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The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade #362 May 2019 |

Hypnos – pioneering the art of sustainable bedmaking

GREENER PASTURES The trade’s sustainable stories

FN362_Pages.indd 1 FrontCover362.indd



Orbital gets to work

Cracking down on cartels

26/04/2019 15:04 12:29 25/04/2019

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

“Sustainable business has been on the industry’s agenda for decades, but it can no longer be ignored”

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 Proofreader Keith Fitz-Hugh Editorial director John Legg 01424 776104 Publisher Nigel Gearing



ow green is your business?

It’s something that businesses from across

Whether it’s eco-friendly,

the industry should be considering, with

environmentally safe or ethically

future consumers unlikely to tolerate brands

manufactured, there’s a bright future for

that don’t have a plan to minimise the effect

furniture made with conscience.

of their operations on our planet.”

According to Nielsen’s Global Corporate

In a special feature in this month’s issue

Sustainability Report, two thirds of

(starting on p34), Furniture News presents

consumers (and 73% of Millennials) say

evidence from various suppliers which, like

they’re willing to pay more for sustainable

Sealy UK and our cover star, Hypnos, are

goods – and suppliers and manufacturers

taking steps to minimise their impact – and

are taking note, by developing re-usable or

giving savvy retailers a powerful weapon in

recyclable products, employing recycled or

their sales arsenal. We also present the latest

certified materials, or making operational

findings from a consumer survey conducted

commitments to carbon neutrality, zero to

by the Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC),

landfill or ethical working practices.

and consider the progress made by the EUTR

And, due to growing demand from conscientious consumers, these stories are

since the legislation was introduced six years ago.

Accounts Wendy Williams 01424 774982

becoming increasingly compelling on the

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

bed manufacturers, it has embraced

(and economy) facing innumerable

its environmental responsibilities,

uncertainties, and the weight of public

implementing a zero-to-landfill policy,

opinion shifting ever faster, it’s looking

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

while seeking to use materials that are

like eco-friendly product and practice will

renewable and recyclable wherever possible.

become the industry’s default sooner rather

Repro, print and distribution Stephens & George

than ever before from the companies they

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.

FN362_Pages.indd 3

shop floor. Take Sealy UK’s example. Like many

“Today’s consumers are demanding more

Sustainable business has been on the industry’s agenda for decades, but it can no longer be ignored. With the environment

than later. Sadly, nothing lasts forever – as I was

purchase from, and are keen to know that

painfully reminded recently, when my friend

the products they have in their homes are

and professional colleague Matt O’Flynn

consistent with their values,” says Sealy’s

passed away, aged just 44. You can read my

sales and marketing director, Neil Robinson.

thoughts on his passing on p10 – and catch

“With the market becoming increasingly

a glimpse of his legacy on p54, where we

crowded for suppliers in the furniture

look at his company’s work on behalf of the

industry, it has never been more important

latest winners of The Furniture Awards.

for companies to step up and review if they


are doing enough when it comes to having a positive impact on the environment – after all, it could be the deciding factor when a consumer comes to choosing between you and your competition. “As suppliers, minimising the impact of any adverse environmental effects as a result of production and distribution is key.

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

26/04/2019 12:29

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26/04/2019 04/04/2019 12:29 08:40

19 08:40

Contents | 5



The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade #362 May 2019 |


Partner Comment

8 News 18 Interview Hypnos – pioneering the art of sustainable bedmaking

GREENER PASTURES The trade’s sustainable stories



Orbital gets to work

Cracking down on cartels

FrontCover362.indd 1

20 Events

25/04/2019 15:04

Bedmaker Hypnos outlines its sustainable manufacturing credentials in our special Eco-conscious feature (p36)

26 Resources 30

RIP Matt O’Flynn (10)



Karen Campbell White outlines the Competition and Markets Authority’s take on furniture cartels

42 Orbital Vision’s work with the winners of The Furniture Awards 2019 (54)

34 Eco-conscious QSL’s Mandy Carmody asks whether EUTR compliance is going far enough


Dining Room


Beds & Bedroom


Out of Hours


Living Room

Janus Jagd, Cylindo (64)

52 Furnisher 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)

FN362_Pages.indd 5


Trade Services

60 Designer 64

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

26/04/2019 12:29





Look again at Nathan Nathan Furniture is undergoing a brand ‘refresh’ uniting all its ranges under one Nathan name. The Nathan name has always been synonymous with quality materials and construction, so by using this ethos across all 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. And now we’re improving our marketing offering too, with fresh, professional lifestyle images to help our stockist show off products which appeal to both young and old consumers. Now Available - A collection of lifestyle images that can be used for all areas of marketing from print to digital platforms, including 1:1 images for social media use and banner sized images for websites. TEL: 0203 058 4280 EMAIL: INFO@NATHANFURNITURE.CO.UK


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26/04/2019 17/04/2019 12:29 11:17






19 11:17

Partner Comment | 7

Knowledge is key “With the UK facing the uncertainty of Brexit, it is critical that businesses have as much understanding of the potential financial and political landscape as possible” The Furniture Industry Research Association can trace its origins

and value the work we do. We have seen double-digit growth in

back to 1949, and whilst much has changed in both the UK

membership in recent years, and with close to 400 members –

furniture industry and the association over those 70 years, one

who have a combined turnover in excess of £132b – we represent

thing has not – the need for knowledge.

a significant part of the UK’s manufacturing and retail landscape.

This need for knowledge has never been more important than it is now – with the UK facing the uncertainty of Brexit, it is critical that businesses have as much understanding of the potential

This means our voice is heard and our members’ concerns are acknowledged at the highest levels. Our 200 UK manufacturing members have a combined turnover of £4.8b, which represented over half of the UK’s furniture

financial and political landscape as possible. Consequently, FIRA continues to provide as much clarity as

manufacturing output in 2017. Our members appreciate the benefit

it can. Our team attend weekly updates with Government and

that knowledge can bring – to inform key business decisions and

feed these to our members, as well as to the other associations

to reduce risk to their businesses.

that make up the British Furniture Confederation (BFC), because

At the Furniture Industry Research Association we have two

at FIRA we appreciate that in some circumstances the need for

passions – knowledge and the furniture industry. If you share

knowledge transcends the boundaries of our membership.

these, why not come and talk to us?

Meanwhile, the association’s statistical digest, detailing the performance of the UK furniture industry, is the key resource for business leaders and stakeholders alike. We represent the UK furniture industry on all major standards committees for furniture, and feed updates back to the industry through online updates and face-to-face forums to help our members produce products that are safe and fit for purpose – and we are pleased to confirm that the UK will still participate

Phil Reynolds is the COO of the

and adopt CEN standards to at least 2020 (if not longer), giving

Furniture Industry Research

UK manufacturers, importers and retailers some certainty in an

Association (FIRA, www.

uncertain world., the UK’s largest

We actively participate in UK and EU regulatory consultations, covering fire safety, machine safety, environmental and

furniture association and a

sustainability concerns, to name but a few – making sure the voice

recognised centre of technical

of the industry is heard at the highest levels. And, where there are

excellence which provides

gaps in knowledge, we plug them with research projects funded by

knowledge-based, technical

the membership.

support to the global furniture

We know our members recognise the need for knowledge

supply chain.

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

FN362_Pages.indd 7

26/04/2019 12:30

8 | News

Made secures new distribution centre has leased a new distribution centre at the DP World London Gateway Logistics Park in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex. The larger site will replace Made’s current distribution centre near Ipswich, and follows a sustained period of growth which saw the company post a +37% increase in revenue last year. Frédéric Beltoise, Made’s global operations director, says: “As a digitalfirst business, we are deeply invested in the quality of our unique products and ensuring that our customers have the

MattressOnline co-founder retires Steve Kelly, the co-founder of online

knew very little about mattresses or the bed

retailer MattressOnline, has announced his

industry. Steve was my mentor, guiding me

retirement, leaving co-founder Steve Adams

through the intricacies of the industry - for

as MD and the company’s sole shareholder.

which I’m eternally grateful.”

After 15 years dedicated to MattressOnline

To facilitate Steve Adams’ sole ownership,

- and 35 years in the bed industry - Steve

cash flow funding has been provided by

Kelly is retiring to spend more time with his

Yorkshire Bank, with support and guidance

family and pursue other interests.

from Castle Square Corporate Finance. Steve

He founded MattressOnline in 2003

Adams’ vision for the future is clear: “With

together with Steve Adams, and, as a

a reinforced management team, strategic

pioneer of online bed sales, played a

development and continued, excellent

pivotal role in shaping how people shop for

partnerships with manufacturers and


suppliers, I look forward with confidence

Steve Adams says: “When I co-founded MattressOnline with Steve back in 2003, I

as I continue to develop the success of MattressOnline,” he says.

best possible experience when shopping capacity for growth, this new site

SATRA plans industry seminars

enables us to continue building the

SATRA’s flammability seminars aim

understand exactly what their duties and

exceptional customer experience that

to provide those in the industry with a

responsibilities are.

has been so key to our success to date.”

full understanding of the Furniture and

with us. As well as adding long-term

Mattress replacement cycle getting shorter

SATRA is also offering a furniture safety

Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations for

seminar which will provide an introduction

domestic and contract markets for furniture,

to the concepts of general product safety for

upholstery and bedding.

furniture entering the European market, and

The day-long seminars will cover the flammability requirements for furniture and any materials that are used such

the use of laboratory testing to give evidence of due diligence. The flammability seminars will take

as covers, interliners, foams and other

place on the 30th May, 29th August and

fillings. Delegates will learn about the

14th November – and the furniture safety

The latest consumer research by the

tests conducted and see demonstrations in

seminar on 6th June – at SATRA’s offices in

National Bed Federation (NBF) has

SATRA’s flammability lab, helping them

Kettering, Northamptonshire.

revealed that consumers are replacing their mattresses more rapidly. The research, which is undertaken twice

New leadership at FIRA International

a year, found that three quarters of people (75%) replace their bed at

FIRA International

testing lab which recently doubled in size

least every 10 years, with the mean

has appointed a new

and took on new testing machines to meet

replacement being every 6.9 years. This

general manager,

demand. My intention is to focus on looking

is down from a mean of 7.2 years in

Lee Wade. He takes

at where else we can invest and expand

2018, 7.4 in 2017 and 7.9 in 2016.

up the mantle from

to ensure we continue to be the testing

Phil Reynolds, who

provider of choice to the furniture industry.”

Simon Williams, marketing manager of the NBF, says: “It would seem that

Lee Wade

is stepping into the

In his new role as COO at FIRA, Phil

a growing number of consumers are

newly created role of COO of the Furniture

will continue to chair various standards

replacing their mattresses every seven

Industry Research Association (FIRA).

committees and represent the views of

years. This is a 10-year drop from

Lee says: “I am looking forward to my

members on other working groups. He will

1995, when consumers bought a new

new role at FIRA International, working

also develop projects and provide a source of

mattress on average every 17 years.

alongside my new colleagues to deliver

technical information to members, drawing

The new figures represent a significant

first-class solutions across the furniture

on his 20 years within the furniture sector.

change in attitude among consumers

industry. It’s a fascinating organisation

who, little more than 20 years ago,

with unique selling points and strengthened

the council, the research association has

expected mattresses to almost be

by world-class experts whose knowledge

established itself as the centre of knowledge

a once- or twice-in-a-lifetime

spans across furniture testing, consultancy,

for the furniture industry. My remit as


ergonomics and aftercare.

COO is to build on this to the benefit of

The NBF and its consumer education

“My initial plan is to focus on the

Phil says: “Under the stewardship of

members and the wider furniture industry.

arm, The Sleep Council, recommend

continuing expansion programme which has

I am not entirely stepping away from FIRA

that mattresses are replaced every

been in place for a few months and is backed

International, as I will also serve as the

seven to eight years, as during that

by investment from our parent company,

new technical development manager, a

time it will have clocked up around

Element. An example of this can be seen

role which will perfectly complement my

20,000 hours of use.

with our UKAS-accredited flammability

position as COO at FIRA.”

FN362_Pages.indd 8

26/04/2019 12:30

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18/04/2019 17:32 09:16 17/04/2019 26/04/2019 12:30

10 | News

Debenhams enters pre-pack administration Administrators were appointed to Debenhams plc after the offer of investment from major shareholder and owner of Sports Direct, Mike Ashley, was rejected last month. Shares were suspended as Chad Griffin, Simon Kirkhope and Andrew Johnson of FTI Consulting LLP were appointed joint administrators to oversee the completion of the group’s pre-pack sale (other than the plc) to a newly incorporated company, controlled by its secured lenders. With fresh access to £200m funding, Debenhams will continue to trade as normal, and the underlying companies operated under the group’s umbrella – including its commercial relationships with suppliers, employees, pension holders and customers – will be unaffected. However, the plc’s shareholders – including Mike Ashley – are likely to lose their equity. The group will continue to

Industry innovator passes away A well-known figure in the UK furniture industry, Matt O’Flynn passed away on 29th March, at the age of 44. Matt began his industry career working for the family business, Meadowmead, where he founded upholstery brand Insitu – and, over the subsequent 21 years, grew the John Sankey and Henderson Russell brands. He served as chairman of the Long Eaton Guild of Furniture Manufacturers from 2009-2017, and he was involved with the BFM from 2001, joining the board in 2010 and eventually becoming chairman in 2016. He also chaired the Heart of England fundraising committee for The Furniture Makers’ Company. In 2013 Matt was appointed MD of

Metastatic Melanoma with grace, courage and his infamous humour”, writes Matt’s

Collins and Hayes, before going to work for

“fierce friend and colleague”, Rob Walker.

Sleepezee as commercial director in 2017.

“Matt’s boundless, infectious energy,

The same year, he founded Orbital Vision

warmth and humour made working with

with his friend Rob Walker, establishing

him so much fun, and it was his can-do,

The Exchange in Long Eaton to house it and

will-do approach, and finessing of projects

serve as an industry hub and showroom.

with meticulous attention to detail, that

“Matt faced his diagnosis of Stage IV

made them special.”

RIP Matt O’Flynn – leader, radical, friend

implement the restructuring of its

Wow. Just three letters into the headline,

operations, including reducing the

and I’ve given away the punchline.

to achieve great things. But he was much more than a facilitator. In the spirit of every visionary, Matt was

store portfolio by some 50 locations,

I’m writing this on April Fool’s Day, so,

which, “if approved, will result in a

in the spirit of the man himself, was hoping

a rebel (in the best sense of the word),

significant overall reduction in the

to pen a bit of a wind-up before dealing out

questioning everything, and challenging

group’s rent burden and underpin a

the bad news. At the close, Matt joked that

preconceptions. Most people are simply

sustainable future”.

“every day is a pun day”, but for once, I’m

concerned with getting from A to B, rarely

struggling to come up with one. It’s funny

(if ever) stopping to think how they might

it had put in place New Money Facilities

how hard it is to find the funny in death,

do it better, or whether they should do it

with its existing lenders which provided

but, in the end, smiles are a far more fitting

at all. Matt saw what others could not, and

the group with £200m of additional

tribute to Matt than tears.

would fight for change – consequences be

In March, Denhams announced that


funding, including £40m to refinance

I was a young(er), green(er) journalist

the bridge facility announced on 12th

when I first met Matt on the steps to his

February. The business states that

family’s upholstery business in Long Eaton.

Matt bore his illness bravely and with good

while Sports Direct International made

That day, he had his Long Eaton Guild hat

humour from start to finish, and my heart

a number of proposals, each of which

on (as well as his Meadowmead hat – he

goes out to his wife Moira, and his four

was considered by the plc’s board, none

had a lot of hats).

children – Ruari, Cameron, Evie and Finlay

was deemed deliverable. Debenhams’ chairman Terry Duddy

I was immediately won over by Matt’s openness and impish sense of humour, and

He was still fighting when I said goodbye.

– as they face a future without him. But now is not the time for a lament. Matt

says: “It is disappointing to reach a

thus began a friendship which endured a

urged those that loved him to “Make the

conclusion that will result in no value

good deal of hat changes – from taking the

most of the rest of your ride” – we should

for our equity holders. However, this

helm at Collins and Hayes in my hometown

not focus on his absence, but remember how

transaction will allow Debenhams to

of Hastings, to his work in the upper

he made us smile, and bring his example

continue trading as normal, access

echelons of the BFM, and innovating at

to mind when faced with a dilemma, an

the funding we need, and proceed

the industry’s vanguard at Orbital Vision

opportunity, or the chance to grab a cold

with executing our turnaround plans,

alongside his close friend, Rob.

beer with a friend.

whilst deleveraging the group’s

I keenly felt his ups and downs over these

Farewell (for now), to the impish,

balance sheet. We remain focused on

years, often surprised – and subsequently

irrepressible and idealistic Matt O’Flynn –

protecting as many stores and jobs as

impressed – by the paths he forged and the

father, husband, Super Rams fan (nobody’s

possible, consistent with establishing a

decisions he made.

perfect), and friend.

sustainable store portfolio in line with our previous guidance.”

FN362_Pages.indd 10

Matt was a charismatic guy, and his geniality and verve brought people together

– Paul Farley

26/04/2019 12:30

Full pagGallery

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26/04/2019 12:30 17/04/2019 11:03 Tue 16/04/2019 17:36:17

12 | News

Dunelm enjoys positive Q3 Dunelm continues to perform well, reporting

in technology and marketing – to drive

a LFL revenue increase of +12.5% for the 13-

growth. Fresh developments include the

week period ended 30th March 2019. Store

launch of Dunelm’s fourth Home of Homes

revenue increased +9.8% YoY, while online

advertising campaign, sponsorship of ITV’s

revenue through grew by an

This Morning programme, and the ongoing

impressive +32.1%.

deployment of a new digital operating

In all, multichannel revenue (online

system. Dunelm expects to open two new

orders, click and collect and tablet-based

stores (including one relocation) towards

selling in-store) represented 18.5% of its

the end of the financial year.

revenue. Total group revenue was £284.5m,

Nick Wilkinson, Dunelm’s chief executive, comments: “The strong growth in the

up +6.1%, reflecting the closure of the

third quarter reflects our ongoing focus

Worldstores and Kiddicare websites earlier

on attracting more customers to the brand

in the financial year.

and giving them more reasons to shop with

Net debt stood at £48.3m (from £123.8m

Buying group appoints merchandise manager Wiltshire-based independent UK buying group Minerva Furniture Group has appointed Simon Davies as its group merchandise manager. Simon is well known in the trade and brings considerable experience from the retail sector, having worked with buying group AIS and as a buyer for Alan Ward Furnishings and Fenwick.

us through great product and service. Our

at the close of the 2018 financial year), with

performance was also buoyed by a positive

investment in the business – particularly

homewares market.”

Sopha now open in Highbridge

Otty wins regional business award

Arlo & Jacob opens fourth showroom

Leeds-based online boxed mattress

Multichannel retailer Arlo & Jacob is

store, which stands on the site of

retailer Otty Sleep has been

extending its footprint to the South-

the old George Hotel on the A38 in

named Newcomer of the Year at

East with its fourth UK showroom. The

Highbridge, took two-and-a-half years’s 2019 Yorkshire

6000 ft2-plus store is located in Georgian

to build and renovate.

Business Masters Awards.

market town Marlow, Buckinghamshire,

Retailer Sopha opened in Highbridge, Somerset, with a series of events and competitions late last month. The

The past year has seen Otty treble the number of employees at its Leeds headquarters, expand into Europe, and

Founders Matt and Emily Scott say:

and occupies Windsor House at the top of

“After almost three years of hard work

the town’s high street.

on our building we’re really pleased to

Arlo & Jacob has showrooms in

be able to officially declare our store open.

boost its turnover by more than +450%

London’s Fulham, Bristol and Harrogate,

- a number which is expected to double

and received £5m in investment capital

again in the 2018/19 financial year.

last year to develop its omnichannel

a furniture store with a difference,

operation and showroom portfolio.

and we’re really looking forward to

CEO Michal Szlas says: “It was a very

“It means so much to us that we’re

giving something back to the local

competitive category and everyone at

Commercial director Harvey Roberts

the company is honoured to have been

says: “Marlow not only meets our target

awarded the prize. It really is a testament

customer demographic, but it allows

to our relatively small team - all of whom

us to become a part of the local fabric

furniture and home decor, offering

work hard daily to make the company so

and community of both national and

bespoke and exclusive lines wherever


independent retailers.”


community.” Sopha sells handmade beds,

Millbrook appoints new Scotland agent Millbrook Beds has welcomed sales agent

I can’t wait to get started. Millbrook

Mike Marshall to its growing team, as

Beds has years of heritage, and exciting

manager for Scotland.

plans for the future, backed up by great

The youngest-ever president of the

marketing. I will be visiting retailers

Scottish Furniture Representatives

from April bringing example product to

Association, Mike has been in the interiors

them in my own show vehicle.”

market for 15 years. He currently represents

Sales director Mark Hughes adds:

Kettle Interiors, The Great Chair Company

“Mike brings great energy and

and Protect-A-Bed.

experience to Millbrook beds team and

Mike comments: “I am delighted to

will solidify our commitment to the

join Millbrook Beds – they complete my

independent retail sector. As a business

portfolio of brands in cabinet, bed and

we are keen to build on our success and

upholstery. There is massive untapped

expand the Millbrook brand throughout

potential in Scotland for this product and

the UK.”

FN362_Pages.indd 12

Mike Marshall and Mark Hughes

26/04/2019 12:30











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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 FN362_Pages.indd ASGMay19.indd 1 13

26/04/2019 16:29 12:30 15/04/2019


14 | News


eve appoints ex-Loaf CFO

Made launches tech innovation lab


appointed Tim Parfitt, formerly of Loaf, as its new CFO, with effect from 17th June. He replaces Abid Ismail, whose departure was announced in March.

Tim is a qualified accountant, with

over 10 years’ experience as a CFO.

For the last six years Tim was CFO of omnichannel furniture retailer Loaf,


where he helped oversee the company’s transition from a start-up to a sizeable business. eve CEO James Sturrock says: “Tim’s relevant experience and proven track record will add further momentum and support to eve’s rebuild strategy and focus on profitability. His appointment as CFO completes the new management line-up and on behalf of the entire eve team I welcome him to the company. “While the rebuild strategy has launched Made Labs, a

a partnership with Go Instore to connect

tech innovation lab that will work with

customers to Made staff on the showroom

emerging technologies and innovative

floor via live one-way video combined with

start-ups to create an engaging shopping

two-way audio.

experience using the latest technology, with

Made Labs will host an event later this

an emphasis on helping customers find the

year to give start-ups the opportunity to

right products and then visualise them in

pitch their products and ideas.

Chief technology officer Jonathan Howell

their own space.

otni gniylppus tuoba suoires era uoysays: fI “Made’s entrepreneurial spirit is fundamental to our business strategy – as a companies, Made’s Labs team in Shoreditch you ab eb dluohs uoyare neht tekram hsirI ehdigitally-native t serious brand, being at the forefront will work closely with the rest of the developments is a key business to getdthese na eruinnovations tinruIrish F hsirI einto ht taitsgnitibihxeof technological the market th priority. We want to provide technology that core platform as quickly as possible. .9102 wohS serawemoH exhibiting at I is always one step ahead of our customers’the The launch of Made Labs follows the Unlike incubators run by many other

success of collaborations with technology businesses including Hullabalook, which

expectations. Homeware “We are lucky enough to be based in the

created Made’s Sofasizer tool, Theodo,

centre of one of the world’s best tech start-

which built shopping tools including

up communities. There are amazing things

Shop Instagram for its showroom in

happening within those companies, and

Soho, and Hubstairs, which worked with

we want to stay true to our entrepreneurial

Made to develop an online interior design

roots and collaborate with these businesses

service. Made also launched View it Live,

to get their ideas in front of our customers.”

remains in its early stages, progress continues at pace with a strengthened management team, continuing expansion of the product range and ongoing improvements to the customer experience, underpinned by the recent fundraise.” Tim adds: “I am delighted to be joining eve at this important time in the company’s development and I am

w ips

confident that I can support eve in its path to profitability. eve has great products and a strong brand, with a substantial opportunity to build a leading and highly profitable position

Jay-Be receives manufacturing accolade Following a successful audit, Yorkshire bed

Durrans with the certificate of accreditation

manufacturer Jay-Be has been awarded the

at the company’s manufacturing facility in

Manufacturing Guild Mark by The Furniture

Dewsbury in March. Ben says: “Jay-Be is the

Makers’ Company.

latest company to successfully demonstrate

esaercnI Jay-Be is a family-run bed manufacturer selaS

weN dliuB spihsnoitaleR

weN sremotsuC

its prowess across the eight assessment

that is best known for its folding beds, sofa

criteria used to determine whether a

beds and children’s mattresses, which are

company is deserving of a Manufacturing

foor eno reIncrease dnu sreliater eGuild raweMark. moHCongratulations & erutinruF tohsthe irI whole 007 revO team at Jay-Be, who should be incredibly Manufacturing Guild Mark chairman !stcudorppleased ruoy with eestheir ot gachievement.” nitiaw Ben Burbidge presented Jay-B MD Roger Sales sold in more than 22 countries.

N Cust

?edart erutinruf hsirI eht ni stcepsorp wen dna sremotsuc wen htiw tcennoc ot deen uoy oD

in the sleep wellness space.” Homeware retailers Ov .9102 trecognised suguA ni wohs erawemofor H dna esustainable rutinruF hsirI eht ta gnitibihxe eb ot deen uound y neht lleW Bedmaker see your products! development

Bazaar joins BFM

yas ot evah srotibihxe ruo tahW

Harrison Spinks riehthas gnireceived saercni woanother hs eht fo esolc eht ta stluser eht htiw dethgiled era srotibihxe ruo ,raey no raeY

rs and prospects in the Irish Do you n Queen’s Award for Enterprise for British soft-fill new furnishings era ew ,wohs edart erutinruf hsirI ylno eht gnieB .sremotsuc tnerruc dna wen gniteem dna selas Sustainable Development, bringing the manufacturer Bazaar Group has joined rish Furniture and sho then ew nosaer ehT .swohs KHomeware U eht revo wohs ruo gnisoohc era edart hsirI eht ni sreliater taht gnidnfi Well the BFM. This year, the Cramlington-

total number won by the company to five.

based manufacturer launched its first

dowas oG .granted ees ot deawards en ew elfor poep eht dna edart eht fo %08 ees ew esuaceb si SHFI ta gnitibihxe ekil The bedmaker

in-store retail collection, Ayla, having

Innovation and International Trade in 2018,

already established itself as an online

and was one of six companies awarded the

furniture and furnishings sector. We

recyclable products and reducing CO2.

.erutinruF elytsefiL - snehpetS llessuR ”!dnuor lla eulav What our

th the results at the close of the Year on y prize for Sustainable Development in 2019. leader in soft seating. e l p o e p h t i w s s e n i s u b o d e l p o e P mers. Being Irish furnitur sales and The companyonly was granted the award Head of sales and marketing Philippe the iteakrnumber am detegofraecologically t ruo htiw gnola yhposolihp siht si tI .yadot ecrof gnivird ruo eb ot seunitnoc sihT in recognitiongnof Galland says: “The membership hoosing our show over the UK finding s th Three generations of the Spinks family friendly innovations. These .raey ninclude o raey enreod si ssenisub yt–ilaDaniel uq doo(buyer), g gnirusnSimon e rehte(MD) got eand lpoepPeter thgir eht tup taht demonstrates our commitment to 0% of the trade and the people like exhib w using waste from the production process, flying the flag for homegrown products !raey eht fo tneve erutinruf(chairman) tseggib sdnalerI ta yadot ecaps ruoy eruces dna yrruH replacing synthetic materials with natural, and our support for the British le Furniture. value all are keen to provide retailers with the

102 TXE 44 882 6609 )0( 353+ YADOT KOOB

The company believes it is the only

twice. MD Simon Spinks says: “We’ve been

proud to challenge the market to make beds

People d It is this philosophy ou cont ei.wohsedart-shfi@gnilsia along 910with 2 tsuguA ht72 - ht42 This to win the Sustainable Development award that are difficult to recycle.” and industry requirements.” ei.wohsedart-shfi.www tneC wohS lanoitaN ehT that ye good quality business is ,erdone put t n i l b u D , s d r o w S nds biggest furniture event ofHurry th an assurance that we are delivering the

furnituremaker to hold three Queen’s

and mattresses in a different way, avoiding

highest standards with product quality

Awards, and the only specialist bedmaker

the need to use chemical products like foams

(0) FN362_Pages.indd 14


288 BOO 4 26/04/2019 12:30




IfIf you are about supplying into you areserious serious supplying the Irish market about then you should into be about supplying If you are serious into about supplying into the Irish market then you should be the Irish market shouldand be exhibiting at thethen Irishyou Furniture exhibiting at then the Irish Furniture and t then you should the Irish market be you should be exhibiting at the Irish Furniture Homewares Show 2019. and Homewares 2019. and he Irish Furniture exhibiting and at the IrishShow Furniture




Homewares Show 2019.

Homewares Show 2019.

New Build New New Increase New Build Increase Customers Relationships Sales Customers Relationships Sales New Build New Increase Customers Relationships Sales Over 700 Irish Furniture & HomewareIncrease retailers under one roof New Over Build New 700 Irish Furniture & Homeware retailers under one roof waiting to see your products! Customers Relationships Sales Over 700 Irish Furniture & Homeware retailers under one roof

waiting to see your products! waiting to see your products! Do you need to connect with new customers and new prospects in the Irish furniture trade?

DoWell you then need to one connect with new new prospects in theshow Irishone furniture trade? nder Over 700 Irish Furniture &customers Homeware retailers under roof you need to be exhibiting at roof the Irishand Furniture and Homeware in August 2019. Well then youtoneed to bewith exhibiting at the Irishand Furniture and Homeware showfurniture in August 2019. Do you need connect new new prospects in the Irish trade? waiting tocustomers see your products!

What exhibitors have to say Well thenour you need to be exhibiting at the Irish Furniture and Homeware show in August 2019. What our exhibitors have to say Year on year, our exhibitors are delighted with the results at the close of the show increasing their Irish Do you need to furniture connect with new customers and trade? new prospects in close the Irish furniture trade? their Year on our exhibitors delighted with the results theIrish of the show sales and meeting new and current customers. Being theat only furniture trade increasing show, we are What ouryear, exhibitors have toare say Well show thensales you need to in be exhibiting August at the Irish 2019. and Homeware show in trade August 2019. finding that retailers inand theare Irish trade areFurniture choosing our show over thefurniture UKthe shows. The reason we and meeting new current customers. Being the Irish show, we are Year on year, our exhibitors delighted with the results atonly the close of show increasing their likeand exhibiting at new IFHS is because we see ofBeing theour trade and the people need to see. Good finding that retailers in the Irish trade are 80% choosing show over the UKwe shows. The reason sales meeting and current customers. the only Irish furniture trade show, we we are value all round!” Russell Stephens - Lifestyle Furniture. What ourlike exhibitors have to say exhibiting at IFHS is because we see 80% of the trade and the people we need to see. Good finding that retailers in the Irish trade are choosing our show over the UK shows. The reason we he Year on year, show our areincreasing with results the close of people the show their value allexhibitors round!” Russell Stephenswe - Lifestyle Furniture. like exhibiting at IFHS isdelighted because seethe 80% of theattrade andtheir the weincreasing need to see. Good


People do business with people iture sales andvalue meeting new and current customers. show Being the , only we Irish furniture are trade show, we are alltrade round!” Russell Stephens - Lifestyle Furniture. This continues to be our driving force today. It is this philosophy along with our targeted marketing People do business withThe people K finding shows. that retailers in the Irish trade are choosing reason our show over the UKwe shows. The reason we that put the right people together ensuring good quality business is done year on year. This continues tobecause be with our driving force today. It is trade this philosophy along with targeted marketing le like exhibiting we at IFHS need is we see to 80% ofsee. the and the Good people weour need to see. Good People business people Hurrydo and secure your space today at Irelands biggest furniture event of the year! that put the right people together ensuring good quality business is done year on year. value all round!” Russell - Lifestyle Furniture. This continues to Stephens be our driving force today. It is this philosophy along with our targeted marketing

Hurry and your space todayensuring at Irelands biggest furniture event of the year! that put thesecure right people together good quality business is done year on year. Hurry and secure your space today at Irelands biggest furniture event of the year! People do business with people

BOOK TODAY +353 (0) 9066 288 44 EXT 201

BOOK TODAY +353 (0) 9066 288 44 EXT 201 BOOK TODAY +353 (0) 9066 288 44 EXT 201

h This our continues totargeted ourAugust driving2019 force today. It is this marketing philosophy along with our targeted marketing 24th -be 27th National Show Centre, e that year put the The right people on together year ensuring good . quality business is done year on year. 24th 27th August 2019 Swords, Dublin fHurry the and secure year! your space today at Irelands biggest furniture event of the year! The National Show Centre, 24th - 27th August 2019 Swords, Dublin The National Show Centre, IFHSMay19.indd 1 15 23/04/2019 FN362_Pages.indd 26/04/2019 Swords, Dublin

BOOK TODAY 44 EXT +353 (0) 9066 201 288 44 EXT 201

10:42 12:30




FN362_Pages.indd 16 Double Page Spread.indd 1

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26/04/2019 16/04/2019 12:30 09:51

18 | Interview

This month, the homewares website in the spotlight is – Furniture News explores the practices and philosophies behind the enterprise ...

Clickthrough > Room to Grow Anne Davies, owner and director Summary: Room to Grow is a leading

“Ultimately, we’re looking to expand our channels and brand presence to create an omnichannel selling strategy”

online children’s retailer, which was bought by Anne in 2012 SKUs: Over 1000 SKUs of children’s beds, furniture and accessories Visitors: The site has enjoyed growth of +540% since Anne took over the company

Why visit your website? Room to Grow was one of the first online furniture retailers to put children first. We created an offering that was all about what children need for a brilliant night’s sleep, and we’re experts in that field. Many other online retailers include children’s products as a subsection of their main offering, but we’ve stayed true to our heritage, and we believe this expertise and passion for children’s sleep is the biggest reason for

within the business and I get involved in all

sets, but selecting individual pieces and

parents to visit our site when they are

areas, so no two days are the same, really.

accessories instead.

looking to update their children’s space in

Some days I’ll be spending time with the

the home.

customer services team, working on how

How much do you invest in making your

we can maintain and improve our customer

site more visible?

How did you enter this industry?

experience, others I’ll be analysing results

We have a month-on-month strategy to

I’d always dreamed of running my own

and working with our digital agency and

help drive traffic to the website, but we’ve

business, and, 15 years into my sales and

in-house marketing teams to ensure the

also recently invested in a brand-new

marketing career, I was actually the online

business continues to grow, or I could be

website as well, to help with visibility,

marketing manager at Room to Grow when

working on ongoing product development.

amongst other things.

the business was put up for sale. I really saw

It’s very varied but always incredibly busy

the potential the business had with a new

and fulfilling.

Quite rightly, savvy shoppers who use the internet regularly are expecting faster, more informative, more responsive websites that

website and a product overhaul, so I decided to take the plunge, borrow the investment

What part of your job would you prefer to

are easy to use across several platforms,

needed, and buy the business.


and will quickly buy from somewhere else

I prefer to leave the technical aspects of the

if the user experience isn’t slick enough.

business is going from strength to strength

website to our team of developers! I don’t

We’re committed to making the changes

and I have no regrets about the decision I

pretend to understand everything they do –

that are necessary to help ensure the site


I leave it to the experts.

remains in a prime position to support

Who is your ecommerce hero?

What has been your greatest challenge to

One of my all-time retail heroes is The


White Company. It’s more an omnichannel

I think the current climate is probably the

to launch our new email marketing

example, but its offering translates

most challenging situation we’ve seen

programme. Room to Grow’s Sleep Club

brilliantly online. It is a fantastic brand with

ourselves in since I took the business over.

aims to deepen relationships with our

great presence and stays true to its values

It’s been said a thousand times, but the

already loyal customers through meaningful

with everything that it does. It’s not only a

economic uncertainty is causing all kinds of

dialogue and content which keeps them

great ecommerce experience, but a valuable

impacts in both the supply chain, and our

engaging with the brand.

in-store customer experience that drives

customer base as well. Many of our products

loyalty as well.

come from Europe so we’re waiting to see

What’s your take on how the relationship

the impact there, and consumer confidence

between online and physical retail might

Describe a typical working day

has taken a knock as well. We’re seeing


Where do I start?! I am very hands-on

customers hold off from buying full room

It’s becoming ever more important to

It’s been a steep learning curve, but the

customers through their purchase journey

FN362_Pages.indd 18

and ultimately, drive sales. We’ve also taken this opportunity

26/04/2019 12:30

Interview | 19

support your website with a physical store to allow customers to touch and feel and engage fully with the brand. It’s all about creating a memorable experience for the customer, and it is certainly an area that we are looking into for the future. Do you have any plans to grow your business? The launch of the new site now allows us to focus on other priorities to support it, drive traffic to it and ultimately, grow the business. Without going into too much detail, our priorities include: investing even more time in customer engagement and improving UX; and expanding our product range, with a focus on our exclusive Jubilee collection and the production of more exclusive ranges as well. We’re also growing our social channels. This is the next big step in supporting the new site. We’ll be creating a content strategy which helps to drive traffic to the site whilst engaging customers as well, and encouraging them to keep coming back as

What advice would you offer an aspiring

that you are all working towards the same

their family grows.


goal. You will always face challenges, and

Choose your partners very carefully! It is

as your business changes it is so important

channels and brand presence to create an

so important to build close partnerships

to adapt quickly – having strong working

omnichannel selling strategy.

with your agencies and suppliers to ensure

partnerships will allow you to do this.

Ultimately, we’re looking to expand our


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17/04/2019 13/06/2017 11:25 10:20

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20 | Events


CIFF GUANGZHOU CELEBRATES BEST EDITION YET The 43rd edition of CIFF drew to a close on 31st March, with the fair’s organiser reporting the largest number of exhibitors, visitors and events to date – plus a marked improvement in product design and exhibitor satisfaction.


ttracting an impressive 4344 exhibitors (arrayed over 760,000m2 of exhibition

space) and 297,759 trade visitors, this year’s event proved a resounding success. Dozens of design events and seminars covering various aspects of the market outlined new trends, providing a wealth of inspiration for visitors. These were buoyed by the presence of over 60 well-known designers, the quality of buyers, booths and products present, and the show’s clear sector-by-sector layout. In short, the ongoing improvement to the services available to both visitors and exhibitors helped make this year’s exhibition better than ever. CIFF meets demand for both domestic and international products

Homedecor & Hometextile offered

edition confirmed the show’s place

solutions for interior decoration,

increasingly international event – both

as Asia’s leading business platform,

furnishings fabrics, decorative lighting

in terms of visitors and exhibitors, as

and the preferred industry launchpad

and art in the domestic environment.

well as trends and quality standards

for new products, stating that over

– CIFF takes place in two phases,

90% of the exhibitors introduced new

guangzhou focused on intelligent

covering the entire supply chain. The

collections, while over 50 companies

technology and new developments in

first is dedicated to home furniture,

organised on-site launch events.

furniture manufacturing.

home decor and textiles, plus outdoor

FN362_Pages.indd 20

According to CIFF’s organiser, this

in the home and office sectors. An

Design, customisation, minimalism,

Meanwhile, CIFM/interzum

Ahead of next year’s CIFF

and leisure furniture – while the

and understated luxury proved the

Guangzhou in March 2020, the 44th

second focuses on office and contract

main trends running through CIFF’s

edition of CIFF will take place in

furniture as well as machinery,

Home Furniture event, which featured

Hongqiao, Shanghai from 8-11th

materials and components for the

a good number of creative brands



and international players, while CIFF

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22 | Events


MILAN ENJOYS SIGNIFICANT VISITOR UPTICK The 58th edition of Salone del Mobile.Milano, which closed on 14th April, saw growth in visitor numbers, attracting 386,236 trade professionals from 181 countries – an increase of +12% over the 2017 edition, which also featured Euroluce and Workplace3.0.


e are closing this

enthusiasm, our ability to create a

Exhibition, Euroluce, Workplace3.0 and

edition of the

system and take things much further

S.Project, including the 550 designers

Salone del Mobile

than just business, offering a global

aged under 35 who took part in

with a very positive

experience, in which ideas are what


feeling,” says Salone del Mobile president, Claudio Luti.

“The Salone del Mobile is therefore

Emanuele Orsini, president of Italian trade association Federlegno Arredo

a unique event of its kind, with the

Eventi, says: “Investment, creativity

have demonstrated once again our

power to draw in professionals and the

and enthusiasm are the words that

desire to do even better, working

general public with what is now a trade

sum up an event that has seen the

closely with designers, artisans,

fair in the round, with deeply rooted

entrepreneurs take on the challenge of

and communication and cultural

ties to Milan and its institutions while

helping to make a success of an edition

professionals to keep on producing

also being a significant international

which, yet again, has demonstrated

product and process innovations and


the importance of a sector that can pull

“We invested in quality and

‘narratives’ that serve to boost the value of design objects. “Consequently, we have seen sales

FN362_Pages.indd 22


In all, 2418 exhibitors – 34% of them from 43 countries other than Italy – were arrayed across the

together to tackle the challenges of international markets.” Next year’s edition will take place

rise, but in particular we have seen

Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the

from 21st to 26th April.

that everyone has taken note of our

International Furnishing Accessories

26/04/2019 12:30

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26/04/2019 03/04/2019 12:30 14:52

24 | Events


IT’S NEARLY BED TIME! In just a few months’ time, the UK’s biggest bed sector exhibition will return – and it’s a milestone anniversary for the Bed Show in 2019, as the event hits its 10th year. It goes without saying that the show’s organiser is looking forward to making it one to remember …


it’s a benefit for NBF members. The

Federation (NBF), the Bed

decision to limit the show to NBF

Show returns to the Telford

membership means we can be certain

at Harrison Spinks, adds: “The Bed

International Centre from 17-18th

that visitors come in the knowledge

Show at Telford is the premier trade

September, and promises to bring

that the companies exhibiting are all

exhibition for our industry. It is the

together the best in British and Irish

part of a reputable trade association

number one opportunity to launch

bed manufacturing, their component

complying to a stringent Code of

new products and collections to the

suppliers and key bed retailers, all


market, as all key decisionmakers

under one roof.

Lined up for 2019 are brands such

Ruairi Giles, commercial director

are present. The show is very well

as Airsprung, Breasley, Duvalay,

attended by retailers, manufacturers

of the NBF, says: “To be celebrating

Gallery Direct, Harrison Spinks,

and suppliers, so it is also a great

our 10th year is unbelievable. Back in

Highgate, Highgrove Beds, Millbrook,

opportunity for meetings and to

2010, we felt there was a niche in the

Relyon, Sweet Dreams and Vispring.

catch up with industry colleagues.

trade show calendar for an event that

James Appleyard, sales director

We are looking forward to the 10th

was devoted to beds at a time of year

of Deluxe Beds, comments: “This is

anniversary celebrations this year.”

favoured by the trade. To be supported

simply the most important trade show

YoY by both exhibitors and visitors

of the year for Deluxe Beds, because

date in the diary as there are plans

shows we were right to launch such an

of the quality of retailers and buyers

to celebrate the 10th anniversary in

exhibition, and 2019 is already looking

that visit. While we never hold back

style – including the Gala Dinner and

like a fantastic show.

in launching new products throughout

Bed Industry Awards on the Tuesday

the year, we always look forward to


showcasing the majority of them at

Jessica Alexander, executive director

“It really is a one-of-a-kind event. It’s deliberately not big or fancy, and

FN362_Pages.indd 24

the NBF event.”

un by the National Bed

Visitors are encouraged to make a

26/04/2019 14:10

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26 | Resources

Are you clear on what a cartel is? For many, the notion of a cartel may conjure up images of Columbian drug barons or underhand oil deals – not something you need to worry about when it comes to your own business practices and the law. Or is it? You may be surprised to hear that the reality and risk of cartels is actually a lot closer to home, explains the Karen Campbell White of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) …

Furnishing fair competition between businesses In 2017, after an investigation by the CMA triggered by a tip-off to its cartels hotline, two firms that make furniture parts – including drawers that go into beds sold by companies such as Silentnight – were fined £2.8m for being part of an illegal business cartel. Another company confessed its involvement, co-operated with the CMA, and, as a result, avoided a fine. A business cartel involves companies that agree to fix or co-ordinate their prices, rig bids for contracts, divide up who should have which client and where, and to exchange commercially sensitive information.

“Despite the dangers, research reveals that many businesses are still unclear about what cartels look like, and the risky business behaviours that could put them in danger of breaking the law”

meetings at all levels of their management across Europe to co-ordinate their illegal activity. Consequences of cartels The consequences speak for themselves. Based on the evidence, if a business breached competition law: it can be fined up to 10% of turnover; its directors can be disqualified from acting as a director or carrying out other specified business roles for up to 15 years; and, in criminal cases, individuals involved can face prison sentences and fines. Yet despite the dangers, research reveals that many businesses are still unclear about

The businesses in the furniture parts case broke the law by avoiding competition on

CMA’s decision on drawer fronts included

what cartels look like, and the risky business

price and sharing out which customers they

statements such as: “In the course of the

behaviours that could put them in danger of

would supply. This reduced customer choice.

meeting, we came to an understanding that

breaking the law: only 57% of those polled

The cartel created the illusion that they

if he agreed not to attack our customers, we

know that it is illegal to fix prices, and 41%

had competed against each other to give

would agree not to attack his”; and “It was

don’t know that attending a meeting where

customers the best deal, when in reality they

agreed therefore that I would provide him

rivals agree prices is illegal; over half (59%)

had colluded to keep prices up.

with our prices with a view to him quoting a

don’t know that agreeing to split up and

significantly higher price to Silentnight such

share customers with competitors is illegal;

that they wouldn’t get the business.”

and just under half (48%) don’t know that

As well as market sharing, they also admitted to co-ordinating prices, including

This case proves that cartels can happen

through bid rigging and exchanging

bid-rigging – where competing bidders

commercially sensitive information.

in your sector, and that the CMA will root

secretly agree who will win a contract and

Their bid-rigging behaviour included the

them out.

submit fake bids – is illegal.

And this isn’t the only example of anti-

exchange of sensitive pricing information to

It is in everyone’s interest to be clear

enable tactical bids. A search of one of the

competitive practice. In January 2014,

on where the legal line lies when it

businesses’ premises found a handwritten

the European Commission imposed fines

comes to meeting and talking shop with

note in a senior employee’s desk - it

totalling €114m on firms operating in the

competitors. One recent legal ruling has

detailed a rival’s costing system for drawer

UK, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France,

shown that attending only one meeting


Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland

where commercially sensitive information is

and Romania.

discussed can lead to fines.

There was a fine uplift for senior

Vita, Carpenter, Recticel and Eurofoam

employee involvement. Meetings took

Business life means we need to

place where rivals deliberately divided up

were major producers of flexible

collaborate to progress, and avoiding

the market - agreeing not to go after each

polyurethane foam used in mattresses,

competitors completely isn’t realistic –

other’s clients.

sofas and car seats. For five years, they

that’s why knowing the ground rules of

co-ordinated prices. To do this, they ran

competition is vital.

Witness evidence relied on in the

THE AUTHOR Karen Campbell White is the head of compliance, stakeholder and reporting for the Competition and Markets Authority. Interested parties can find out more about competition law and how to report anti-competitive activity by visiting the CMA website, where they will find short videos about cartels and how to report them, case studies, an online quiz, and a cartel checker that assesses whether provided information is enough to start an investigation, and if it should be reported. Anyone in any doubt about a competition issue or that thinks they may be at risk of breaking the law should seek independent legal advice.

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26/04/2019 12:30

• ADVERTISING – Most advertising does not work, so if

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28 | Resources

Uncertainty surrounds the timing of Brexit, but when it does happen, there will undoubtedly be an impact on UK businesses and the contracts that govern their commercial activities, writes legal advisor Lindsay Ellis, who urges businesses to consider how Brexit might affect their existing contracts as well as those likely to come into force after the UK exits the EU …

Reviewing Brexit’s effect on commercial contracts Brexit could negatively impact the supply

Change control

departing from the natural meaning of

chain of some businesses, and they should

Many contracts will contain a clause

the contract. Similarly, the fairness of a

consider the performance of obligations –

outlining a procedure if either party wishes

proposed implied term or the fact that the

and cost of performance – by subcontractors

to change it, which typically involves

parties would agree to it is insufficient

and suppliers. This is particularly important

discussions, with only necessary legal

grounds for implying it.

for those who will be responsible for any

or technical changes being able to be

increased costs (such as tariffs) or delays

compelled. Generally, there is no right to

of terms have regard to the background

due to border issues.

terminate if a change is not agreed.

knowledge reasonably available to the

Both interpretation and implication

parties at the time they entered the contract.

Other key areas to consider include term (and the ability to exit early), territory,


If they fail to include Brexit provisions, it

currency, tariffs, customs clearance (the

The contract may include scope for

might be considered they have accepted any

consequence of any delays), resources,

termination, by either party. This may be

additional costs and risks should lie where

licensing/consents and tax. Failure to review

in connection with circumstances arising

they fall.

and plan for these could result in increased

from Brexit-related events or a failure to

costs and/or damage to a business’

agree a change. If a contract’s termination

Brexit clause


clause gives a party a right to terminate

Inserting a Brexit clause into contracts will

on relatively short notice, the prospect of

trigger some change in the parties’ rights

Force majeure

termination can always be raised as a means

and obligations when a defined event occurs

A contract typically contains force majeure

of encouraging negotiation.

– this ‘if/then’ clause attempts to govern the outcome of a change.

clauses. Depending on the drafting, these

Brexit could affect almost every aspect of

can relieve a party from liability for a breach

Common law and frustration

resulting from ‘circumstances beyond its

Frustration arises where an event, like a

doing business and the best a Brexit clause

reasonable control’. However, if Brexit was

change in the law, occurs after the date of

may offer is a binding requirement for the

likely when the contract was agreed, it could

the contract, radically transforming the

parties to try and renegotiate the contract.

be argued the parties should have planned

obligations of either party or making it

for its effects.

physically or commercially impossible to

specify the consequences of certain events,

fulfil the contract.

but with Brexit, there is the risk that events

Without a specific reference to Brexit,

For other contracts, it may be possible to

occur that have not been first considered.

a force majeure clause is unlikely to help

However, a contract is not frustrated

of itself – but, depending how the clause

due to inconvenience, hardship, financial

was drafted, it might address delays in the

loss or when the event should have been

Making the necessary changes

delivery of goods due to cross-border issues.

foreseen by the parties. As such, it is

It is clear from recent events that the

generally accepted that frustration will

only current certainty with Brexit is more

Compliance with law clauses

not help with Brexit, although it might

uncertainty. Whatever comes next, Brexit

Many contracts state that parties must

apply if certain changes in law were to be

will bring change, and now is the perfect

comply with applicable law. In any event, it

made subsequently, which would make it

time to formulate solutions that ensure the

will be a matter of interpretation whether

impossible to fulfil a contract.

future prosperity of your business.

the costs associated with Brexit-related

Interpretation and implied terms

contracts could be negatively impacted,

changes in law.

The courts are unlikely to interpret a

and without taking the necessary steps, you

contract or imply a term to assist a party

are potentially inviting risk. So, seek advice

what will happen if the law changes,

adversely affected by Brexit, and will not

from experienced contract lawyers, and

often specifying that charges can only be

relieve a party from the consequences of

begin planning for life after Brexit – sooner

increased in limited circumstances.

their poor business practices, if that involves

rather than later.

Remember, existing obligations within

such a clause could oblige a party to absorb

Long-term contracts typically address

THE AUTHOR Lindsay Ellis is a partner at Wright Hassall, a solicitors based in Warwickshire. Lindsay advises on a range of matters including outsourcings, procurements and commercial contracts, and has experience handling complex arrangements in sectors including, technology, transport and logistics, public, automotive, engineering and retail.

FN362_Pages.indd 28

26/04/2019 12:30


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08/04/2019 09:30

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30 | Profile


Nathan invests in support for stockists Leading cabinetmaker Nathan Furniture is increasing its marketing support for stockists with new lifestyle photography to help promote its ranges digitally and in print, so consumers can more easily visualise the products in real home settings, plus a raft of eye-catching PoS …

The investment represents the company’s

Palma bedroom. “We’re very excited by our

of the wood. Constructed from hardwood

ongoing commitment to retailers, and

new ranges,” Ross continues. “We know the

frames, all of the pieces have been hand-

is part of a wide-reaching brand refresh

painted market is growing in popularity,

brush painted with a tone-two finish and

which has seen the company reposition

and our new collection Tiverton is designed

delicately hand-rubbed to create a stylish,

every collection under the Nathan moniker,

specifically for that modern country cottage

distressed effect.

alongside the release of new ranges to suit


different audiences and greater flexibility at

“People are looking for pieces which

Palma bedroom is a modern-looking collection, but with Nathan’s trademark

have a uniqueness, and painted pieces

use of quality teak. The minimalist styling

– particularly those with hand-finished

is designed to complement its practical

manager, says: “The market has changed

detailing where they can see individual


considerably over the past few years and we

brush-strokes – are very appealing. It’s also

know we need to keep adapting to provide

important to offer a choice of colours, so

furniture for over 100 years, and our

our stockists with the tools they need.

consumers feel they can buy something that

commitment to using the best materials

We understand the need to have relevant

suits their individual interior style.

hasn’t changed in that time – if anything,

its factory in Indonesia. Ross Charlton, Nathan’s marketing

material for all forms of media, especially

“Today’s marketing is very much about

“Nathan has been providing quality

the workmanship now is of higher quality,” says Ross.

surrounding digital where imagery is the key

helping consumers visualise how products

to driving engagement through platforms

can work in a lifestyle setting – so the

like Instagram and Pinterest.

new imagery helps give an idea of how the

all manufacturing to the modern, state-of-

“We’ve reduced lead times due to moving

furniture could work in their own homes.

the-art factory, and we’re delighted that we

can’t be underestimated. We’re acutely

It’s the same way that most furniture

now have more freedom to introduce new

aware that marketing teams need the right

retailers use lifestyle displays to give

ranges with greater flexibility for finishes

pictures to help them promote products,

furniture context, rather than just having a

and details.

so we’re keen to make things as easy as

bunch of products side-by-side.”

“The impact of good quality imagery

possible for them.”

Tiverton has unique features such as

“All of this enables us to create more choice for our stockist partners, and now

The imagery includes fresh lifestyle

eye-catching parquet-style tops in oak.

we’re providing the added benefit of great

pictures of Nathan’s most popular ranges

The textured look is created using a soft

imagery and more marketing support

including Shades in oak and Classic in teak,

white paint inside the grain, against a


as well as new ranges Tiverton dining and

darker finish, to draw out the character

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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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The latest consumer study from the Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC) found that over 90% of US home furnishings purchasers will choose eco-friendly home furnishings if they like the style of the products and the price is within their budget – yet lack awareness of homewares’ eco-friendly credentials, writes Susan Inglis …

Sustainable concerns and the US consumer Our latest study presents both challenges and opportunities for home furnishings manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and interior designers – and cause for great optimism. Nearly all respondents (98%)

“Virtually everyone is concerned about environmental issues”

Furthermore, compared to past SFC consumer research studies, a greater

products, ‘Environmentally Safe’ was most often ranked #1 (30%) and fell into the top three for 73% of respondents. ‘Sustainable’ (25% ranked #1 and 60% top three) and ‘Eco Friendly’ (23% ranked #1 and 73% top

indicated they are concerned about environmental issues.

the description of environmentally friendly

that is certified as legal and responsibly

three) round out the top mentions. When

harvested, and home furnishings which are

respondents hear a product described as

certified to be environmentally safe.

their most-preferred term, more than three quarters (77%) have a positive reaction.

number of respondents are concerned

On average, respondents expect their

about the environment and are taking

furniture purchases to last at least eight

environmentally responsible action because

years, while [voluntary Government

purchases is conducted primarily online

they acknowledge that climate disasters are

programme] Energy Star (73%), recycled

(98%) at physical stores (78%) and through

touching them personally.

content (64%), and reclaimed wood (63%),

search engines (67%).

The ninth instalment of our research,

are the most familiar home furnishings

Information gathering for furniture

Respondents were interested/very

which we conduct to assess consumer

eco-attributes. For those buying home

interested in: purchasing environmentally

awareness, interest in and behaviour

textiles, 78% indicated that a Fairtrade label

safe home furnishings if style and cost

regarding sustainable furnishings, shows


considerations were comparable (92%);

that virtually everyone is concerned about

An overwhelming 97% of those surveyed

buying wooden furniture certified as legal

environmental issues, including natural

expressed concern about hazardous indoor

wood coming from responsibly managed

disasters, indoor air quality, and global

air quality – one-third said they are directly

forests (92%); purchasing textiles for

warming. Practising eco-friendly habits

a�ected, while half described themselves as

their home that are certified by a third

has become near-universal, and 89%

not directly a�ected, but believe everyone

party to be made from safe (95%), quality

have purchased environmentally safe

should be concerned. On the subject of

materials (97%), and produced at a verified

products.For those who have not purchased

global warming, 87% expressed concern.

environmentally friendly facility that is safe

environmentally safe furnishings, a lack of

Practising environmentally friendly

and socially responsible (87%); and working

awareness (39%) and cost (28%) were the

habits has become nearly universal. More

with an environmentally safe interior

primary obstacles cited.

than eight in 10 consumers recycle and

designer (69%) if style and cost were

replace light bulbs with energy-e�cient


Most respondents (77%) have a positive

The chemicals and materials used in

reaction when they hear a product claiming

options, and 67% have made food/drink-

to be good for the environment, and more

related changes including reducing their

the furnishings manufacturing process are

than two thirds of them (68%) spent

consumption of bottled water and/or

important/very important in the purchase

$1000 or more on household furnishings in

regularly buying organic food.

decision process for at least nine in 10

the past year, – indeed, 40% expect that

More than three quarters (78%) are going

respondents, while other important/very

green when shopping, with 71% opting for

important eco-attributes include labour

reusable shopping bags and 46% purchasing

practices (eight in 10), traceability of the

respondents look for when purchasing

green products. Seven in ten are helping

manufacturing process (three quarters), and

furniture are quality (99%), style (99%)

by setting thermostats lower in the winter

the company’s eco-story (seven in 10).

and a fair price (98%). Eco-attributes rank

and higher in the summer, and more than

alongside considerations such as brand and

half of the respondents are environmentally

7-12th November 2018 across a sample of

immediate availability.

friendly drivers, with 46% cutting back on

300 female and 200 male homeowners aged

driving and 15% opting for a hybrid or high

30-60 with household incomes of more than

MPG vehicle.

$50,000 who had spent $500 or more on

amount to increase this year. The top three most important attributes

Respondents are willing to pay up to 5-10% more for furnishings they consider eco-friendly, including wooden furniture

When asked about the term that best fits

The survey was conducted between

home furnishings in the previous 12 months.

Susan Inglis is the executive director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC), a US association dedicated to promoting healthy environments inside and out by providing comprehensive information on environmental, safety and health issues in the home furnishings industry and championing initiatives that improve products and processes. The SFC is one of Furniture News’ media partners.

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36 | Eco-conscious

Hypnos recently partnered with Wools of New Zealand, which works with selected farms to deliver higher standards and greater efficiencies in wool production

The 5th June is World Environment Day – a timely reminder for businesses to take stock of their green credentials. For retailers, increased consumer scrutiny is often focused on whether a brand they promote has effective sustainability and corporate social responsibility policies in place – so the most effective strategies succeed in embedding sustainable innovation throughout a business’ culture and processes …

Putting responsibility at the heart of business With rising environmental and ethical

Green manufacturing

sustainable fibres, designing out waste and

awareness across society, companies in the

Over the last 10 years, Hypnos has

ensuring ease of disassembly, with a close

furniture trade are under increased pressure

undergone a comprehensive sustainability

eye on recycling and the circular economy

to become more responsible. The problem is

journey, and its first milestone was

– a natural, ethical and synthetic-free

that, for many businesses, green and social

becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral

approach,” notes Chris.

responsibility initiatives can often be used

bedmaker. In fact, Hypnos is the only bed

to tick a box rather than deliver genuine

manufacturer to have held this prestigious

such as eOlus, which is made from recycled


title for eight years, having offset a total of

plastic bottles. Despite only limited use,

6820 tonnes of CO2, including 736 tonnes in

through this innovative fibre alone Hypnos

2017/18 alone.

has re-used the equivalent of 165 million

“Purchasing decisions are increasingly being influenced by how a company responds to these trends,” explains Chris

Hypnos is also an industry pioneer when

“For example, Hypnos utilises materials

plastic bottles in the last 10 years, which

Ward, group marketing director at Hypnos.

it comes to the problem of mattress disposal

would have otherwise gone to landfill sites

“For ethical business practices to be truly

and recycling - with some seven million still

or into the world’s oceans.”

effective, a long-term strategy needs to be

going to landfill each year. To combat this

put in place to ingrain these values at the

issue, Hypnos was the first to offer a take-

initiatives to become a success, the

core of everything a company does.”

back service to retailers and hoteliers, with

mentality has to be consistent across

all beds designed to be 100% recyclable at

the business, and all employees have to

the end of their life.

understand this journey and work together

Hypnos is proud to be putting sustainability and CSR at the centre of everything it does.

What is more, the company has put in

For waste reduction and recycling

to save energy and minimise all forms of

place processes to ensure that none of its

waste within the office environment. This

the use of renewable natural resources and

factory’s manufacturing waste goes to

also includes operating Hypnos’ contract

carbon offsetting programmes to supporting


site on a biomass heating system, as well as

Its sustainability strategy extends from

worthy charities and local schools, and

“All of the company’s product

creating apprenticeships to nurture future

development is committed to sustainable


designs, identifying new alternative

FN362_Pages.indd 36

purchasing 100% renewable electricity for its Princes Risborough site. In addition, Hypnos recently announced

26/04/2019 14:11

Eco-conscious | 37

the appointment of Richard Naylor in its newly created sustainable development director role. The job has been specially

Hypnos donates trees to local schools to encourage children to learn about sustainability

developed to meet Hypnos’ ambitious ongoing commitment to put sustainability at the centre of the company’s product development and innovation strategy. Natural and traceable materials “Today’s discerning customers are looking for more than superior quality,” says Chris. “Increasingly, they are demanding authentic products with natural, sustainable and safe properties. To meet this demand, Hypnos uses some of the best materials sourced from around the world, and focuses on recyclable materials that are free of harmful and allergy-related chemicals such as foams.” Hypnos’ primary renewable natural filling is wool, while other fibres include horsetail hair, camel wool, alpaca wool and bamboo. All these natural fibres are 100%

“A holistic sustainability and CSR strategy is now a must-have for businesses operating in the furniture trade”

biodegradable and recyclable at the end of Programme for the Endorsement of Forest

their life. “Traditionally, in the bed industry there’s been no consistent or promoted source of

Certification (PEFC).” Hypnos has gone the extra mile, with its

Hypnos has also partnered with the charity, Magic Breakfast, which provides healthy breakfasts for children in

origin, and no traceability,” continues Chris.

UK factories also achieving FSC and PEFC

disadvantaged areas of the UK so they are

“However, Hypnos is looking to change this

multi-site Chain of Custody certification,

more prepared for the day ahead, and ready

by fostering a transparent supply chain. Our

guaranteeing full traceability.

to learn. Since 2017 Hypnos has raised £60,000, helping to fund over 200,000

partnership with Wools of New Zealand, for


example, is an initiative whereby we source

Community and charity engagement

wool from selected farms and wool growers

Any effective sustainability strategy will

who are audited and checked for their land

also include a commitment to care for local

issues, retailers are becoming more

and animal management.

communities, says Chris: “Through our

discerning about the businesses they deal

national and local charitable support, we

with. “Whereas in the past suppliers didn’t

footprint (-28%) than that of the UK thanks

aim to educate and improve opportunities

need to be so transparent about the way in

to better fleece yields and efficient farming

for children with programmes that can

which their products are manufactured and

in terms of energy use and final efficient sea

create substantial change.”

how a business operates, today consumers

“This wool also has a lower carbon

Hypnos works with local schools on

transport delivery.

With increased awareness of sustainability

have much higher standards,” concludes

“What’s more, the timber within our

initiatives such as donating trees to school

Chris. “That is why a holistic sustainability

divan bases is from managed forests and

sites to help the environment and allow the

and CSR strategy is now a must-have for

sustainable sources that comply with the

children to learn about sustainability.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and The

The business also works with youngsters

businesses operating in the furniture trade.”

on a wide range of education programmes, Hypnos beds are hand crafted to a high standards

seeking to help improve their skills and employability. It has an active

Hypnos Maple Natural Superb mattress

apprenticeship scheme in place, and has committed to filling 40% of its projected 150 jobs over the next five years (2017-2022) through this process. In addition, Hypnos makes ongoing efforts to donate beds to worthy causes, including a donation of over 100 beds to children’s charities over the past couple of years. Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, Ronald MacDonald House Charity within John Radcliffe Hospital, Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre in Mablethorpe and Treloar’s School in Alton are just some of the causes which have benefited from this.

FN362_Pages.indd 37

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38 | Eco-conscious

As a leading UK vacuum-packed mattress

times less impact on the environment from

manufacturer with its history rooted in foam

a delivery perspective than a conventional,

conversion, Breasley (01629 823680,

unrolled mattress. is aware of the task

“We take our responsibility as a

that lies ahead as it strives to become

manufacturer very seriously and always seek

greener. However, this has not stopped the

to use the highest level of environmentally

business in its endeavours.

friendly raw materials that we can. We know

Under the guidance of joint MDs Darren

there is more we can do, and therefore we

and Michael Crowshaw, Breasley’s products

have committed to introducing a green

are designed to be easily broken down

policy into our business by 2020.”

into their core components, and all the components used are recyclable. All its boxed mattress products are made from FSC-certified cardboard that is fully recyclable, and the company recycles up to 12000kg of paper, plastics and cardboard each month, ensuring that none goes to landfill. All waste foam is also sent away for recycling and re-use in other industries. In addition to its recycling initiatives, Breasley has also, for the last five years, been donating mattresses to British Heart Foundation stores across the Midlands. Darren comments: “Breasley recognises that today’s consumers not only want comfortable mattresses, but also sustainable products that have been produced in an environmentally friendly way. We also vacuum-pack our products, which has three

Hartman (,

knowledge – and the resin employed is strives to unite

100% recyclable, making Julia an ecological

comfort, design and quality in every product


dining to office and garden. Julia’s design presents contemporary styling, while its materials are colourfast and dirt resistant, making it easy to clean.

it makes, and its award-winning Julia chair

Its ergonomic design adapts to all

is a good example of the company’s mantra.

body shapes to offer balanced pressure

With an array of on-trend colours from

distribution. A stable lumbar support keeps

which to choose, the Julia chair promises

Holland, the Julia chair is crafted by

the back in a natural position, making the

bring comfort, design and quality to any

craftsmen with over 50 years of resin

chair suitable for a range of uses, from

modern home.

Made in Hartman’s factory in Enschede,

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40 | Eco-conscious

Given the huge importance of forestry and its direct impact

An eco-friendly

on the environment, the team at Iain James Furniture

ethos has long

( is naturally conscious of its

permeated Shire

environmental obligations and responsibilities


As a company the Long Eaton-based manufacturer was one of


the founding members of Woodland Heritage, an institution with product

the long-term sustainment of woodlands and forestry within the


UK at the forefront of its interests.

process, and the

Furthermore, all timber purchases are made through reputable


suppliers, which are certified as sourcing from legal and


sustainable managed forests, and complying under the EUTR

Heaven7 – part of

European trade regulations.

Shire’s range of rolled mattresses – is no exception. Created in Shire’s automated Roll & Rest division, Heaven7 consists of natural, biodegradable fillings, and boasts a biodegradable cover with a stylish finish. Available together with a collection of complementary bedsteads, Heaven7 promises to offer both comfort and peace of mind. “Following its excellent feedback at last year’s Bed Show, we’ve worked hard to develop and expand our rolled mattress offering,” says Shire’s marketing director, Fara Butt. “This latest addition represents our commitment to ongoing product development,

Iain James sources its solid and burr walnut from legal and sustainable foundations

and the supply of exceptional value products which deliver high comfort levels to increasingly discerning customers.”

Silentnight’s (

Eco Comfort Breathe 1200, which saw Silentnight highly commended by the judges of The Furniture Awards 2019

environment) commitment to sustainability is reflected in its Eco Comfort Collection of mattresses, which employs the company’s Eco Comfort Fibres, a filling made from recycled plastic bottles. With 150 bottles in each mattress, Silentnight has prevented more than 100 million plastic bottles from entering the sea or going into landfill. MD Steve Freeman says: “Programmes such as Blue Planet are showing us the true cost plastic waste has on the environment. Footage of marine life living amongst plastic waste is extremely hard-hitting and difficult to watch. “The world needs to change the way it deals with waste, and at Silentnight we are committed to doing our bit to lead the way, particularly with sustainability and recyclability. “Sustainability has been ingrained within the business for a long time, but we are constantly researching new recycling technologies and investing in more ways to

us are healthy, pollution-free and protected,

creatures that live beneath them,” says

re-use recyclable materials.”

while maintaining Britain’s coastlines.


Silentnight has gone into partnership with

“As well as financial backing, our staff

“We have also developed a new

UK marine charity, the Marine Conservation

will be getting involved with the charity’s

programme to improve our fuel efficiency

Society (MCS), pledging financial support to

wider initiatives, such as beach cleans,

and route planning in a bid to reduce carbon

the society to help ensure the seas around

to protect our seas and the fascinating


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42 | Eco-conscious

It has been six years since the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) came into effect, prohibiting the placing of illegally harvested timber in the European market.While presenting at a recent TREE (Timber Regulatory Enforcement Exchange) meeting, Mandy Carmody found herself asking if, so many years later, the industry is really doing enough …

Will we ever stop illegal timber imports? It seems to me, it’s not that hard to comply with the EUTR. Maybe that’s because I’ve been working with companies and manufacturers before the regulation came into effect, so have just got used to it – but, if you’re like me and are working with countries like China, Vietnam and Thailand, you’ll know that conducting due diligence isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Often it’s a transparency issue, and your

use of Indian timbers. The imports data for

“Whilst the value of the trade is going up, the regulations are not being taken up by importers of the product”

2014/15 shows a decrease from 2013, but it is now very much on the rise – is this due to cheaper labour costs, or just a shift in customer demand? After meeting the Office for Public Safety & Standards (OPSS) and the competent authority for Denmark, amongst others, it became obvious that there are still companies out there trading that have little or no knowledge of the regulation – so, for

supply chain just doesn’t want to share the information. They might try to stall the

China still the biggest exporter to the UK,

all we know, could be receiving illegally

process in the hope that you will give up and

and Poland and Vietnam in second and third

felled timber.

go away. Even when you put a timeframe on

place, respectively (see graph 2).

it, the deadline often sails past with little

For example, there has been a recent

Relative to total growth of the market,

increase of furniture being shipped from

or no conclusion. It’s frustrating, to say the

however, EUTR take-up has not increased

Turkey. This is in much smaller amounts


by the same margin. This shows that

than what’s shipped from the Far East, but

whilst the value of the trade is going up,

when companies were approached for their

that furniture is a massive component of the

the regulations are not being taken up

due diligence, many had no idea about their

timber products being shipped around the

by importers of the product, and this is

responsibility. It’s the law, so how could

globe, and, over a five-year period 2013 to

indicated in the data from regulated vs

they not know about this?

2017, here in Blighty we’re the third-largest

unregulated markets (regulated countries

importer of timber-based furniture (only

with an operational timber regulation in

online-only companies that are operating

the US and Germany import more).

One look at UN Comtrade data* reveals

Yes, these could be small enterprises or

effect include the UK, US, Australia, Canada,

with little or no compliance advice, so are

The data shows a steady increase in

EU28, Norway and Switzerland, because

just unaware they needed to do anything

imports into the UK (see graph 1), and

they are technically following the EUTR.

at all. On the other hand, with all the

Comtrade can also identify where the

Comtrade data for 2018 is yet to be

information available on the internet today,

trade is buying its products from. The UK

released, but I don’t expect the scales to

it’s easy to find out almost anything –

furniture shipping country of source has not

shift much (see graph 3).

perhaps it’s just easier to ignore it and hope

changed much over the same period, with

Graph 1: Timber importers

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There has also been an increase in the

it goes away?

Graph 2: UK timber imports

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Eco-conscious | 43

“How can we spread the word and reach out to those businesses that are still in the dark?” So, how can we spread the word and

margins, exiting non-compliant supply

reach out to those businesses that are still

chains and changing materials as part of

in the dark? Trade events, publications and

their mitigation.

seminars are all taking place. Indeed, the

Often organisations like these have been

OPSS runs free training days for companies

working with their factories for years, so

who work in timber products requiring

have built up a great working collaboration,

guidance and advice to comply, and the

which goes a long way.

courses are free to attend (they even offer a

But it doesn’t detract from the fact that deforestation is still a huge issue. It’s

checklist). I’m not saying all companies who ship

happening in countries such as Myanmar

furniture into the UK are the same, as

and Cambodia amongst others, and that

we know this is not the case – many are

timber is finding its way into our supply

doing their due diligence and mitigating


risk, from carrying out regular factory and supply chain visits to conducting species identification testing at a cost to their

* Data from UN Comtrade, 2019, and Forest

Trends, 2019

Graph 3: Timber trade through regulated and unregulated markets

Mandy Carmody is the owner and founder of QSL (Quality Solutions (Technology), an advisory, consultancy and audit service provider that works within the furniture and hard goods industries. With 20 years’ experience, QSL o�ers support in all areas of the development process including ethical requirements, health and safety, general product safety, testing and sustainability.

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The CO Collection from Kettle Interiors (01536 444960, sales@ is one of the most diverse oak collections available today, offering a wide choice of pieces for dining, occasional and bedroom use. The range’s traditional lines and a rustic oak finish make it versatile, its antique brass effect handles helping it bridge the gap between contemporary and classic-styled homes. From the 1m butterfly extending table up to the two-door, sixdrawer sideboard, the CO Collection offers impressive depth across a range of key pieces, plus more unusual items such as a small

Reclaimed furniture has been one of Baker Furniture’s

wine rack and display cabinet.

( key strengths for the last decade, and

Available in 40 items for dining and occasional use, as well as 20 bedroom pieces including an array of chests and three

its new Valetta dining and living range does not disappoint. Comprising benches, three dining tables, dresser, sideboards,

wardrobes, the CO Collection is ready for fast delivery across the

coffee table, bookcase, occasional tables and a TV unit, Valetta

UK. First-time orders can also benefit from a shopfloor display

works particularly well well paired with Baker’s Dalton chair



Among other new collections, Homestyle

Painted Deluxe range with 1200 extending table

GB (01606 556585, launched the Painted Deluxe range at this year’s January Furniture Show. Based on the supplier’s higher-end Deluxe Rustic oak range, the new collection attracted critical acclaim from existing and new customers alike. “The development of the range was a natural progression,” states a company spokesperson. “Traditional raised and fielded panelled doors and raised drawer fronts, together with substantial tops and plinths, ensure it will stand apart from the

Painted Deluxe medium sideboard

more run-of-the-mill painted ranges and

extended, while the PDOVAL, with D-shaped

make a real statement in any setting.”

ends, will seat 4-8, and the PDXLEG will

The new range currently comprises two sideboards (large and medium with

The bench complements the X leg table,

optional dresser tops), three tables, two

and can be fully tucked away when not in

chairs and an X leg-style bench. The tables


– exact replicas of their Deluxe Rustic

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cater for 6-10.

The Painted Deluxe range will be

oak counterparts – are all extenders, and

available in stock shortly, so Homestyle

offer seating for up to 10. The smallest of

GB recommends placing an order early to

the three, the PD1200, will seat 4-6 when

guarantee fulfilment from the first batches.

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Nordic painted


T: 01604




YOTFC Ltd. 3 Roe Farm, Cogenhoe NN7 1NL

E: or

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Alongside an extensive range of headboards, Siesta Beds (0121 773 9969) offers 10 collections: the Superior Edge to Edge Encapsulated Gel range; Supreme Comfort; Memory Foam; Winter summer side; Natural Collection; New Copper infused latex; Orthopaedic Airstream memory Fibre; Classical Pocket; Luxury Pocket; and Classical Orthopaedic. There is also an extensive range of headboards.


The higher spring count found in the Sublime 5000 pocketed superior edge-to-

have been warmly received by the trade,

Siesta Beds, Mayfair Beds and Mulliners

edge encapsulated bed with gel-infused

boosting sales and proving a useful addition

Beds, was established in 1986, and prides

fabric (upholstered with Kay Gel) offers both

to retail partners which have been running

itself on delivering quality products on a

comfort and climate control, along with a

the company’s Salerno 1000 pocket, Rimini

weekly basis to most areas.

high level of support. The Superb offers all

1500-pocket and Sorrento 2000-pocket

these benefits, with a 3000 spring count.

models from its Gel Encapsulated collection.

According to Siesta Beds, the models

The Softheads Group, which consists of

Retailers unable to visit the group’s showroom in Birmingham can book a show van visit with their local area agent.

Palma bedroom Cambridge, from award-winning manufacturer Wiemann (, breaks from the traditional German

Nathan Furniture ( will bring its

norm. “Since its launch at this year’s January Furniture Show,

recently launched Palma and Tiverton collections, along with a

Cambridge has been really well received,” says Simon Hewitt,

new painted bedroom collection, to the Minerva Furniture Group’s

MD of Wiemann’s UK agent, Litmus Furniture. “It offers all the

members’ show, taking place at Stoneleigh Park Exhibition Centre,

practicality and flexibility you’d expect from a Wiemann hinged

Warwickshire, from 14-15th this month.

robe but with a classic, British Shaker-style design. It’s something

The modern Palma bedroom brings Nathan’s longstanding

quite different from us, just for the UK market – and quite the

heritage of quality teak to a younger audience, with carefully


selected wood, chosen for its graining, colour and character,

Cambridge is available in widths from 100-300cm and twoto six-door compilations – along with the option of matching

complemented by attractive, distressed metalwork. Tiverton is a sophisticated painted living and dining collection,

bedside and storage chests. The contemporary range comes in

featuring distinctive oak-veneered parquet-style tops. All of the

a choice of three finishes – champagne, havana or white – and

pieces have been individually painted with a hand-brushed effect

mirrored doors are also available.

and are available in a range of colours.

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Working in the furniture industry can be incredibly demanding, yet many members of the trade find the time to pursue noteworthy avenues alongside the day job. In Out of Hours, we discover what some of the industry’s more colourful characters get up to in their spare time …

The movie producer “We start filming our next movie, Infexion, in June – it’s a pretty scary thriller about the UK struggling after Brexit, with everyone getting infected after the release of a nerve agent in Salisbury” My name is Steve Mosley, and I’m the

you earn. I work with a great director [Tom

changes taking place in the furniture supply

MD of Besp-Oak Furniture, a supplier of

Paton] and a great team, which leaves lots

and retail industry, and businesses have

furniture, accessories, lighting and giftware

of time for my day job.

to adapt to the way the consumer wants

Out of hours, I run my own movie company,

I’m most proud of our first movie, Stairs.

they view entertainment, with established

Mosley Studios. It sounds a bit glam, but

It’s just coming out of post-production,

TV giants and movie studios losing out to

it’s located together with my new furniture

and will be released this summer. It’s

streaming sites.


only a low-budget movie, but it is feature

to purchase – and it’s the same for how

length, and we did manage to get some

You might not know this, but I knew

I became involved in this because after

great actors, including [Coronation Street’s]

nothing about the film world at the outset –

spending a long period in the army, my

Shayne Ward. The director, Tom Paton, is

but that was probably a good thing.

main hobby became collecting military

a young, up-and-coming guy with a great

vehicles and aircraft. There’s quite a


collection now, from WW2 vehicles to more

We’re hoping it gets a slot at the Cannes

recent. My favourites are the iconic Willys

film festival, and expect it to sell quite

jeep from WW2 and the Harrier Jump Jet

quickly to a streaming site (like Netflix).

could see opportunities that others maybe couldn’t. It’s no different to when I started out in the oak business 11 years ago, when no-one

from the Falklands. A couple of years ago I was offered the

To me, it’s just another business, so I looked at it as a complete outsider. I

Ten years down the line, I see myself

else was doing it properly!

opportunity to provide some of them for a

making at least two or three movies a year.

movie, and I enjoyed it so much that I set up

In the short term, we start filming our next

If you want to know more, you can watch

my own movie company.

movie, Infexion, in June – it’s a pretty scary

a short film outlining the making of

thriller about the UK struggling after Brexit,

Stairs on Youtube at

It asks that I commit to a lot of organising

with everyone getting infected after the

watch?v=YwIvh419XkU. Meanwhile, any

and unglamorous jobs – but if you really

release of a nerve agent in Salisbury …

customers visiting our showroom this June will be more than welcome on the latest film

enjoy doing something, then it doesn’t matter about the hours, or even how much

I have learned that there are massive


Got an interesting hobby or accomplishment you’d like to share with our readers? Message the editor on

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LIVING ROOM Horizon lounger in blaze weave, Ayla

Ayla from the UK’s leading soft-seating

its expertise in product design with the

specialist Bazaar Group

knowledge of expert furnituremakers.

( adds a fresh

Allison Chatten, head of design and

perspective to upholstered furniture and a

development, says: “We don’t think of a

new concept in living to the market.

chair as four legs and a platform – and that

Recognising the need for small-

gives us a huge amount of creative freedom.

footprint, flexible furniture in today’s

Ayla embraces furniture design from a soft-

increasingly urban landscape, Bazaar Group

seating perspective, free of the restrictions

launched the Ayla brand, designed to bring

of traditional forms and categories.

incremental sales to the retail market, at

“Shape and mood came first, then the

Ayla offers retailers the opportunity to achieve incremental sales at minimal risk,

the January Furniture Show.Having spent

construction methods. The real challenge for

with unique design solutions that customers

time understanding the needs of today’s

us was to achieve a fluidity in form whilst

cannot currently find in-store. The eye-

customers and exploring furniture retail

working with more traditional upholstery

catching pieces freshen shopfloor displays

in Europe and beyond, the group fused


whilst occupying minimal floorspace.

Tiverton from Nathan Furniture ( is a stylish painted living and dining collection. Constructed from hardwood frames (helping to remove the risk of sap stain or knots) and oak-veneered parquet-style tops, all of the pieces come in a selection of colour options with a hand-brushed effect, delicately hand-rubbed to create a distressed finish. The internals also feature a light paint finish to complement the external colour. Included in the range is an extending dining table, bench, chair, a two-door, three-drawer sideboard, a two-door sideboard, bookcase with drawers, corner media unit, coffee table with shelf

ercol’s ( Marino chair references the qualities

and a side table with shelf.

and features of the company’s design classics. Its smooth,

Nathan MD Nicholas Radford says: “Tiverton has been a

flowing lines, constructed from steam-bent solid ash timber

welcome addition to our portfolio. It has a number of notable

using traditional craftsmanship and modern furnituremaking

qualities that are proving popular with customers, such as the

techniques, come together to create a striking contemporary

stand-out textured look of the parquet-style tops. The high level

occasional chair and sofa.

of craftsmanship, including the delicate and subtle beading around

The Marino collection is finished in a choice of wood finishes

the drawers, stop chamfering and feature dowels on legs, have

that protects the timber whilst enabling the customer to choose a

also been a hit.”

look which matches their style and decor.

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Turkish textile manufacturer Boyteks ( has introduced new mattress ticking technology which promises to offer added comfort and stress-relieving properties, helping ensure a better night’s sleep. Graphene is a groundbreaking carbonbased material, offering high efficiency in a number of areas – from water impermeability and resilience to ecofriendly processes such as purification and electronic devices employing advanced technology. As a smart fabric, Graphene also occupies an important place in the textile sector. Threads made with Graphene bring various benefits to Boyteks’ mattress fabrics, helping them deliver tension-free sleep. In mattress ticking, Graphene works as an effective conductor, and helps remove static electricity and the tension related to it, while its strong bonds makes the fabric last longer. “Consumers expect fabrics to provide advantages other than just appearance and comfort,” says a spokesperson. “Graphene brings the technology of the new era to your bed, with antistatic features.”

Belgian jacquard Wilton maestro Louis de Poortere (info@, has launched Splendore di Venezia, a collection of rugs inspired by the splendour of classical Venice. Using high-gloss polyester Rafia, a flat, tape-like continuous yarn, Louis de Poortere has achieved a unique look for the

The Essentials by Kettle Interiors (01536 444960, sales@

collection, with the weaving process twisting and turning the high Mirror Collection has been expanded

gloss silver and gold yarns for a shimmering effect. Mixed with

with new styles, bringing even more choice to this convenient,

cotton chenille and woven into striking geometric and abstract

individually packaged line.

patterns, this extra-strong yarn really sets Splendore di Venezia apart. Alan Russell, sales director UK, says: “Splendore di Venezia uses its specialised high-gloss rafia yarn as an ode to the precious metals, rare stones and noble fabrics adorning the homes and

With the addition of window styles in rectangular, rectangular with rounded top and circular shapes, in distressed white and grey paint finishes to match the painted furniture collections available from the supplier, the Mirror Collection offers a formidable array. Alongside these, Baroque, Victorian and Edwardian gilt

clothing of classical Venice’s elite. It’s a fabulous look that invites

and painted styles are still offered, so retailers can provide

a closer look at the collection’s geometric and abstract patterns,

an impressive choice of mirrors with the confidence of easy

revealing enchanting detail. The collection also underlines the

availability and reliable supply direct from UK stocks. The

exceptional efforts of our design and development team to bring

collection is also free of price restriction, making it ideal for in-

homeowners fresh and exciting concepts not seen before.”

store promotions and ecommerce.

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An Orbital render featuring ALF Uno’s Fusello table

PICTURE THIS . . . Technology is paving the way for new approaches to product marketing, and businesses are fast discovering the benefits of tools such as 3D modelling.The five winners of this year’s edition of The Furniture Awards – Sealy UK, Wiemann, Hartman UK, Parker Knoll, ALF Uno – were given the opportunity to have their star product rendered in all its photorealistic glory, courtesy of creative digital agency, Orbital Vision. Furniture News checked in to see how the project was coming along … In every corner of the industry, new

What does Orbital do?

technology is making processes faster and

Orbital is a creative digital agency, with over

more efficient. In Long Eaton, creative

a decade of experience of working in the

agency Orbital Vision focuses on the

furniture industry. As a company we provide

development of new marketing solutions,

a range of services such as brochure design,

offering a full suite of sector-specific

websites, photography, video and brand

services – the pinnacle of which is enVision,

guidance to many of the industry’s leading

a digital platform which enables users to

brands. More recently Orbital has been busy

create photorealistic 3D models of their

converting its knowledge and experience


into the digital world. A significant

The benefits – to both manufacturers and retailers – of developing marketing

investment in new tech has provided

materials through enVision are manifold,

Orbital with the means to deliver ground-

explains Orbital’s creative director, Rob

breaking 3D and virtual reality assets

Whotton, who is nearing the end of a

to manufacturers and retailers alike,

process which will see the star products

maintaining the company’s progress in delivering every asset associated with

from this year’s winners of The Furniture Awards brought to life in all their (digital) glory …

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An Orbital white-out build of Sealy UK’s Activsleep

bespoke-built websites with full ecommerce capabilities.

26/04/2019 12:31

Trade Services | 55

How do you go about creating a product render? Firstly, we either collect reference imagery and overall sizes from the client, or we go and photograph and measure the products

“It’s been a great opportunity for us to introduce our 3D services and show them an alternative to the traditional photoshoot”

in person. Using that imagery, we build all the furniture in a piece of software called 3ds Max.

An Orbital render featuring Hartman UK’s Julia resin chair

The building stage is probably the most time-consuming part of the job, as we spend a lot of time getting every piece of detail spot-on – including all the little imperfections which make all the difference when it comes to a build looking real or fake. Once we have built the furniture, we render these out as a white-out, so the client can sign off the overall shapes (the reason we don’t apply any fabric is so they can focus purely on the shape). Once the builds are signed off, the next step is mapping. This is where we set up the product so fabric can be applied, and we dictate how it sits on the frame. Next, we look closely at the fabric – for us to get the best results we treat the fabrics as a separate job, and how we build the fabric is dependent on the type we’re dealing with. For instance, we will photograph most simple cottons – but with more complex fabrics that are made up of different layers and weaves, we will actually build them in 3D. This is the same for velvets. It is impossible to photograph a velvet properly because of how the material reacts to light – it can look light from one angle and dark from another – so we create all our velvets in 3D. This, I feel, is where we truly stand apart from our competitors, as we spend the time perfecting the fabrics so they look real once wrapped on our 3D builds. Now we have our product built and mapped, this can be rendered out in every different fabric option, at any camera angle (even 360o). But for most, the next step is to situate their product in a roomset. Like any photoshoot, we start by putting together a moodboard of what look we want to achieve, and which accessories to use and colour scheme to go with. From here, we build everything from the ground up, unique to that client. One of the benefits is that clients can use the same roomset again for their next project, by simply changing out the accessories, walls and floors to make it look like a completely new room. Finally, there’s the rendering stage. All our projects are set up to batch render, so at the click of a button we can render an entire line of products in a full fabric range of different colours. Everything is rendered in high resolution, so can be used in print, PoS,

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An Orbital white-out build of Hartman UK’s Julia resin chair

26/04/2019 12:31

56 | Trade Services

An Orbital render featuring Wiemann’s Monaco wardrobe

online and social media marketing to really bring it to life.

An Orbital render featuring Parker Knoll’s Hoxton, from Collection 150

What are the benefits of creating marketing assets in this manner? Photoshoots are quickly becoming a thing of the past – slow turnaround, expensive, and relatively inflexible. With a 3D render, you can make all the changes you want without any extra time or money. And if your product changes, or if you have a selection of fabrics available, all of that can be created and corrected in a 3D model in no time at all. Your products can even be altered before they are created. Manufacturing prototypes traditionally can be expensive, but with 3D rendering, a product can be created from a mere sketch, and can be altered or redesigned in days. And, if you’re creating a whole new range but only have a design for one of the products, you can leave it to the graphic designers to create 3D prototypes of the remaining products in the range. How did you find working with this year’s winners of The Furniture Awards? Personally, I have enjoyed the variety of what the award winners bring, and the different types of furniture we’ve been able to create. It’s also been a great opportunity for us to introduce our 3D services and show them an alternative to the traditional photoshoot.

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end of line seconds returns


ex-display old stock prototypes

try us this week

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58 | Trade Services

Cloud mattress protector

Cool mattress protector

WHY PROTECT-A-BED WENT PLATINUM The award-winning Protect-A-Bed, a specialist in mattress protection, continues to go from strength to strength, continually offering stockists additional incentives through its innovative Platinum Club … “As a business, we’re constantly looking to help drive sales for all of our retail partners,” states Protect-A-Bed’s national

Protect-A-Bed’s new TV display bays have been well received

claims resolution, and a next-day delivery service where required. “The Platinum Club is a way of bringing

sales manager, Paul Lake. “With many

together the very best elements of what we

stores reporting lower footfall, Protect-

have to offer, and what we know works well

A-Bed offers a perfect opportunity to

to build sales.

increase the average order value and grow

“Put the market-leading brand to work

sales – plus, we offer a reward system to

for you, and Protect-A-Bed will increase

our partners through the Protect-A-Bed

your profitability.”

Platinum Club.” Since its launch, the Platinum Club has

To support the Platinum Club, ProtectA-Bed has also developed a new TV display

returned impressive results, says Paul,

bay, and, over the last 12 months, these

attracting members from the company’s

have been received “extremely well” by

existing stockist base plus new partners,

retailers, who have recognised sales growth

who are all now benefiting from a more

as a result.

focused approach to growing sales. Protect-A-Bed’s CEO, Simon Zamet,

“This is the perfect time to join the Protect-A-Bed Platinum Club, as your retail

elaborates: “The Platinum Club has been

store can gain a longer benefit throughout

designed to build, recognise and reward

2019,” Paul continues. “Protect-A-Bed’s

success with unique promotional and

ability to upskill your team and increase

discount opportunities, sponsored incentives

your sales revenue by maximising every

and tailored POS solutions, as well as

sales opportunity has been well documented.

membership rewards.

We can manage every step of the process

“Protect-A-Bed have developed a

for you on a no-risk basis, and build a

world-class programme, honed over years

reward scheme through the Protect-A-Bed

of experience, built on a singular focus.

Platinum Club.

This includes a unique sales training and motivational programme, our best-in-class

“There is nothing to be lost and everything to be gained – why would you

mattress protection collection and bundled

not act now?”

guarantees, new state-of-the-art display

T 02087 310020

bays, award-winning customer services and


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The Accordion Bond, Josip Gotler Inspired by whimsical cartoons and books, Croatia-based furniture designer/maker Josip Gotler had fun creating The Accordion Bond, a playful piece made from FSC-certified birch plywood, and one of five models in a range called The Quirky Companions …

“The first step in creating this piece was to transfer a

“As the design is extremely complicated, I had to choose

unique complex idea to a rough 2D sketch, refining it one

premium FSC birch plywood – it’s extremely expensive, but

step at a time until it was translated to a CAD drawing,

it’s the only material that can withstand this level of curves

which then served as a baseline for the final sculpting and

and cutting angles. I also selected non-toxic, water-based

crafting of a precise. full-scale prototype”

paints, certified as safe and durable”

“Inspiration came from the shape of an accordion, informing a

“The production process

piece of furniture that

is really detailed and

looks like it’s stretching

meticulous. Every piece

itself in two directions.

has its own number and

Despite its complex shape, this piece is fully functional, containing one large sliding drawer in the middle and two cabinets on the sides that can open fully”

“My designs are a perfect reflection of my quirky mind – I always think of how to take a traditional shape and make it different and unique by bending, breaking, melting or stretching it”

is assembled in perfect order to get precise results. Indeed, some of the pieces need to be cut at three different angles to achieve the perfect fit and the desired look”

Training: While working in the IT industry, Josip spent much of his spare time honing his craft as an amateur woodworker. In 2016, he decided to leave IT and commit to woodworking full time, opening his own design studio. He is now a happy designer/maker, crafting his handmade creations from rough sketches to full-scale pieces.


FN362_Pages.indd 60

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64 | Last Word

“The journey is more important than the destination – and if you’re not enjoying the journey, you’re doing it wrong”

Janus Jagd CEO and co-founder, Cylindo After founding gaming software house ILP in 2007, Janus went on to launch Cylindo in 2012. Headquartered in Copenhagen, Cylindo offers automated rendering technology that transforms simple product data into 3D photorealistic imagery, which can be leveraged at every touchpoint of the furniture buyer’s journey, increasing conversion rates and reducing visualisation costs. How did you enter the trade? Seven years ago I was moving into an

products in your space.

product renders created.

Since we launched six years ago,

apartment with my wife. We had plans

I’ve learned a lot about the trade. Most

What was your career high point?

to renovate the bathroom and buy new

companies are really struggling with

Honestly, every new week in Cylindo is.

furniture, so I was looking for a tool that

product visualisation. With furniture, it’s

We’re moving at such a rapid pace and

could help us visualise those ideas.

especially hard to visualise all of your

constantly generating new wins. It’s an

products through photography, given the

incredible journey to be on – and seeing the

available, I decided to build a 3D model

assembly, logistics, and the many product

business grow, the constant evolution of

of the apartment, and that worked as an

permutations. We’ve made that process

our technology and the development of my

excellent tool for making a big purchase

very easy, with our 3D technology that can

talented team members is such a fulfilling

decision. I thought to myself, everyone has

create photorealistic renders of any product


this pain, but very few people know how to


As there weren’t any good tools

use advanced 3D modelling applications.

Today, we’re the leading platform for

Even though we’ve doubled revenue YoY for three years straight and our team

That was the birth of the Cylindo 3D Room

product visualisation globally, with more

numbers more than 100 people now, I still

Planner – an intuitive tool for visualising

than two quintillion photorealistic 4K

think we’re just getting started. We’re

FN362_Pages.indd 64

26/04/2019 12:31

Last Word | 65

creating an industry standard for how

architect - I’m fascinated with the synergy

sales are growing +10% YoY and in-store

furniture companies are working with 3D

between design and functionality, and how

sales are stagnant, so improving ecommerce

visualisation, while helping to deliver a

you can positively influence behaviour

capabilities is top of mind for all of the

delightful ecommerce experience – but we

through great design.

furniture retailers we talk to.

What date on the business calendar do you

need to sell your furniture online? Well, it’s

... and low point?

most look forward to?

being able to visualise it in a compelling

Having to restructure the entire company

I naturally gravitate towards sales, so end-


early on and change its strategic direction.

of-quarter crunch time and making sure

We actually closed an office, laid off a big

we hit the sales targets is a period filled

Which company do you most look up to?

part of the team, including most of the

with good energy and clear measurements

From a company culture perspective, I’d

management, so it was a tough time.

of success/failure. These days, with

have to say [outdoor clothing company]

Cylindo being over 100 people strong, I

Patagonia - I really admire how they

hard times, so it was definitely also a

also prioritise activities where I can learn

empower their people to make autonomous

valuable experience. We honed in on our

from my team members - what are some

decisions and they are impact-driven. On

vision and, essentially, we were forced to

of the challenges they face, and how can I

the technology side, I’d probably have

find a product market. But for a few years,

empower them to solve any problems?

to say [Australian enterprise software

And what’s the most important thing you

will eventually take this to other industries.

You learn most from your failures and

company] Atlassian, for how they’ve taken

it felt like I had the entire weight of the company on my shoulders - and I went on

What would you most like to change about

the company from $0 to IPO with limited

countless hour-long walks to my favourite


venture capital due to having a strong

hilltop in San Francisco, overlooking Golden

To enjoy the moment and be grateful for

product and making great long-term

Gate and Alcatraz, trying to figure it all out.

what I have now – that is something I’m


constantly working on. When you do what I Describe a typical working day

do, it’s easy to get consumed with current

Can you leave us with an industry

Early morning is me-time. I’m supercharged

business challenges and growth targets.


in the morning and I tackle the most

The journey is more important than the

Oh, where to begin?! I heard an interesting

complex task of the day here – with

destination - and if you’re not enjoying the

anecdote recently on how a European

German techno in my headphones from

journey, you’re doing it wrong.

brand brings new products to market. They manufacture in China and their photo

my #getshitdone playlist on Spotify. The remainder of the day is typically filled with

What do you enjoy most about working in

studio is in Europe. Their products typically

meetings with my direct reports, workshops

the trade?

have hundreds of fabrics. To visualise

and external meetings with partners and

Well, I’m always in the loop on interior

new products, they have to fly in all the

clients. I especially love talking to clients

design trends! At home, I’m the one

configurations by plane (!) because shipping

and prospects to understand what part of

doing the decorating and introducing new

would take too long.

our offering is resonating with them, but

furniture to my wife.

I also like hearing about what we need to

We have a US client also manufacturing

But what I enjoy the most is definitely

in China. When they have a product ready

the opportunity to make a big impact. Many

on the factory floor, they snap three

furniture businesses are still early on in

smartphone images of it, upload them to

If you had to start over, which career would

their digital transformation journey, and

Cylindo and we render out 360’s of all their

you pursue?

technology like Cylindo’s can help them

permutations. So the first products are ready

I dream of writing a novel or a movie

run their business smarter and better. It’s

to be sold in the US way before the first

manuscript about the conquest of South

also a challenge – you have to make sure

physical product actually hits the ground in

America. What on earth drove Francisco

the technology is easily accessible so the

the US.

Pizarro and his 168 men to journey into

less tech-savvy furniture companies can

the unknown in the 1530s, travel across

leverage it.

tweak and improve.

It’s just two completely different worlds, and, as a tech person, you sometimes forget how the majority of the industry operates,

the world, stay on a deserted island for 18 months and eventually face 10,000 Incas in

What is the most important issue affecting

so I think we have a big responsibility in


your business right now?

educating the trade about the current and

The rapid growth of ecommerce. Online

future state of visualisation technology.

There’s also a fairly good chance I’d be an

City or country?

Books or movies?

In time, I’d love to move to the countryside, but will probably stay

Videos, podcasts and TV series actually. I love watching Ted Talks

in the city for some time yet. With all the work-related travel I have

and learning from the smartest people in the world. Podcasts about

to do, it’s very convenient living just 15 minutes from Copenhagen

entrepreneurship are also on heavy rotation. As a sole founder, you


can feel isolated at times – listening to other founders and hearing their stories is inspiring, and sometimes comforting. When I’m

Sunrise or sunset?

chilling, you’ll probably find me re-watching The Wire - the greatest

Sunrise. I have a one-year-old daughter – enough said :)

TV series of all time, period

FN362_Pages.indd 65

26/04/2019 12:31



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Furniture News #362  

With sustainable concerns firmly on the consumer’s radar, this month’s Furniture News presents a special feature dedicated to Eco-conscious...

Furniture News #362  

With sustainable concerns firmly on the consumer’s radar, this month’s Furniture News presents a special feature dedicated to Eco-conscious...