and it has been great to see a glimpse

this is exactly what we, as the British Furniture Manufacturers,

of this in the first quarter of 2019.

should be doing. And it is something that the industry as a whole

During the first week of March, the BFM organised one of the UK’s biggest fabric supplier shows, at Chelsea Football Club – the

should be aiming to do more often. As an association, we are here to help your business. Whether

London Fabric Show. The show was well supported by big-name

that is to help an SME with business solutions, or technical and

retailers and manufacturers, and with exhibitors all reporting

health and safety advice, or a question you have about trading

success and promises to return next year, there was a great sense

regulations, the BFM is only a phone call away. Not only that, but

of community in the air.

we are here to organise an association of companies that make

As my first London Fabric Show as MD of BFM, it was a proud

their products in Britain and give them the opportunity to show

moment to stand by the registration desk and see a revolving door

their homegrown pride, and make sure your business is supported

of our members walking through, along with designers and buyers

in any way you feel is necessary.

I have got to know throughout the years of my career in furniture manufacturing. By the second day, we had heard the stories of exhibitors using the first night after the show as a social opportunity, all meeting up as one for their evening meal, alongside exhibitors from different corners of the globe, who told us repeatedly that London Fabric Show was the “most sociable show in existence”.

Nick Garratt is the MD

Our industry should be a community that thrives on

of the British Furniture

communication. The industry as a whole has seen some difficult

Manufacturers (BFM,

times, but good communication and networking helps us identify, the

common problems, and therefore solutions. Being able to facilitate

trade association that has

communication is a key aspect of BFM as a trade association –

represented the interests of the

especially in the current climate.

British furniture industry for more than 65 years and o�ers

“Good communication and networking helps us identify common problems, and therefore solutions”

members a range of benefits including access to expertise on subjects including export, EU Timber Regulations, health and safety, commodity pricing and the environment.

Our Media Partners Exclusive UK Member

Furniture News supports the aims and objectives of ACID (Anti Copying In Design) which is committed to fighting intellectual property theft

Official Media Partner

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8 | News

Conference to address skills gap The Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance (FIESTA) is organising a conference this month to launch Furniture and Interiors Skills Plus (Skills Plus), a service which aims to help close the industry’s skills gap. Since the Bridging the Gap conference in 2017, FIESTA has worked towards a solution that will enable furniture and interiors businesses of all sizes to easily train and recruit employees for all job functions. FIESTA will present Skills Plus to the industry on 26th April (10.30am-2pm) at Furniture Makers’ Hall, London. Skills Plus offers businesses a specialist apprentice recruitment service, Apprentice Training Agency

Kingstown ceases production The Kingstown group ceased production and

turnover fall dramatically, impacted mainly

closed down last month, confirmed joint

by a sharp decline in discretionary spending

administrators Phil Deyes and Sean Williams

by UK consumers. Economic uncertainty

of Leonard Curtis Business Rescue &

continues to influence spending decisions,

Recovery. The bedroom and dining furniture

with little foreseeable improvement in

manufacturer had two trading arms -


Kingstown Furniture and Consort Furniture

“We are now focused on closing down

– and was a long-established business in

operations, working with the customers to

Hull, employing around 280 people.

fulfil orders where we can and helping all

In spite of attempts by the group to

employees work through the implications

restructure operations and continue

of being made redundant as a result of the

trading, administrators took control of both

immediate cessation of trade. We are also

businesses before winding down operations.

seeking urgent expressions of interest in the

Phil Deyes comments: “The market

remaining assets of the group, including the

conditions faced by these two companies has

Kingstown and Consort brands, intellectual

been extremely challenging. Both have seen

property rights and associated order book.”

Baa Stool secures copycat settlement

(ATA) and Levy Management Company.

Anti Copying in Design (ACID) member Baa

Co acting for Baa Stool, says: “Knowing the

Through Skills Plus, micro and SME

Stool has received a signed undertaking

sector, and from a perspective of many years

non-levy paying employers will be able

against Sweden’s Wooden Horse Company

dealing with design-led IP infringement,

to access a wider selection of funded

for infringing its intellectual property.

it was clear that this was an infringement

skills training, while large employers

When Baa Stool discovered the copy of its

and, armed with all the facts and evidence,

can outsource the apprenticeship

design, the company took immediate action

I created an effective letter before action

management to obtain best value for

and instructed ACID legal affiliates McDaniel

which resulted in an early settlement for Baa

money and real-time monitoring from

& Co to write a letter before action setting

Stool. Job done!”

their apprentice levy digital accounts.

out its claim. Shortly afterwards, Baa Stool

New RoI agent for Sweet Dreams Declan McCarville has

Baa Stool owner Michelle Bartleet-

received a signed undertaking from the

Greavey comments: “Discovering a copied

infringing company, which has undertaken

design can not only be deeply upsetting but

not to make, import, sell or offer for sale the

can have such a negative financial impact

infringing article.

on a company like ours. I pursued this not

This outcome was reached without the

only to get a result but to demonstrate that

need for a hearing or drawn-out legal

our message is crystal clear – do not copy


us, because we will take the necessary legal

Kelly Hudson, a director of McDaniel &

action to defend our IP rights.”

been engaged as an agent by Sweet Dreams,

Spring Fair applauds retail’s resilience

and has taken responsibility

This year’s Spring Fair, which concluded

deeper business relationships across our

for sales in the

at the Birmingham NEC on 7th February,

sectors. We’ve brought together thousands of

Republic of

proved “bold and busy”, according to

buyers and exhibitors to prove that retail is


organiser ITE Group, which reports a strong

indeed resilient, prepared and well-equipped

turnout, with particular growth in top-tier

in the face of the year ahead.”

Declan has enjoyed a varied career, encompassing small

retailer attendance. Over 2000 exhibitors – including

Across the show’s key sectors, exhibitors reported increased interest and strong

independent retail operations,

over 600 new names – presented their

footfall. Bluebone’s Elaine Anderson says:

management in multi-million turnover

ranges to visting brands including M&S,

“We launched 100 new products at Spring

furniture businesses and ultimately

Topshop, ASOS,, Liberty, The

Fair which were very well received and we

self-employment as a sales agent.

White Company, Wayfair, John Lewis and

have had lots of orders placed. It’s very well

Selfridges, and a “significant number” have

attended and offers breadth and depth of

rebooked for 2020’s edition.

products for home and gift sectors.”

Declan is currently an agent for Home of Beds/Slumbernights and Redtree Furniture. He says: “Sweet

Julie Driscoll, MD of Spring and Autumn

Off the back of fresh investment, next

Dreams is a strong brand and has

Fair, comments: “In spite of a mixed

year’s show will enjoy a major re-edit, with

been getting traction with strong

Christmas trading period and continued

newly organised show sectors. Prior to that,

growth, and looking at where we are

Brexit uncertainty, Spring Fair 2019 has been

Spring Fair’s partner show, Autumn Fair,

currently positioned, the future looks

an immense success. We’ve enabled more

will take place from 1st–4th September at


connections, more sales and helped forge

the NEC.

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10 | News

Hammonds back in family’s hands Fitted furniture manufacturer and retailer

group to carry on developing our range and

Hammonds has received an investment

product portfolio in the future.

from HSBC UK and Frontier Development

“The MBO provides us, as third-

Capital (FDC) to support a management

generation owners, with the ability to

buyout that brings 100% shared ownership

protect our well-established brand and

of the business to third-generation family

values, as well as offering continued

members Richard Hammonds (group CEO)

opportunities for growth. We are currently

and Mark Hammonds (group director).

introducing new and exciting fitted bedroom

Richard comments: “Over the last two

and kitchen ranges, and I look forward

years we have introduced a successful

to developing the business further and

succession and management team to provide

supporting our long-standing relationships

the continuity and strength to enable the

with both customers and suppliers.”

AHF’s new head of ecommerce Retailer AHF Furniture has appointed Alex Broughton as its new head of ecommerce. He brings to the business a wealth of experience in both digital marketing and ecommerce, having worked in online retail for over 11 years. Thanks to his experience in a range of industries – from men’s fashion to home and garden – AHF is confident that Alex has the expertise to help increase the retailer’s online presence and make it a household name, says MD Matt Hesketh. “It’s clear that ecommerce is a central sales channel for furniture retailers, and AHF required a talented and experienced leader to grow our online business,” Matt comments. “Alex joins AHF at an exciting time, and we look forward to his skills and abilities helping towards a bright future.” Alex adds: “AHF already has a fantastic product range, with a strong sales force and delivery service already in place. What we need to focus on now

From left: Richard Newman, regional debt financing at HSBC; Mark Jones, partner of Jasmin Advisory LLP; Mark Hammonds; Richard Hammonds; and Graham Mold, head of growth capital at Frontier Development Capital

Investment drives growth at DFS

is ensuring these existing strengths are conveyed online, and I have big plans to make that happen.”

Breasley appoints marketing lead

DFS Furniture has reported LFL sales growth

research their sofa purchase online – but

across all its retail brands – DFS (which is

that over 90% of its customers still visit one

celebrating its 50th year), Sofa Workshop,

of its showrooms to test the products before

The Breasley

Dwell and Sofology – for the 22 weeks


group has

ended 30th December 2018.


Tim Stacey, group CEO, says: “We are pleased with the performance for the first

Clare Taylor as

– adjusted to include the acquisition of

five months of the financial year across the

its new head

Sofology on a pro-forma basis, it rose by

group, with all four of our brands achieving

of marketing.

+9.9%. Underlying pro-forma EBITDA was

LFL revenue growth. The benefits of our

Clare brings

up +23.8% to £32.8m, while underlying

investments in our online channels, delivery


pro-forma profit before tax and brand

networks and the development of our brands

amortisation was up +83.9% to £16m.

help mitigate the impact of a market which

previous role as marketing manager

Reported profit before tax more than

we expect to remain particularly challenging

at Hypnos Contract Beds, where

doubled, to £14.1m.

in 2019 given the current political and

she was responsible for all areas of

economic uncertainty.

the marketing mix, spendt the last

Revenue grew by +29.1% to £422.3m

The group admits that this performance was assisted by deferred purchases from Q4

“Notwithstanding a softer start to

from her

three years applying her expertise

of the prior year (given the hot weather) and

2019, and assuming no weakening of this

in strategic marketing and product

port-related issues which delayed delivery

environment, our profit expectations for the


of goods into the current financial year.

financial year remain unchanged.”

The period saw a net opening of three

The development of Sofology to become

Previously, Clare held the position of marketing manager at I Holland, a

showrooms, while continued investment in

a national chain remains a clear priority

manufacturer of tablet compression

its web platform, operational technologies

for the group, which sees the potential to

tooling, where she headed up a

and digital engagement tools supported

increase the existing estate of 42 stores to

marketing team and had responsibility

strong online growth of +22.6%. DFS says

65-70 in the medium term, in some cases

for the organisation’s global marketing

that over 85% of potential customers

co-locating these with existing group assets.


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Look again at Nathan Nathan Furniture is undergoing a brand ‘refresh’ uniting all of its ranges under one Nathan name. In addition to our current offering we have three new ranges targeted at an ‘on trend’ customer base. The Nathan name has always been synonymous with quality materials and construction, so by using this ethos across all of our collections, it will let new and existing customers know that Nathan is a name they can trust for quality, reliability and now choice with our wider offering. Our stockist partners can still have our best-selling pieces, but they can also expand our values into more contemporary store displays, opening up the Nathan brand to an extended demographic. TEL: 0203 058 4280 EMAIL: INFO@NATHANFURNITURE.CO.UK


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12 | News

PwC delivers Steinhoff investigation overview Following 14 months’ of forensic

intermediary holding company level, then

investigation, advisor PwC has delivered an

allocated (often as cash) to underperforming

overview of its findings regarding financial

Steinhoff operations. These transactions

irregularities at Steinhoff International.

involved many entities over a number of

PwC reports that a small group of

years, and were supported by documents

former executives and other non-Steinhoff

that, in many instances, were created after

executives, led by a senior management

the fact and backdated.

executive – none of which remain employed

The group is documenting and developing

by the group – implemented various

a remediation plan, some of which has

transactions over a number of years which

already been put into place. Steinhoff is still

resulted in substantially inflated profit and

preparing financial statements, including

asset values.

restated financial statements for 2016,

In many cases, says PwC, fictitious and/ or irregular income was created at an

which take the findings of PwC’s report into consideration.

Weakened confidence hits profits at John Lewis

Big Shots celebrates 25 years Big Shots, The Furniture Makers’ Company’s annual clay pigeon shoot, is celebrating 25 years of raising money for the furnishing industry’s dedicated charity, and this year’s event is going to be bigger than ever. For the first time in eight years, the fundraiser is returning to Holland and Holland, Middlesex, one of the UK’s premier shooting destinations, on Wednesday 12th June. It is once again being sponsored by Furniture Village and organised by Charlie Harrison, the retailer’s director of multichannel. In addition to the shooting competition, guests can pay to shoot

Subdued consumer confidence and

chairman, Sir Charlie Mayfield. “That’s

in Holland and Holland’s indoor rifle

depressed demand for big-ticket and

evident in our results, especially in John

range, which uses the latest Schiesskino

bespoke items contributed to substantially

Lewis & Partners, where we saw near

cinematographic technology – a UK

lower profits for the John Lewis Partnership

constant discounting across many categories

first, and exclusive to Holland and

in the year to 26th January 2019.

from October onwards in response to the

Holland. There will also be an auction,

combination of subdued demand, excess

raffle, games and more.

Operating profit at John Lewis & Partners was down sharply, by -56% (to £114.7m)

retail space and some other retailers’

– principally due to weaker home sales,


gross margin pressure, higher IT costs, the property impact of new shops and lower profits on asset sales. Despite this, total net debts were reduced

“As a result, sales in John Lewis & Partners were up +0.7% (down -1.4% LFL). “Near-term uncertainty, politically and in the economy, is having a major impact on

by £401.3m, in line with the retailer’s

consumer confidence, but we do not believe

strategy to build cash reserves and maintain

the market conditions are cyclical. The

annual investment levels of £400m-£500m

disruption we have seen on the high street,

each year.

including business failures and renewed

The retailer made significant investment

interest in mergers and acquisitions, are

in staff during the year – particularly in

instead signs of an inevitable market

leadership development, apprenticeships

adjustment which will require greater clarity

and pay – and the board awarded a 3%

on whether brands are competing on scale

bonus, despite previously indicating that it

or difference.”

might not do so this year. “The market context continues to be challenging,” says the partnership’s

Romanian expo returns this autumn

The business has now built up a strong

Larix, one of the show’s exhibitors

liquidity position, at nearly £1.5b – almost double that of five years ago.

BIFE-SIM (, Romania’s largest furniture, equipment and accessories international fair, will

Losses mount at eve Sleep

take place from 12-15th of September (10am-6pm each day) at Romexpo Exhibition Centre in Bucharest.

Mattress brand eve Sleep recorded a net loss

have made some good early progress with

of £20m in 2018, despite revenue growth

our rebuild strategy and have secured

of +25% to £34.8m. This figure was held

the funds to execute on it. As part of our

international will present a mix of

back in part by the group’s decision to

pathway to profitability plan we have taken

traditional and modern furniture –

refocus its efforts in its core markets – the

decisive action on our cost base, including

much of which is made from solid

UK, Ireland and France – but also reflects a

a significant reduction in administrative

wood, but is often combined with

trading performance that was “lower than

expenses compared to 2018 along with

various materials and accessories.


a refocused and reduced marketing

The group’s annual report stated that CFO Abid Ismail is stepping down, while its partnership with Dreams to sell eve Sleep

Manufacturers both local and

The event is organised by Romexpo

investment strategy removing inefficient

in partnership with the Romanian


Furniture Manufacturers Association

“When combined with the expected

(APMR), Romanian Chamber of

products through the retailer’s stores and

benefits of our rebuild strategy, we

Commerce and Industry (CCIR), and the

website will be terminated.

anticipate a significant reduction in losses

Romanian Furniture Club Association

in 2019.”


CEO James Sturrock comments: “We

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+44 (0)121 7792138 I +44 (0)7367 351202 I I UNIT 4, GRIFFIN BUSINESS PARK, WALMER WAY, CHELMSLEY WOOD, BIRMINGHAM B37 7UX FN361_Pages.indd1 13 ASGApril19.indd

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14 | Events


RETURN TO UPHOLSTERY’S HEARTLAND Spring Long Point returns to upholstery manufacturing town Long Eaton, Derbyshire, this month, in an earlier timeslot from 29th April to 1st May.


pen from 9am-5pm each day, and comprising 22 exhibitors (Long Eaton Guild members

and guests) across seven locations, the show is a valuable sourcing opportunity for buyers of upholstery and cabinet furniture. This edition will feature two new exhibitors: heritage upholstery

AMC 75 Rosewood console, Iain James Furniture

brand G Plan, which can be found in Harrington Mill; and Staud Bedroom Furniture, located alongside Hugo Park at The Exchange, Westend Mill. Following a successful launch at the

Also on show will be a new glasstopped coffee table in burr walnut,

Misura, Kansas and Brussels. Simon Hewitt, MD of Wiemann’s

January Furniture Show, Iain James

along with a representation of the

UK agent Litmus Furniture, says:

Furniture (www.iainjamesfurniture.

company’s classical collections.

“The team and I are excited to be will again display pieces from

Award-winning bedroom

participating in the Spring Long Point

its innovative Rosewood collection.

manufacturer, Wiemann (www.

exhibition, building on our recent

This striking range offers an, will return to its

show success. It presents us with

eclectic mix of simplistic elegance,

permanent space in Harrington Mill.

another opportunity to showcase our

featuring delicate inlays to legs,

Its showroom on the first floor will

stylish design and practical features,

tops and drawers. Additionally, all

boast a selection of its latest bedroom

plus demonstrate the wide variety of

pieces are fully cross-banded, and

collections and innovations, ranging

products that we offer to retailers and

further complemented with solid ash

from entry-level to top-quality VIP


drawer sides and solid brass English

and semi-solids. Taking centre stage


will be the award-winning Monaco,

Other exhibitors include Westbridge, Alexander & James, Parker Knoll, Collins & Hayes, Duresta, Gascoigne Designs and John Sankey. Visitors to this season’s show will have the chance to win an overnight stay for two at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel in Oxfordshire. Trade customers can enter by depositing their business card at one or more of the venues (see the brochure on the show website for details), and the winner will be drawn by Maggie Throup MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group, on 3rd May. Local courtesy transport to and from the town’s various exhibition venues is also available.

Monaco, Wiemann

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ALL ROADS LEAD TO LONG EATON 29th & 30th April & 1st May 2019

20 showrooms displaying the latest collections of Lounge, Dining and Bedroom furniture located within 2 miles from M1 junction 25 To reserve your copy of our booklet with details of exhibitors, location and general information, including the chance of a luxury overnight stay for 2 with fine dining at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Hotel and Restaurant in Oxfordshire Email: or call 0115 973 4481

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16 | Events


PERFECT PITCH Five years in, the London Fabric Show is at the top of its game. Taking place from 4-5th March this year at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge Ground, the BFM-organised exhibition comprised 38 fabric manufacturers and suppliers – including 10 from Belgium, nine from Turkey and nine from the UK – and gave upholstery manufacturers and national retailers plenty of fresh fabrics, reports Paul Farley …


ho would have thought

a wealth of choice beneath one well-

a football stadium

appointed roof.

would make such a good

Each exhibitor inhabits their own

exhibition venue? When the BFM

box room in the complex, making for

relaunched the London Fabric Show in

an intimate setting that, while more

2015 – a merger of London Fabric and

difficult to browse from afar or at

the Sofitel Textile Show – it settled

speed, allows them to set out their

on a well-proportioned and fully-

stall to best effect.

featured hospitality suite at Chelsea

And, regardless of Brexit, there

FC’s Stamford Bridge, and it hasn’t

was no lack of interest in their wares.

looked back since.

Snow warnings around last year’s

The event feels at home in this

event meant attendance was heavily

design-driven London neighbourhood.

weighted towards the first day, but

Introducing a wealth of cottons,

there was no such disruption this year,

velvets, jacquards and wools – in

and the fair welcomed a steady flow

around, they were unequivocal in their

everything from pastels and metallics

of visitors each day. The BFM reports

feeling that the quality of attendees

to the latest in digital prints and

that the numbers were consistent

had improved.

stain-resistant treatments – the

with last year’s – and although some

New exhibitors Bill Beaumont,

London Fabric Show is rich in colour

exhibitors did admit to receiving

Teksium Tekstil and Ragolle Fabrics

and texture, and offers textile buyers

fewer guests to their booths this time

were equally pleased with the proceedings. Rounding off the experience was a pleasant hospitality package including a free lunch and refreshments, plus a drinks soiree on the Monday evening. The London Fabric Show is an undeniably sociable fixture, offering visitors and exhibitors alike great networking opportunities (see BFM MD Nick Garratt’s column on p7 of this month’s issue) at a time of year in which these are in short supply (this side of the Far East!). This was the final edition overseen by outgoing BFM MD Jackie Bazeley, who says: “I am gratified to go out on a high. This show has become an essential date in the diary for many of our members. It is always a pleasure to see so many well-known and friendly faces at Chelsea, and I’m sure that the show will continue to develop and thrive. We have had great feedback already from this year’s event, and I’m thrilled at its success.” The London Fabric Show will return to Chelsea FC’s West Stand in 2020.

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Covercraft Upholstery Limited bespoke handmade furniture Acton House, Acton Grove Long Eaton, Nottingham NG10 1FY Tel: 0115 9736111 Email: CovercraftApr19.indd FN361_Pages.indd 171

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18 | Events


VIVA VIFA! The Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair (VIFA-Expo) attracted some 12,000 visitors – including attendees from more than 80 foreign countries and territories – when it ran from 6-9th March at Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City.


he first fair to take place on this year’s ASEAN show circuit, VIFA-Expo served up

a strong complement of classic and contemporary furniture, handicrafts, home decor products and supporting services to meet the need of buyers from all over the world, its wooden cabinet offer in particular proving a major draw. This year’s expanded edition featured more than 2420 booths – an increase of +13% YoY – and comprised some 550 enterprises, ensuring visitors were spoilt for choice when it came to sourcing competitively-priced goods manufactured in Vietnam and further afield – including big-brand sofas, beds, mattresses, dining tables,

strengthen ties with new customers.

Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand

chairs and more.

Meeting every aspect of supply and

and Indonesia.

As well as exhibiting and sourcing

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demand – from finished furniture

Next year’s VIFA Expo will be held

new products, businesses attend

to hardware, components and

from 11-14th March, again at Kuala

VIFA-Expo to share ideas, investigate

manufactuing equipment – the

Lumpur’s SECC.

new technologies, explore the latest

exhibition is an ideal stepping stone


designs, conduct meetings and

ahead of the events in Singapore,

27/03/2019 10:11



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INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR FOR FURNITURE, EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES BIFE-SIM, the Romanian largest furniture, equipment and accessories international fair, takes place th between the 12 th and the 15 of September, at ROMEXPO Exhibition Centre. Manufacturers from all over the world will exhibit classic and modern furniture, made of solid wood, but also combined with various materials and accessories. The event is organized by ROMEXPO in partnership with the Romanian Furniture Manufacturers Association (APMR), Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIR). Visit schedule: September 12 – 15: between 10:00 a.m and 18:00 p.m; For more information: • • Facebook @BIFESIM

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20 | Events


MIFF CONTINUES TO HIT THE HIGH NOTES The 25th edition of the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) concluded after four charged trading days from 8-11th March, attracting positive feedback from exhibitors and buyers …


rrayed across 100,000m2 of

remain relevant for their business and

attractive offerings from Malaysian

the Malaysia International


companies, alongside increased

“We are already very excited about

international participation from

(MITEC) and Putra World Trade

2020, and confident that there will be

China, Taiwan, Indonesia, South

(PWTC), this year’s MIFF presented

more exhibitors because we received

Korea, Japan, the US, Turkey, New

modern lifestyle solutions from 600

so many queries on the first day of

Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, and, for

exhibitors from 14 countries and

trading this year.”

the first time, suppliers from Portugal,

Trade and Exhibition Centre


Among the highlights this year was

Romania and Sri Lanka.

Event organiser UBM Malaysia

the spotlight on Malaysia’s Furniture

UBM Malaysia confirms that MIFF

states that exhibitors were satisfied

City of Muar, and the strong presence

2020 will take place from 6-9th March

by the diversity and high quality of

of young Malaysian designers bringing

at the same venues, and will retain its

attendees, with many reporting strong

their products to the market to tap

focus on the Design Connects People

booth traffic and orders.

into the world’s growing population of

theme in order to drive new products

millennial consumers.

and innovation.

On the first two days alone, MIFF welcomed buyers from 120

The show floor was packed with

countries, with a significant number of first-time visitors and returning customers joining the regular flow of professionals who see the show as South-east Asia’s leading export platform for Malaysian wooden and office furniture. “We are very happy at the positive response – more so as 2019 is a very special year for MIFF,” says MIFF’s general manager, Karen Goi. “We have been able to celebrate not just our strong legacy, but also proved to our customers that MIFF is always changing and growing, and it will

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22 | Events


MALAYSIAN INDUSTRY ENJOYS GLOBAL STAGE The biggest Export Furniture Exhibition (EFE) to date took place from 9-12th March at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) in the heart of Malaysia’s capital.


ne of the biggest meeting places for the international

international level, too.” EFE saw decisionmakers from the

European and Australian designs. The Malaysian Furniture Creativity

sector’s key international markets set

Award (MFC Awards), meanwhile,

east Asia, EFE has come a long way

a course for new business. Alongside

highlighted Malaysia’s creativity in

since its foundation 15 years ago.

a wide range of domestic and

furniture design and the innovation of

Now a 35,000m2 event (up +9% YoY)

commercial products, visitors were

its key players.

running through nine halls of the

able to attend seminars from industry

modern venue – and eyeing further

professionals and international

matchmaking programmes also

expansion – the exhibition presented

designers, and to seek inspiration in

on offer, EFE is making a better

visitors with numerous opportunities

the Professional Designers Programme

impression on international buyers,

to engage Malaysian and international

(PDP), which offered a contemporary

year after year.


takes on furniture, inspired by

furniture trade in South-

With hosted buying and B2B

Its organiser, the Malaysian Furniture Council (MFC), reports another strong edition. Guest of honour, Deputy Minister of Primary Industries Malaysia, YB Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar, commented at the show’s opening ceremony: “I am glad the MFC has provided this platform for furniture manufacturers to participate in an international event and constantly encourage its members to export. The event has not only branded Malaysia as one of the furniture hubs of Asia, but at an

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Events | 23

“The event has not only branded Malaysia as one of the furniture hubs of Asia, but at an international level, too�

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24 | Resources

No matter how good your products are, some customers are going to want – or need – to return them. So, if you’re selling online, what rules should you lay down for them? parcelLab’s Tobias Buxhoidt reveals all …

How good is your online returns policy? If you have any doubts about the importance of a returns policy, think again. Research from the US reveals that 67% of shoppers will check a company’s online returns policy before they make a purchase. Meanwhile,

“If you need to charge customers to return goods, then offset this with a discount voucher they can use on their next purchase – it all helps”

68% choose websites to buy from based on their reputation – and a good returns experience will certainly boost this.

Remember, this is a key factor that they’ll

4. Convenience

use to measure you against your rivals, so

Simplify and speed up the collections

where possible make sure your policy is

process for customers by enclosing the

that appeals to your customers. But what

more generous than those competitors’.

relevant documentation with the delivery,

does that mean? Here are five key features

To reduce the cost of collecting returned

so it can be filled out before collection and

online furniture shoppers are looking for:

furniture for free, plan collections into your

signed. This might include key information

delivery logistics so you can collect items

such as the reason why the item is being

when drivers are delivering in the same area.

returned – from damage or wrong colour to

This makes it vital to have a returns policy

1. Clarity and simplicity The KISS adage (keep it simple, stupid)

too big or doesn’t fit the decor. This sends

certainly applies to your returns policy. The

3. Proactivity

out a message of care and efficiency that

simplest tend to be the most effective, as

Anticipating that your customers might

will impress customers.

they are easy for customers to understand,

want to return a product makes the whole

while clarity engenders trust because

process easier for them, so consider adding

5. Trackability

shoppers won’t fear there are any hidden

clear return information with each delivery.

Just like you would with their order

nasty surprises.

This could be inviting the customer to call

shipment, keep customers up to date on the

customer services to plan a collection when

status of their return and their refund by

customers to do as part of the returns

a driver is next in the area, or perhaps

their preferred method of communication

process – such as filling out forms or calling

levying a charge if they would like the item

– email, text, WhatsApp, etc. They’ll

customer services – make sure this is all

collected sooner.

appreciate the care and attention, and pay

Plus, if there’s anything you need

clearly set out.

If you need to charge customers to return goods, then offset this with a discount

you back with their loyalty. This is also a great way to get value

2. Generosity

voucher they can use on their next purchase

from your returns process, because you

There’s little point creating a clear and

– it all helps. This also saves your customer

are engaging with your customers with

simple returns policy if all it says is “we

service team time and effort, as they are

every email update, which provides an

don’t exchange purchased goods once they

less likely to be contacted and asked how

opportunity to increase brand awareness. It

have been delivered.” For it to work in your

customers should return their items.

also gives you the chance to encourage sales

favour, your policy should make customers

by including details of offers and vouchers,

feel like you’re being generous to them – as

and informing them of new and/or relevant

generous as possible, in fact.


Yes, it’s expensive to collect items of furniture that shoppers have decided they

A fair and generous returns policy

don’t want. But these days, customers

isn’t a one-way street. It helps you retain

expect returning goods they’ve bought

customers by generating loyalty, gain

online – even furniture – to be free, so

customers as your existing ones spread the

that’s what you need to include in your

word about their great shopping experience,

policy if at all possible. And the longer you

and it can offer a new marketing channel

can give shoppers to return your products

to increase sales – all of which makes great

free of charge, the better.

retail sense.

THE AUTHOR Tobias Buxhoidt is the founder and CEO of parcelLab. From its o�ces in London and Munich, parcelLab connects online retailers with their customers through real-time order monitoring, identifying relevant events and enabling a more personal service, supported by machine learning.

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Ye Olde Traditional…

Farrington upholstered

Nordic painted

Amish painted and upholstered

Bistro Crossback

Nordic painted




YOTFC Ltd. 3 Roe Farm, Cogenhoe NN7 1NL FN361_Pages.indd 125 YeOldeApr19.indd

E: or

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28 | Profile

The soft furnishing division of the Belfield Group launched its first branded collection in February – in collaboration with designer and author Angel Strawbridge, star of Channel 4 TV series, Escape to the Chateau. Paul Farley talks to Design Studio’s MD, Gareth Coxall, about challenges, opportunities, and a match made in heaven …

Angel investment Given how much time we spend watching

and, in 2010, Angel appeared on BBC Two’s

television each week, it’s surprising how

Dragon’s Den, and was offered £100,000

few of us admit to experiencing a eureka

investment by Deborah Meaden and Theo

moment in front of the box. Refreshingly,


Gareth Coxall, who has worked with

In the same year, Angel met Dick

Derbyshire’s Design Studio since 2016, is an

Strawbridge. They went on to have


two children, before embarking on the

“I was watching Escape to the Chateau on

renovation project of a lifetime – bringing

Channel 4 one night, and Angel was fitting

the fairytale 19th-century Chateau de la

the Wallpaper Museum fabric to the wall in

Motte Husson back to life.

one of the towers,” he says. “I found her

Now five seasons in, Escape to the

engaging – I could see there was a talented

Chateau, a televised documentary charting

designer emerging on my TV.”

the family’s journey, is one of Channel 4’s

Never one to miss an opportunity, Gareth made contact with the designer, and in short order was meeting her at the chateau itself

biggest shows – and fertile ground for a product tie-in. “When we first met, we discussed design

– a 45-bedroom castle in Pays de la Loire,

ideas and how the collaboration would


work,” says Gareth. “Angel was clear that

“Instantly, there was a connection,” enthuses Gareth. “Upon entering the

everything we developed had to be authentic to the chateau.

chateau, it was clear that Angel’s unique interior design style had created a real feast for the eyes.” Angel has refined her design chops since the age of 13, when she began collecting vintage jackets, bags and hats. A market stall followed, and, in 2001, Angel launched The Vintage Experience in Bethnal Green, where she offered advice, styling and hand-picked vintage products. Seven years later, the Vintage Patisserie brand was born,

“Angel came to our factory in November last year to meet the staff, and everyone fell in love with her!”

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Profile | 29

Angel worked closely with the Design Studio team to refine the new collection

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30 | Profile

it was built in 1868; The Heron Collection, inspired by the herons that frequent the moat around the castle; The Potagerie Collection, which celebrates Dick’s walled garden; and The Oriental Garden, which draws on Angel’s collection of kimonos, plus cuttings from the chateau’s bamboo plantation and blossoms. “I personally love the Potagerie design,” says Gareth. “I think this is a mature, elegant design, coloured with modern soft hues. It’s delightful.” Reflecting on the finished collection, Angel comments: “For my first collection, collaborating with a team who reflect the

Angel Strawbridge (centre) and Gareth Coxall (right)with the rest of the Design Studio team

same ethos as me was so important. Design Studio has such a strong heritage in British manufacturing – the time I’ve spent there

“It’s these collaborations which will continue to drive the retail market”

has shown me the pride and skill that goes into everything made by their craftsmen.” Gareth echoes the sentiment. “Angel has been with us all the way through this collaboration,” he says. “It has been an

In an ideal situation, we would have been

amazing journey, working closely and

searched to find the look, the handwriting

developing the collection in March/April,

developing what has become a strong

and the style that best suited the brand,

but, having only met in July, we knew that

relationship, whilst also achieving the

and one that Angel and I agreed on. Our

time was not on our side. After agreeing the

design and style that Angel wanted to

designers painted and sketched many

final selection, it was very much a case of

achieve. For us, that interaction was

designs that never made it to the final range

pulling in all the favours with our supply


– which shows the thought, creativity and

chain to produce the goods in time for

consideration that has gone into designing

delivery last month!”

“At first it was difficult, as we all

this first collection.

Together, Angel and Design Studio

This was also Design Studio’s first collaboration, and, while the results are very much in keeping with the quality and

developed four art deco-influenced ranges

feel of the company’s existing product, The

focused on application – the product type,

for The Chateau By Angel Strawbridge

Chateau By Angel Strawbridge has already

quality and substrates. Then Angel came to

capsule collection, comprising curtains

opened doors to new customers.

our factory in November last year to meet

(made-to-measure and ready-made),

the staff, and everyone fell in love with her!

cushions, bedding, furniture and wallpaper.

“Once we had the basis of the designs, we

“We made a commitment to launch to the

The ranges are: The Wallpaper Museum, a

“Angel has a large fan base,” says Gareth. “We have already seen a huge increase in our social media following and interaction,

trade at the Spring Fair, and to consumers

diamond patchwork design based on offcuts

plus consumer demand to source the

via a national PR campaign in March 2019.

of the wallpapers used in the chateau since


Heron and Potagerie

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• ADVERTISING – Most advertising does not work, so if

Generate 25%, 50% even 100% • PRODUCTS – Be ruthless with your precious floor space. of Your Annual Sales If a product or collection is not pulling its weight after being 2019 given a fair chance toYOUR shine, then clear it and replace it with a in Just 17 Days… better performing line. Test and measure the selling potential SUCCESS STRATEGY yours isn’t, stop wasting your money now and re-design your advertising campaigns using a benefits-orientated-style. Call Greenwood for effective copywriting know-how. Profile | 31

“Our target market is viewers of the TV programme, but for

sustainability we have targeted the price points to be accessible so a

wider audience can purchase a designer brand. We have already seen new types of customer that we didn’t have before – customers that

are more gift orientated, wallpaper stockists (this is the first time we

of all your products in a Greenwood Sale.

have launched wallpaper), and bedding specialists (we have never sold bedding through our own range). “Angel is recognised all over the world for her unique style and aesthetic. Her passion for quality, design and provenance is

5 ESSENTIAL WAYS TO MAXIMISE SALES PROFIT Will your JanuaryYOUR 2017 sales be theAND best month’s total

• SELLING SKILLS - Get good at does selling. Most retailers you’re going to see this year? • ADVERTISING – Most advertising not work very well.

If yours stop wasting yourprocess money now. blame don’t bother withisn’t, a proper sales orDon’t sales training. The the media, blame the message. Re-design your advertising Would you like to see sales of two, four, six or even successful ones do! Invest time and money in qualityeight sales “For us as a business, this marks a real opportunity to in a benefits-orientated-style. Call Greenwood for effective times what is normally your best month? differentiate and resonate with our customers. We’re moving with know-how.copywriting Call Greenwood know-how. to arrange an effective sales the times and trends and listening to what consumers want. Multitraining course. dimensional offerings are key to growth, and allow us to explore well documented, so there’s a lot of anticipation amongst both consumers and the trade for her first collection.

PRODUCTS Be ruthless your precious As• our clients –know verywith well (and willfloor tellspace. you),Ifthe a product or collection isn’t performing after being given a above sales results are not exceptional for a Greenwood and exciting product ranges.” fair trial, then clear it and replace it with a faster selling line. COMPETITION Check your competition to find out what Sale. They are–standard. You could enjoy such recordThe Chateau By Angel Strawbridge may be Design Studio’s first Test and measure the selling potential of all your products in a breaking sales Avoid results all-out too – with high margin collaboration, but the wider Belfield Group has good form in thisthey are offering. price wars. Bemaintained. sure to out-do Greenwood Sale.

new avenues while supporting our customers with greater choice

your competition on the most relevant beneficial USP’s • SELLING SKILLS - Get good at selling. Most retailers don’t including choice, quality, value andforservice. Call The Greenwood employ a proper retail sales process big ticket goods. Furniture News: “Brand tie-ups are easy to buy into. I think they’re successful do. Invest time and money in quality a great way to sell, and this one’s shaping up to be a key player in to mysterymost shop your ones competitors. field, thanks to its work with Mulberry through Tetrad.

Back in our January issue, Belfield Group CEO Gary Lasham told

DISCOVER THE FORTUNE training course for your team. • PROMOTION – Promote yourcompetition businessto effectively. Every •THAT COMPETITIONLIES – Check yourHIDDEN find out what IN they from are offering. Avoid price wars. Out-perform yourusing a good retailer Tesco to all-out Harrod’s does. Consider competition on the most relevant beneficial points including ‘Greenwood’ sales promotionBRAND… to increase sales, turn stock into YOUR choice, quality, value and service. Call Greenwood to mystery

this sector. The future of Design Studio is all about our ability to spot

sales know-how. Call Greenwood to arrange an effective sales

trends, and share them with our independent and group customers.

If this particular line is successful – and I have no doubt it will be – you can expect to see further collaborations in the future.”

Gareth says he’s been keen to develop such a partnership since he joined Design Studio – it just took a while to identify the right

cash and win market share, while protecting your profit shop future your competitors. at the same time. Call Greenwood! your product – or you can work together to enhance and strengthen opportunity.

He says: “With a collaboration, you can use the name just to sell

the brand whilst achieving the product offering that the fans and followers want and expect.


“While celebrity tie-ins are a little over-exploited, it’s all about

finding the right brand – one with mass appeal and longevity which resonates with consumers across a broad demographic. It’s these collaborations which will continue to drive the retail market.”

• PROMOTION – Promote your business effectively. Every good retailer from Aldi to Harrod’s does. Consider using a Why not callsales me promotion today onto01565 a into free, ‘Greenwood’ increase650101 sales, turnfor stock cash and win future market share, while protecting your profitI can confidential, no-obligation business consultation? at the same time. Call Greenwood! outline sales projections and costs over the phone.


Limited bookings for 2017 and 2018 are now being taken ABOUT GREENWOOD Take aon look at our website or call us now on 01625 521010, a first come first served basis. TheSALES… best launch dates at ourenquiry, website or call now on 01565 , always gousfirst. or, sendTake ana elook mail and we’ll gladly650101 call you to or, send an e mail enquiry, and we’ll gladly call you to discuss the

discussexciting the exciting we can offer you, possibilities possibilities we can offer you, without obligation. To find out morewithout withoutobligation. obligation, or to book a sale, We are now booking Greenwood Sales right across the UK call now on 01565 650101, or send an e mail and I’ll and Ireland from summer to autumn 2019 on a first come gladly callbasis. you. first served

We are now booking events right across the UK and Ireland for your sales earlycome to guarantee the rest Book of 2013 on event a first firstexclusivity served basis. for your business. Book your sales event early to guarantee exclusivity Whyfor notyour find out more today? business. Call Bernard or Donald on 01565 650101


GREENWOOD LTD Britain’s Leading Experts in RetailRETAIL Sales Promotion since 2002 LTD GREENWOOD RETAIL Britain’s Leading Experts in Retail Sales Promotion since 2002 Britain’ Leading Experts in Retail Sales Promotion

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32 | Profile

Woburn, featuring Aquaclean fabric

Mammoth stars in Celebrity’s new ranges Celebrity Furniture is busy with the production of its new modified ZipSpeed collections. Each Celebrity product in the popular Westbury, Woburn, Pembroke, Somersby and Regent ranges have been re-engineered to accommodate Mammoth’s Medical Grade Foam. A limited range of the new collections containing Mammoth were introduced at the January Furniture Show – and, due to the high praise from retailers regarding the partnership, Celebrity has extended the offering …

According to Celebrity, redeveloping each

airflow channels help reduce sweating,

adjustable headrest and an in-chair/factory-

range to include Mammoth’s unique

moisture and bacteria build-up.

fitted rechargeable battery option. There is

pressure-relieving seating technologies

Celebrity has listened to retailer feedback,

also a new selection of Aquaclean fabrics,

has been no easy task – but the seating

and among the new developments to

available on all Celebrity ranges including

specialist is now able to offer Mammoth

existing ranges there is an additional level


Medical Grade Foam in all of its fabric fixed,

or comfort, with the introduction of an

Due to investment in Celebrity’s factory

recliner and riser-recliner models in the

and development team, the opportunity to

ZipSpeed ranges, including settees.

manufacture alternative ranges is possible. Celebrity now manufactures a quality range

Celebrity is already a leading UK manufacturer of riser-recliner chairs, so

of legged recliners with real wooden legs,

it made clear sense to develop its range

available as a manual or powered recliner,

further and incorporate Mammoth’s seating

and in any Celebrity fabric. Wayne Hollis, Celebrity and Cintique MD,

technologies. Celebrity’s is the only seating to feature Mammoth’s NHS-award-winning

has been in the motion furniture industry

technologies, which are also recommended

for over 25 years, and his knowledge –

by health professionals, and have been

along with the desire to move the company

developed in partnership with the Chartered

forward and produce affordable, UK-

Society of Physiotherapy.

manufactured, quality products – has enabled Celebrity to make furniture that

The benefits Mammoth Medical Grade

meets the demands of both the industry and

Foam offers include better circulation, support and posture, states Celebrity – plus,

the market.

it can help prevent hip locking when sitting/

T 01623 440626

standing. In addition, Mammoth’s cooling

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Westbury riser-recliner

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All Celebrity ZipSPEED ranges have been reengineered to include Mammoth Medical Grade™ Foam Seating Technology as standard. *Fabric models only. Includes fixed chairs and settees

Tel: +44(0) 1623 440626

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34 | Profile

From the ashes Businesses rise and fall (with alarming regularity, these days). However, on an industrial estate in Hastings, East Sussex, sofa manufacture is still very much alive. Paul Farley reports … gone a long way, admits Marc.

I’m returning to a site which was

experienced 18-strong team needs to make

historically the home of heritage sofa brand

35 frames a week for the company to break

Collins & Hayes – and, in its wake following

even, but is currently managing closer to 40.

pro-forma payments, so accrued minimal

the brand’s sale in 2016, the short-lived

He adds that the business has the capacity

debt,” he says, “and when we started up

Billy & Slouch.

to increase this to around 100 if required.

The Hastings Sofa Company we actually

The Hastings Sofa Company was born late

A tour of the factory reveals an efficient

“In our Billy & Slouch days, we stuck to

took on some of those existing debts to help maintain any goodwill.

last year after key staffers were given the

and lean use of space, while the company’s

opportunity to buy that company’s assets,

social media channels show the team

machinery, materials and work in progress.

members flexing their creative chops, with

white label customers, staff, materials,

Under the guidance of a triumvirate of

forays into sofabeds and motion furniture.

and commitments to the landlord. Because

director/owners – Mark Hillyard (finance

Significant savings have been made by

“The four key areas we had to tackle were

we wanted a clean break, we met payroll

and business development), Marc Gall

closing and leasing various parts of the site,

three months in a row without any support,

(design and development) and Danny

while the company’s white label work is

and we’re now starting to get credit terms

Cleaver (supply chain and operations) – The

supplemented by selling prototypes utilising


Hastings Sofa Company has retained key

discontinued fabrics to the public through

customer accounts while opening new doors.

its showroom. Meanwhile, seven ex-Billy

was able to retain every member of staff

Few fledgling businesses can boast a

& Slouch collections have been carried over

– while taking on extra personnel for

starting turnover of £1.2m, but thanks to

and are “ready to go” as and when required.

sewing and frame making. Another is the

white label work for Heal’s, Sofa Workshop

“We need to get the ball rolling with our

It’s one explanation for how the company

capabilities and flexibility of that workforce,

and Wesley Barrel – plus recent additions

white label work,” says Marc. “We need

which, as one, has dedicated itself to making

Sofas & Stuff and Trade Secrets – the

to feel comfortable that we can deliver

The Hastings Sofa Company the best it can

company has strong foundations.

whatever’s asked of us – but in around 18


“Right now, our priority is to completely stabilise the business and achieve maximum operational efficiency,” says Marc. “Because

months we might be ready to re-evaluate where we are.” Given the turmoil its predecessors went

“There’s not many businesses that operate this way any more,” concludes Marc, “hand-crafting bespoke orders for

of the situation that gave rise to our

through, The Hastings Sofa Company has

the big players. But we’d like to be around

business, we’ve had to adopt a back-to-

met with a surprising degree of positivity

for the long term, so we’re open to any

basics approach.”

from its legacy suppliers and customers,


enabling crucial continuity. Strong personal

T 01424 721729

relationships and timely payments have

Despite this caution, there are encouraging signs. Marc says that the

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The MN Collection A perfect belnd of classic styling and current trends, MN is the latest dining and bedroom collection by Kettle Interiors. The range’s natural real oak tops are paired with soft grey painted cabinetry, adorned with chrome handles. Featuring details from top-to-toe, including carved legs and bun feet, this collection is a beautiful addition to any home. The 13 bedroom and 17 dining pieces of the MN collection are available direct from UK stock, with free delivery from just £250. Prices for the MN Collection start at just £39.99*




Order in the UK from Kettle Interiors 01536 444960 Order in Ireland from Decor Furniture 028 3844 6000 *Container pricing illustrated

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Tiverton is a new living and dining painted collection from Nathan Furniture ( Unveiled at the AIS Furniture Show in January, it was well received, with the careful attention to detail seen across the range especially admired. This includes such features as skilfully constructed parquet oak tops and delicately crafted feature pins. According to the manufacturer, the attention to design and detail sets this product apart from other painted collections. Available in a wide selection of hand-painted finishes, Tiverton’s pieces also use a complementary colour for the interior of the product, creating a contemporary two-tone effect.

Continuing in its tradition of UK upholstery manufacturing, Mark Webster Designs ( launched the Hardwick and Babington upholstery collections at this year’s January Furniture Show. Offering a choice of vibrant velvet plains mixed with dramatic floral prints, both ranges have been added to the company’s lifestyle collection. In addition to upholstery, the company also launched a number of contemporary dining sets, bringing ceramic, metal and glass and concrete to its wholesale collection. Over the next few months, the company plans to continue the development of its Lifestyle & Loft upholstery collection, as its UK manufacturing operation enters a new era. Hamlet Fibreline’s (01535 606846, latest cushion, Encore Foam, has been awarded the FIRA Gold Award. The latest Encore cushion is claimed to have a sit just like a fibre cushion, and to offer a sink-in, snug feel. Like all Encore cushions, it is also easy to maintain. Fibreline believes Encore Foam to be the ultimate foam cushion. It is constructed from 100% foam and achieves its impressive properties through a combination of foams and a clever interior profile. With the launch of Encore Foam, Fibreline feels confident that it can now offer the very best in foam, fibre and feather cushion interiors.

Logan Shankar (01902 399764, is a design-led

Darwin Shankar strives to offer innovative, desirable, durable and

importer and distributor. Based in the West Midlands, Shankar’s head

functional products. Its Darwin lounge chair comes in a high-quality

office in Wolverhampton is home to its sales, design, R&D and buying

leather match fabric, in either graphite grey and yellow. Horizontal

teams, which strive to ensure the business is at the forefront of the

stitched padding offers a superior feeling of comfort, while the the

latest design, fabric colour and texture trends.

sturdy stainless steel frame adds a modern touch.

Shankar offers a Direct Home Delivery (DHD) service to reduce

The Logan dining chair, meanwhile, offers a stainless steel

the need for customers to keep and maintain stocks. Upon receipt of

cantilever frame design for extra comfort, while button-tufted

an order, Shankar’s staff make contact with customers and arrange

padding on the backrest adds to the detail.

bookings directly with them at a convenient time. This is normally

Armrests allow for greater comfort whilst sat at the dining table.

executed within 24 hours, and Shankar also offers a next-day

Covered in a plush leather match fabric, it also comes in graphite

delivery service.

grey or yellow.

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Relax in comfort with new lounge chairs BY




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01902 399764

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38 | Living Room

Inspired by the rug designs of the Turkish tribe from which it takes

From Essentials by Kettle Interiors (01536 444960, sales@

its name, Ushak is the latest addition to Louis de Poortere’s comes GAO, a highly competitive

( popular Antiquarian series of hand-

modern oak collection for living, dining and bedroom. With no

distressed vintage rugs.

pricing policy, this collection offers an opportunity for price-

Available in two designs – Turkish Delight and Suleiman Grey – Antiquarian Ushak uses a faded colour palette with occasional

driven promotions and in-store events at high-street, out-oftown and internet-only retailers.

remnants of rich reds, teal and ochre for a time-worn look that

Offering 21 items for dining and occasional and 12 items for

will suit both mid-century interiors and contemporary spaces,

bedroom, GAO’s looks are set to appeal to shoppers hunting for

revealing the details of delicate traditional pattern beneath a

modern, well-proportioned, naturally finished oak furniture.

heavily distressed effect.

Featuring rounded corners with bevel detailing to tops and tapered

Alan Russell, sales director UK, says: “Reinterpreting some of our most iconic library designs through a heavily time-worn look,

legs, this is a range full of detail. The GAO Collection is available from UK stocks for fast

Antiquarian features rich, vibrant colours and strong patterns, but

nationwide delivery through Kettle’s Wholesale, Stockist and

now, with the introduction of Ushak, we are presenting a subtler,

Container service packages.

muted palette. No less effective, the two designs broaden the appeal of this distressed-effect range, bringing homes a rug full of delightful contrasts that’s undeniably classic.”

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40 | Living Room

Brooklyn in grey and yellow

THINKING BIG, FROM MOROCCO TO BROOKLYN Think Rugs is significantly expanding its product range with the launch of almost 100 new products across 15 ranges, all available in a huge selection of sizes. This year sees the launch of five unique product ranges, plus plenty of new additions to Think Rugs’ most successful collections.

After the success it enjoyed in 2018,

Think Rugs has been working hard to bring

incorporated these rosy blush tones into

stockists an array of new products focusing

some of its favourite designs – including

Think Rugs had no option but to expand its

on textures, contemporary designs and

Noble House 5858 and 8199, Polar PL95 and

Brooklyn range. The company’s heaviest

on-trend colours, taking inspiration from

the uncomplicated Royal Nomadic 5413.

weight, heat-set, frieze, hand-carved range

the Moroccan Beni Ourain style, versatile

Meanwhile, the new Morocco range offers

proved so popular that the collection has

geometric prints, earthy tones and blush

style and a sumptuous feel. The textured

now been bolstered by the addition of the

colours, among other influences.

depth of the microfibre acrylic yarn, blended

pastel tones of the 22192 and the distressed

Following the success and introduction of Millennial pinks in 2018, Think Rugs has

with soft, warm tones, sets this product up

8595 design.

for success.

Then there is the arrival of the extensive Boho range, bringing five individual designs, all inspired by the Moroccan Beni Ourain. Using a mixture of earthy and blush tones, Boho offers authentic feel, completed with a fringed finish. The popular Hong Kong hand-tufted acrylic range, meanwhile, has taken a huge geometric twist this year. Following the popularity of the 7526 design, the range has expanded significantly with four impressive new designs – retro, modern, congruous Hong Kong in grey and navy

FN361_Pages.indd 40

and dramatic, these new additions are sure to shake things up.

Morocco in ivory and black

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From Essentials by Kettle Interiors (01536 444960, sales@ comes BP, a highly competitive painted bedroom collection. With no pricing policy, BP offers an opportunity for price-driven promotions and in-store events at high street, out-of-town and internet-only retail operations. Offered in a choice of enduring paint finishes – classic white and moonlight grey – BP brings clean, simple sophistication to any bedroom. With sculpted cornices, elegant feet and finished with pewter-effect handles, this 12-piece collection (in both paint colours) is ready to make bedrooms more attractive, at affordable prices. The BP collection is available from UK stocks for fast nationwide delivery through the Wholesale, Stockist and Container service packages offered by one of the country’s largest furniture suppliers to the trade.

Palma represents a change for Nathan Furniture ( The industrial-inspired collection builds on the company’s long-standing heritage of using quality teak, while the design gives the range a modern edge. Clean and simple in form, Palma has been carefully crafted to produce a high-quality build. Metal detail has been hand finished to give an antique appearance and tactile feel, while the brushed surfaces emphasise the teak’s natural and rustic beauty. Nathan MD Nicholas Radford says: “Nathan is expanding its product portfolio while remaining true to its original ethos of good-quality design which stretches back to 1916.”

Miami Plus from award-winning bedroom manufacturer,

At this month’s AIS show, Sweet Dreams (01282 830033,

Wiemann (, is a simple sliding robe will launch an exclusive AIS range of

collection which features polished chrome handles and trims that

four beds featuring Defined Edge Support.

create a contemporary design statement. Simon Hewitt, MD of Wiemann’s UK agent Litmus Furniture,

The contemporary collection embraces luxury while providing support across the mattress’ borders. For example, one of the four,

says: “Sometimes, all that is needed is something simple but

Fleur 2000, features Sweet Dreams’ new Defined Edge Support

something that is practical and high quality. That’s where our

with 7in high-density foam encapsulation and a 1000-spring

Miami Plus range really hits the nail on the head – not only does it

encapsulated pocket unit. There is an added cushion top containing

provide a stunning design statement, but it’s packed with storage

a 1000 mini-pocket spring unit with wool, silk and cashmere

and hanging space.”

fillings, for extra comfort and warmth. A matching microquilted

Miami Plus offers a two- or three-door sliding wardrobe in widths from 150-300cm, complete with a passe-partout frame and soft-closing door – along with a choice of bedside and storage

border with Elegance embroidered handles and an Elegance logo front border completes the look. A wide choice of 13 fabrics is available on all Elegance collection

chests.It is available in five carcass finishes – champagne, white,

bases, which come with contemporary chrome glides, beech-effect

rustic oak, dark rustic oak and holm oak – plus the choice of white

inners on all storage options and padded storage drawers. Sprung-

or champagne for the door fronts.

edge bases and all ottoman options are available, and there are

Fleur 2000, from the new AIS Elegance collection of Defined Edge Support beds

FN361_Pages.indd 42

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HOME OF BEDS S l um ber ni ght s

G IVING YO U R CU S TOM E R THE B E S T CH O I CE • Extensive range of beds • UK made • 50 colour choices on each bed

T: 01274 571 077

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Steve Johnson 07508 852572

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Stephen Fownes 07850 431604

FN361_Pages.indd 43 SlumbernightsMar19.indd 1


27/03/2019 26/02/2019 10:12 08:55

44 | Beds & Bedroom


The National Bed Federation’s (NBF,

Bamboo 1000

eciohC gnignahC efiL A

education-training) Introduction to Beds is a short induction

course designed for new starters that aims to quickly instil product


knowledge, an understanding of the UK beds market and any jargon involved, and is extremely competitively priced.

6891 tsE

Its Sleep Sales Course, meanwhile, is available in two formats – the Express version for store managers, those whose main role isn’t sales or busy salespeople who need to learn quickly.


The full course is undertaken over a four-week period, and


requires the user to log their sales statistics to monitor how their conversion rates and average sales values increase as they learn. The NBF’s

training courses

can be completed

online, so there is

Siesta Beds (0121 773 9969, offers a

no need for staff


comfort- and quality-assured range. Siesta’s beds are built with

to be away from a

traditional manufacturing techniques and natural materials such

business for one or

as wool, silk, cotton and bamboo – while embracing modern

two days – they can

materials to improve the comfort and longevity of each product.

instead study and

The new Bamboo collection, for example, consists of 3000-

learn during any

, 1500- and 1000-pocket spring mattresses. With a greater

quieter periods in-

understanding of sustainable resources comes a better appreciation

store or at home.

of the benefits of bamboo, which can be as soft as silk or wool with a natural deodoriser and is now being used more commonly in fabrics, sheets and baby grows. When used as a bedding fibre, bamboo’s natural comfort, resilience and elasticity offers an

Students are certified by the NBF upon successful completion

improved sleeping experience, along with luxurious support. The company delivers weekly, making its service popular with stockists lacking storage space.

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A Life Changing Choice

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oS M 51 B iB B


Copper is an excellent thermal conductor that rapidly transfers heat away from the body. Additionally, copper is anti-microbial and is thought to promote health and wellness.

Softheads Group Mulliners Works 154 Bordesley Green Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham . B8 1BY. FN361_Pages.indd Full page USE.indd 45 1

Tel: 0121 773 9969 Fax 0121 766 741

27/03/2019 11/03/2019 10:12 09:28

46 | Beds & Bedroom

KETTLE REDEFINES GOOD VALUE With consumer confidence shaken by the uncertain political and economic picture, and spending levels seemingly varying wildly from month to month, retailers are having to work harder than ever to secure sales – so the recent launch of Essentials by Kettle Interiors is timely indeed …

The Essentials by Kettle Interiors

Kettle Interiors has long enjoyed a

advantage,” explains sales director Simon

reputation for value, but this new brand

Ainge. “Whether high street or out of town,

collection includes the modern looks of the

resets the bar, introducing some of the most

the best independent furniture and home

GAO oak dining and bedroom collection, the

competitive furniture collections currently

stores are known for their great service –

rustic oak of traditionally-styled RAO for

available to independent furniture retailers.

but there is sometimes a misperception that

dining and bedroom, a dove grey and oak

you pay more LFL because of this.

top combination for classic English looks

Consisting of oak and painted bedroom and dining, Essentials by Kettle Interiors

“The ranges in Essentials help to

in RA for dining and bedroom, and the BP

may offer impressively low prices, but it

counteract this and disprove the theory

collection, a painted bedroom collection in a

does not skimp on service, with the brand

wholeheartedly, with furniture that is ideal

choice of classic white and moonlight grey.

enjoying all the benefits of the supplier’s

for attention-grabbing window displays and

established packages.

advertising promotions.

In fact, retailers more accustomed to

“What’s more, Essentials by Kettle

Alongside these furniture ranges come an updated Mirror Collection and Chair Collection, both now part of the Essentials

the strong sales of lines such as TT and NT

Interiors is proving that great value

by Kettle Interiors philosophy and with new

can plug straight into the headline-making

furniture needn’t come at the expense of

items for 2019.

value of Essentials by Kettle Interiors,

service. Just because something offers a low

simply adding the collections as part of

price, it doesn’t mean that our customers

on style, so whether the modern oak of

their Wholesale, Stockist or Container order.

should expect an inferior service. If our

GAO or the classic style of RA, ranges from

Available to order online, just as with all

name is associated with the product, then

Essentials by Kettle Interiors will look

Kettle Interiors collections, and stocked in

we are determined that it upholds our

great in any shop window, leading the

the UK, there really is no compromise in

principles of great service, exemplified

charge with always-great value,” concludes

service for these collections.

through our £5m UK stockholding, anytime

Simon. “Our service works quietly away

ordering and account management, fast and

in the background, keeping you and your

Interiors we wanted to give independent

free wholesale delivery and dedicated after-

customers happy, every step of the way.”

retailers of all shapes and sizes a fighting

sales support – all part of the package with

T 01536 444960

chance to compete and gain competitive

any Essentials order.”


“With the launch of Essentials by Kettle

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“We’ve ensured there’s no compromise

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The Oasis snugchair from leading UK soft-seating specialist Bazaar Group ( is a semi-structured, portable

furniture and a variety of interior styles and rooms around the home. Oasis is part of Bazaar Group’s new brand, Ayla, which purports

armchair. Launched at the January Furniture Show, the soft-filled

to offer retailers the opportunity to achieve incremental sales at

seat moulds to the body to provide comfort and support that hugs the

minimal risk thanks to its small footprint and flexible nature. The


range’s unique designs can inhabit dead space in-store and in the

The chair is easily portable, which means it can follow the social flow of the house. It is also available in three design-led colour weaves – lagoon, ochre and rust – selected to complement existing


home, fulfilling the needs of today’s consumer. The Ayla line also includes the Horizon lounger, Dune chair, Drift chair, Oasis loveseat, Mirage pouffe and Halo pouffe.


Britannia Mirrors (020 8804 0392,

and small runs of products to suit every

minimalist, contemporary and modern has been

requirement, offering one of the industry’s

designer mirrors and solid wood mirrors, to

established for 30 years, and has developed

most comprehensive ranges of quality

free-standing floor, tabletop and bathroom

a reputation for supplying quality products

framed and unframed mirrors.

mirrors – a diverse product range which continues to grow to address emerging

and a high level of customer service.

Its portfolio ranges from traditional and

From its factory in North London,

decorative gilt- and silver-framed mirrors,

trends, improve upon established products,

the family-run company produces large

over mantels, oval mirrors, shaped mirrors,

and meet changing customer demand.

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Manufacturers and Wholesalers of Quality Framed Mirrors

Britannia Mirrors Ltd Unit 5, 87 Lockfield Avenue, Enfield, Middlesex EN3 7PY Tel: 020 8804 0392 Email:

FN361_Pages.indd 49 BritanniaMirrorsApr19.indd 1

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hex adv



DESIGN DIRECTIONS Product development is a costly process – even more so when such a high proportion of new designs fail to hit the mark. That means it really does pay to be informed before committing to new lines. Together with his team at Antelope Design, Paul Galley has developed a new biannual report which offers manufacturers and retailers greater clarity of the UK’s dominant product trends, enabling them to assess their existing ranges in line with national trends, and create more accurate briefs before setting out in expensive new directions. Paul Farley reports …

As the fairy tales have it, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding your prince. And so goes furniture design – the challenges of creating something that’s in tune with demand can take a great deal of time and money to overcome. From sketches and 3D modelling to prototypes and marketing materials, the cost of developing a new cabinet range for display is probably in the region of £10,000,

“The effort and cost that goes into developing a new range is significant, and a failure will set you back months”

Paul Galley

estimates cabinet furniture designer, Paul Galley, who, having worked with the likes

that goes into developing a new range is

of Willis & Gambier, Carlton, Frank Hudson

significant, and a failure will set you back

and Loma – plus numerous white-label

months – not to mention the expense of

clients – can comfortably be described as an

doing it all again next year.”

authority in his field. So why, asks Paul, do so many commit to

Antelope Design’s answer to this uncertainty is a new report that attempts

launching new product without first doing

to deliver a clearer picture of what’s in and

their homework?

out on the cabinet scene. From finishes

“We’ve talked to some very candid

to fittings, Paul’s team has analysed the

importers at the UK’s key furniture shows,

modern, traditional, retro and industrial

and my team and I have been struck by how

lines offered by seven leading nationals and

many of the new ranges on display don’t

independents – spanning a total of over 350

succeed,” he states. “The effort and cost

ranges throughout 380 stores – to give the

report’s subscribers a detailed picture of the most popular looks in today’s market. “In the past, clients often asked us to analyse ranges, and to present our findings – and they were often staggered by the accuracy of our information,” says Paul, who drills down into each collection’s handle type, material, finish, turnings, frame style, leg style, profile, details, and more. Antelope’s findings are presented in clear

A breakdown of living/dining cabinet finishes at John Lewis & Partners, based on 34 ranges

graphs and mood boards, and supported by analysis of contextual factors such as online search term, housing and material trends, alongside insight from leading buyers and specifiers. As well as comparing and contrasting the most popular ranges (these are selected according to their ranking within each brand’s online listings), crucially, the report also tracks which ranges have fallen out of favour, in an attempt to reflect the tail end of the trend curve at the same time. “We don’t always know the exact reasons why ranges are discontinued,” says Paul, “and there could be many – but surely, if they were working at all, the retailers would have found a way to keep them going?” Paul admits that without access to actual sales figures, there’s no way the findings can be completely accurate. “But there’s so much data available online that informs our analysis,” he says, “and it’s enough to give other businesses an insight into

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Furniture testing and certification SATRA is an international centre of excellence for product testing, training, consultancy and innovation celebrating 100 years in business and 21 years of furniture testing. Working to ISO 17025 and offering expert technical advice on UK and European standards, SATRA is the premier technical partner for suppliers, manufacturers and retailers of furniture. SATRA Diamond Product Certification available for products that meet extra quality standards. Tel: +44 (0)1536 410 000 FN361_Pages.indd SatraApr19.indd 1 51

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52 | Trade Services

by our report can save manufacturers wasting their time on just one red herring, then it’s done its job.” Antelope Design’s Furniture Trend Report is published twice a year, in February and August – and is accompanied by a free supplement that covers the team’s findings at the January Furniture Show. While Paul currently has no plans to expand the report’s remit beyond cabinet furniture, he is keen to explore a broader base of retail What’s new in bedroom cabinet at John Lewis & Partners – complete with colour mixes the market’s niches and saturation points,

areas in new homes (and the reduced wall

without having to spend many, many hours

space that comes with it), are the days of

conducting their own research.”

dining cabinet furniture numbered?”

Occasionally, the analysis turns up quite

In all, the report reinforces Antelope’s

influencers, including online powerhouses such as and US trendsetter, Restoration Hardware. “Over the years at Antelope we have put significant time into research,” he says, “and believe there is a lot to gain by having

unexpected findings, and Paul’s team is able

credentials in original cabinet design,

a clear understanding of the market and its

to weigh in with insightful explanations.

alongside the benefits of visual assets,

direction. We believe the furniture trade is in

“We have found that there is a mismatch

which it develops through its sister brand,

for a tricky time, so anything that can help

between what consumers are searching

Symmetry CGI. It also serves as a timely

you succeed when dealing with Brexit, an

for and what is being offered,” says Paul.

reminder of the need to gather good,

increasing number of customers shopping

“For example, while there is a significant

contextualised intelligence before deciding

online, and generally slow growth in the

volume of online searches for modern white

how to proceed with product development.

economy, cannot be a bad thing.

beds, very few were on display at this year’s

“Often we see that businesses are overly

January Furniture Show. “Housing trends also threaten to impact

“There are no guarantees in life,” Paul

focused on one or two areas of the market,”

concludes, “but working with the report

says Paul, “while completely neglecting

should have you well prepared, rather than

the industry’s future. With the movement

another. Also, many ranges are developed

preparing to fail.”

towards smaller living areas, and the huge

or bought based on the knowledge of one

T 07947 639006

growth of open-plan kitchen and dining

person alone. If the broader context offered


Mood boards illustrate key trends

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54 | Trade Services

Chair testing

Cabinet testing

SATRA LOOKS TO THE FUTURE UPON CENTENARY This year, SATRA celebrates 21 years of furniture testing, and 100 years in business. SATRA was formed in 1919, and has since become a recognised and respected name for product research and testing in supply chains throughout the world. The organisation introduced furniture testing to its broad offering of technical services 21 years ago, and since then many of the test mechanisms developed for the footwear and chemical testing sectors during SATRA’s long history have been applied to furniture.

Geoff Bindley, SATRA’s furniture business

after the introduction of the REACH EU

manager, comments: “We are continuing to

Regulation in 2006. SATRA can also offer fabric and leather

invest in growing the team as the furniture and floorcoverings department shows

technical experts for the assessment of

increased growth in testing work as well as

upholstery flexibility, resistance to abrasion

flammability testing for both the domestic

and colourfast properties. “With SATRA’s great heritage and wealth

and contract markets.”

of knowledge in testing and certification

SATRA operates from an extensive modern test facility at its headquarters in

under one roof,” continues Geoff, “we

Northamptonshire, which boasts a dedicated

can help customers with a wide range of

flammability laboratory for heat and flame

physical testing and produce test reports

testing – including whole mattress testing.

that are respected and recognised. This

There is also a comprehensive chemical

is very important, because the modern

laboratory for restricted substances

consumer expects products to be fit for

evaluation and laboratories to assess


the damage caused by impact, heat and

“This is a very exciting time in furniture

stains on veneers, granite and glass. All

and floorcoverings testing and certification

laboratories are UKAS accredited to ISO

A flammability crib test

The chemical laboratory at SATRA

at SATRA, as there is potential in the whole market.

17025. chair or sofa needing to be analysed for

“We have a very helpful and experienced

receives a wide range of requests and could,

the presence of chromium-6 (a bi-product

team, and we continue to look forward to

for example, include a requirement to

of the tanning process that can cause skin

many more years of success.”

test the paint used in nursery furniture to

irritations). Indeed, SATRA experienced

T 01536 410000

guarantee safe use for children, or a leather

increased demand for chemical testing

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The most extensive range available from including: Touch Up Markers & Graining • Transparent & solid colour markers • Clear finishing markers • Graining markers & colouring sticks

Repair Aerosols • Dye & Pigment Colouring Aerosols • Finishing Aerosol in 6 sheens • Low Odour Finishing Aerosols • Speciality Aerosols for spot repairs, blushing etc

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J DeWalleg Ltd is a British manufacturing company with a history of innovation and Patents for the products it designs and makes in the UK. Its roots as a family company go back over 66 years and our ethos continues to be quality, craftsmanship and pride in what we make and sell. With continued investment and the inhouse CAD designing of its own production machinery and products, J DeWalleg Ltd strives to maintain its lead as a UK manufacturer supplying globally direct to the Bedding and Upholstery industry. Visit

for products, services and contact information

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56 | Trade Services

Senior auctioneers Dean Carpenter and Adam Cartwright

NEW SERVICES TO LIFT AUCTION SERVICE EVEN HIGHER Midland Furniture Auctions’ (MFA) service is always evolving. The Alfreton, Derbyshire-based business continues to prove popular with buyers, and is building on its existing success by introducing new facilities for clients … To start with, MFA is expanding its web

relatively easy,” says Dean Carpenter, senior

continues. “We feel our service is second

presence with a state-of-the-art online

auctioneer at MFA. “And now, with these

to none already, but we don’t like standing

auctioning system – a new way to sell and

extra services, the convenience for vendors

still. With the upcoming online auction

buy furniture via MFA is coming soon this

should only increase.

service and additional services we can


“This has always been MFA’s aim – to

offer, we hope more companies will try us. We look forward to welcoming you to our

This is good news for buyers, but even

provide the best service we can, with the

better for vendors, giving their end-of-line,

best hammer prices, with the minimum

salerooms soon.”

seconds, returns or excess furniture extra

amount of hassle.

T 01773 832555

exposure and even faster turnaround.

“These are exciting times for us,” Dean

The second announcement is that MFA is expanding on the supplementary services offered to vendors by employing a new upholsterer and two qualified cabinetmakers. The team will be able to assemble, finish and repair any stock in preparation for a sale – so, if an item is not quite saleworthy when sent for auction, it will be by the time it has been tended to. This is just another part of the package that aims to remove the stress of clearing stock, while getting the best prices for furniture. MFA’s weekly auction is held every Wednesday, and is located just off the M1 motorway at junction 28. “It really couldn’t be in a more ideal spot, right in the heart of the country, making stock drop-offs

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Cypress hand-turned bowl, Rodney Band From his workshop near Cape Town, South Africa, Rodney Band crafts unique wooden bowls from cork oak, Norfolk pine, wild olive and more, and spends around seven days working on each creation.

“The shape, size and form of each piece is determined by the type of wood and its unique grain, as well as its age, size, number of branches and more. While the outside of each bowl is turned, the insides are sculpted using a tool I designed myself, which allows me to shape the bowl in an asymmetrical way that best suits the piece of wood”

“A boron beetle living in a cypress tree is responsible for the unusual signature holes in this exquisite piece. After turning the trunk of a local tree that fell in the area, I discovered that a beetle had emerged. It sat at the door of my workshop for two days, watching as its home became transformed into artwork”

“Most of my pieces are crafted out of wood that is sourced from rubbish dumps or tree fellers and would

“This bowl sits at 520mm wide and

otherwise have ended up as firewood or rotting in nature.

270mm high – a beautiful wide

I see the inherent value and beauty in a piece of wood,

centrepiece that creates a striking focal

and recognise its potential in its raw state. Sourcing

point in a room, with the incredible rustic

wood in this way keeps the practice sustainable – and

texture of the cypress juxtaposed with the

if the occasional boron beetle sadly loses his home, my

smooth, spherical holes created by the

workshop on Imhoff Farm is not a terrible place to retire!”

boron beetle”

“My hand-turned wooden bowls have a unique beauty that’s testament to the individuality of the tree that gave birth to it” Training: Rodney had a passion for wood from an early age, and began exploring the art of woodturning in the early 90s. He went on to pursue an apprenticeship with Dave Stevenson, a master woodturner in South Africa’s Cape Garden Route, where he learned the techniques of hand-turning and hand-sculpting wood on a lathe. Achievements: Rodney is represented by the Southern Guild gallery in Cape Town, as well as the Kalk Bay Modern and Ebony Curated.

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REGIONAL SALES AGENTS REQUIRED DERRY’S FURNITURE REQUIRE MAINLAND UK REGIONAL SALES AGENTS TO JOIN OUR TEAM The correct candidates will: • Have a strong client base in their area • Be focused on mid to high end furniture • Willingness to drive and use Show vans • Be up keeping with current on trend Furniture styles • Be confident on iPad, Dropbox & Excel • Be willing to travel to sales meetings and product development training in Ireland as and when necessary We are able to offer the below advances to agents to assist sales: • 600+ unique SKU • Trend leading products in the Cabinet, Upholstery and Giftware sectors • 10 day delivery turnaround of stock items • Over £2,000,000 of stock held • Salespresenter (app) • Bi-Annual catalogues • Exhibition stands @ January Furniture Show & Manchester Furniture Show • Member of AIS & Minerva Buying Groups • Company base of Large 20,000 sq ft showrooms • Show Van • Existing Accounts in your area Derrys have increased UK mainland High Street Sales 30% year on year for the last 4 years. For the first 2 months of 2019 we are up 10% bucking the trend

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Are you developing new product? Do you need insights into the furniture market? If so take a look at the

Trend Report by Antelope Design. Crammed with over 80 pages of information that will inform and guide your decisions; you’ll be kept up to date with reports published in February and August key times for furniture developers. What you get: • A guide to over 350 furniture ranges on the high street • What’s new and discontinued for each chain • Guides on materials and handles • Information on housing • Consumer internet searches • Mood boards and trends • Our insights for whats coming next Get your subscription now and we’ll give you a free review of the January Furniture Show. To find out more contact Paul Galley 07947 639006 /

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ON THE WEB New stories are added to the Furniture News website as they break. Browse on your desktop or mobile, and sign up for our email newsletter at

News Jysk plots 15-store rollout in Ireland starting in Naas on 2nd April

News Retailer ScS grows H1 revenue and profits despite challenging conditions

News Whitemeadow certified under FIRA upholstery flammability compliance scheme




Got some news or an idea for an article? Call the editorial desk on 01424 776101 or email

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Issue 74


r 2017 Products #290 / Insta llations Timber / Upda & Pane tes ls / Sand Software ing & Finis / Dust & Wood hing waste Manageme www.furn nt iture

Furniture News is just one of the industry titles published by Gearing Media Group. Those involved in the contract furnishings market should take a look at Hospitality Interiors magazine (, while anyone seeking furniture manufacturing machinery or supplies should refer to Furniture Production (


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NEXT MONTH Living Room, Dining Room, Beds & Bedroom and Furnisher, plus a special look at Eco-conscious products Cylindo CEO Janus Jagd has the Last Word | Competition law and the furniture industry

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