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Inside Fifty Five South’s new showroom BEYOND BELIEF Challenging trust in online reviews

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HEALTHY EATON? The latest from Long Point

STAR TURN The dangers of celebrity endorsements

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“The CMA now estimates that fake reviews may influence some £23b of customer spending every year”

Editor-in-chief Paul Farley 01424 776101 Twitter @FurnitureNewsED Sales and marketing director (Furniture News portfolio) Sam Horscroft 01424 776100 Twitter @FurnitureNewsAD Sales executive Caroline Littler 07861 231461 Production manager James Ash 01424 817430 Production assistant Mike Beales 01424 776106 Digital production assistant Nyall McCurrach 01424 776107 Copy administrator Steve Merrick 01424 776108



n a world in which the future of a

and a lack of clarity around which product

nation can be writ large on the side

endorsements were paid for, and which

of a bus, we must remember to read

weren’t. It clamped down on online reviews

between the lines. I’m not saying we take

posted by companies’ own employees, and

everything at face value, but the manner in

pursued the more prominent sources of fake

which we filter information could use some

Twitter followers (one of which reportedly

refinement – and this applies not only to

offered more than 200 million followers

the way we think and what we believe, but

from some 3.5 million fake accounts).

in how we assess what we buy. Fake news is rife, yet, across the world,

In April, the topic reared its head once again, when a probe by Which? revealed that

people’s faith in traditional marketing

Amazon is “flooded” with fake five-star

platforms is at an all-time low. With so

reviews of unverified brands – despite the

Editorial director John Legg 01424 776104

many of us turning to the internet for

marketplace’s use of automated tech to

inspiration, guidance and reassurance before

weed out any offenders. It found that the

we make a purchase, online reviews are

top-rated products in certain categories

Publisher Nigel Gearing

becoming increasingly influential.

were often spurious unknowns, ranked

Accounts Wendy Williams 01424 817433

and Feefo seem to be doing sterling work to of view, often prompting dealers to take

may influence some £23b of customer

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

quality and service issues more seriously.

spending every year, in the UK alone. How

the practice. Take the Shed at Dulwich –

what’s ‘sold’ to people, and what they buy?

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

devised by a journalist who was once paid

Do so many of us view statements made

to write fake reviews, this spoof restaurant

through social media and online reviews

was temporarily TripAdvisor’s top-ranked

(well-regulated sites excepted) as truths?

Repro, print and distribution Stephens & George

London restaurant in 2017. At the same

Proofreader Keith Fitz-Hugh

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

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Admittedly, websites such as Trustpilot aggregate and disseminate various points

Yet there has long been a darker side to

conspicuously ahead of household name brands. The CMA now estimates that fake reviews

can there be such discrepancy between

Perhaps the online playground hasn’t

time, the British Hospitality Association

been open long enough for us to learn

found that 85% of the businesses in its

the rules. Maybe the digital giants will

sector had been tarred with unfair reviews

successfully crack down on the fraudulent

designed to blackmail management or

practices. And perhaps, in time, the

damage reputations.

consumer will find themselves turning back

Meanwhile an Italian court sentenced a TripAdvisor reviewer to nine months in prison for selling fake reviews. Pascal Lamy,

to those more traditional and accountable media outlets they once trusted. When even the very notion of ‘truth’

chair of the World Committee on Tourism

is questioned on a daily basis, all I can

Ethics, commented: “Online reviews play

suggest is taking things with a pinch of salt,

a major role in tourism and consumer

wherever you read them.

purchasing decisions, but it’s important

Paul Farley

everyone plays by the rules.” At least the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is keeping score. As far back as 2015, the CMA was investigating potentially misleading practices such as fake reviews, the omission of negative reviews,

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

28/05/2019 13:09

Enter The Bed Industry Awards Now Enter The Bed Industry Awards Now

Manufacturer RetailerAwards Awards ManufacturerAwards Awards Retailer Best IndependentBed BedRetailer Retailer BestBed/Mattress Bed/Mattress Independent Best PureOnline OnlineBed BedRetailer Retailer BestAccessory/Component Accessory/Component Pure Innovation NationalBed BedRetailer Retailer Innovation National

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17/04/2019 13:14

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Contents | 5





Partner Comment

58 Furnisher

12 News


Out of Hours

22 Events

62 Designer

32 Resources Inside Fifty Five South’s new showroom BEYOND BELIEF Challenging trust in online reviews

HEALTHY EATON? The latest from Long Point

STAR TURN The dangers of celebrity endorsements

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22/05/2019 15:39

Glasgow’s Premier Housewares unveils a new showroom housing the latest from its luxury interiors brand, Fifty Five South (p36)





Beds & Bedroom

50 Opinion 52

Living Room


Dining Room

Matt Hill (62)

The NBF’s Simon Williams explains why entering industry awards is worth the effort


Abel & Imray’s Sarah Philips discusses the role of intellectual property rights in the furniture industry

Duresta at Long Point (22)

Alpha Designs Upholstery (52)

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)

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


019 08:46 13:14

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19 10:39

Partner Comment | 7

Your efforts will be rewarded … “We know from recent research that consumers are influenced in the buying process if they know that a product or brand has won a relevant award” Many of you will have been there before. You’ve been asked by the

Awards offer a rare opportunity to be directly compared to the

boss to put together an entry into your annual industry awards,

competition and can give you great insight into how you shape up.

and your first thoughts are:

If you win, great. If you don’t, you’ll learn a lot from the process

“Thanks a lot! I just haven’t got time to do this …”

(especially if the judges offer their feedback), be able to improve

“They’re too complicated to enter.”

from the experience, and stand a better chance next time. To celebrate 10 years of the NBF Bed Show (taking place at

“What’s the benefit to my team?” “It’s more hassle than it’s worth.”

Telford International Centre on 17th and 18th September), we

“We won’t win anyway (it’s always the same companies that

have given the awards a makeover, with six new categories for businesses to enter. So, this year there are three new awards for

win every year).” These are all totally understandable thoughts, especially given the uncertain business climate at the moment. However, if we all

manufacturers/suppliers: Bed of the Year; Accessory Product or Component of the Year; and Innovation of the Year. For retailers there are also three new categories to enter:

took that stance, then there simply wouldn’t be any awards.

Independent Bed Retailer of the Year; National Retailer of the Year;

Competition has never been tougher, budgets are being squeezed like never before, and it’s getting increasingly difficult to genuinely differentiate and stand out in the crowded marketplace. All of which makes entering awards such as the 2019 NBF Bed

and Pure Online Retailer of the Year. To encourage small businesses that don’t have dedicated marketing or PR teams, we’ve made the process of entering the

Industry Awards more relevant than ever. They can provide you,

awards as simple as possible – further details of the awards, along

your team and your company with a range of benefits including

with downloadable entry forms, are available at

improved brand awareness, greater credibility and increased

morale. You can share your success with your employees, your suppliers and your customers – maximising the value of your award. We know from recent research that consumers are influenced in the buying process if they know that a product or brand has won a relevant award. Just consider the power of a Which? or Good Housekeeping award – while not quite as competitive as so-called

Simon Williams is the marketing

‘Industry Oscars’, they do demonstrate how much reassurance

manager of the National Bed

such endorsements offer consumers.

Federation (NBF, www.bedfed.

If you win, there are so many things you can do with the good news, such as adding the logos to your website, email signatures,, the recognised trade

letterheads and vehicle livery. Whichever social media channels

association representing UK

you use, it’s the perfect opportunity to blow your own trumpet

manufacturers of beds and their

– and a gift of a PR opportunity (but note that, like most things

suppliers. Founded in 1912, the

in life, you get out what you put in – there’s no point entering

federation’s members today

awards if you’re not going to shout it from the rafters if you win or

account for some 75% of the UK’s

make the shortlist).

total bedding turnover.

Our Partners Exclusive UK Member

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

Official Media Partner

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Register now at FN363_Pages.indd Full page USE.indd 8 1

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Full pag









19 10:20

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The Augustine corner group from Comfort Studio

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Cornering comfort Our latest Comfort Studio Collection ranges give your customers the comfort and quality they associate with La-Z-Boy, with design innovations for 2019 including a brand new luxury leather.

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28/05/2019 15:43 13:10 22/05/2019

12 | News

Scottish charity appoints new president

Conference reinforces need for training

Scottish industry charity, the Scottish Furniture Trades Benevolent Association (SFTBA), has David Amery

appointed a new president

– Sterling Furniture’s bedroom buyer, David Amery. “Companies in industry must use UK

Government is being reduced and unless

take up the position of president

training providers or risk losing them,”

people are enrolled on courses, training

of this fantastic charity, and would

warned Gary Baker, Furniture and Interiors

institutions won’t get the volume needed to

like to thank Donna Spiers (Archers

Education, Skills and Training Alliance

run. If we don’t do something drastic now,

Sleepcentre’s buying director), retiring

(FIESTA) chairman, at the Closing the Gap

we’ll come up against major problems in the

president, for her leadership and

conference in London in late April.


He says: “I am very honoured to

contribution to the association over the past two years.”

The event was organised to inform

One of the aims of the Closing the Gap

companies of the looming employment

conference was to demonstrate the value of

crisis the furniture and interiors industry

apprenticeships, which was discussed during

Hampton and McMurray Furnishers,

faces if the emerging skills gap is not

a panel comprising employers, training

Glasgow, has been appointed David’s


providers and an apprentice.

Neil Richardson, proprietor of


Gary opened the conference by reminding

For many SMEs, the issue with training

delegates of the circumstances that led

has stemmed from an inability to access

who have fallen on hard times due to

to FIESTA’s formation in 2017, following

funding due to Government cuts, and

illness or other circumstances, and

the Bridging the Gap conference. Statistics

companies being turned away. To support

raises funds through events such as the

from the 2015 Mind the Gap report showed

SMEs and large businesses, FIESTA launched

annual President’s Dinner (set to take

that, of those companies surveyed at the

a new service, Furniture and Interiors Skills

place in November), and the Annual

time, over 50% of their workforce was over

Plus, which aims to enable furniture and

Golf Outing at Deer Park Country Club,

the age of 40. Furthermore, half of the

interiors businesses of all sizes to easily

Livingston, taking place this year on

employers questioned said they did not need

train and recruit employees for all job

8th August.

apprentices or did not know where to find


The SFTBA aims to assist those


Jay-Be grows sales for 11th year Bed, mattress and upholstery manufacturer Jay-Be reports that its

Four years on, and the hope that the

Gary adds:“Researching training providers that have funding for your

introduction of the apprenticeship levy

training needs and understanding how to

in May 2017 would support businesses to

access funding all takes time.

recruit and train new talent has dissipated,

“The Skills Plus solution will handle all

due to the complexity and rigidity of

of this and offer SMEs advice, guidance and

accessing and using funding, states FIESTA.

access to the best training – from traditional

Gary says: “Research clearly shows that

apprenticeships to vocational courses – for

UK sales have grown for the 11th year

companies that offer training programmes

new and existing staff, at very little cost to

running, driven by a combination of

are much more profitable than those that

your business.”

broadening its product offer, increasing

don’t. There is also a very real danger

production capacity and putting a

that if large businesses don’t wake up and

businesses in the north of England will take

commitment to sustainability at the

start using training providers then these

place on 2nd July at Panaz’s showroom in

forefront of its product development

institutions will disappear. Funding from


A second Closing the Gap conference for

strategy. While export sales declined, the brand established footholds in export markets including Canada and the US,

Registration open for Irish event

from which the company expects to see significant growth in the near future.

Registration for the Irish Furniture &

For the sixth year running, the IFHS

Homewares Show (IFHS), Ireland’s key

will host many of the top suppliers to the

to invest heavily in sustainability,

sourcing event, which will take place

Irish furniture industry, presenting new

product innovation and responsible

at Dublin’s National Show Centre from

upholstery, dining, bedding, cabinet and

manufacturing, and has increased its

24-27th August, is now open on the fair’s

accessories, plus advice and industry trend

investment in training.



The business plans to continue

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News | 13

Vispring MD joins NBF board

M&S battles towards transformation Clothing & Home revenue at Marks &

number of areas of the business. M&S is

Jim Gerety,

Spencer declined -3.6% in the year to 30th

changing faster than at any time in my

MD of

March 2019, driven in part by the retailer’s

career - substantial changes across the


store closure programme, which resulted in

business to our processes, ranges and

has been

a LFL revenue decrease of -1.6%.

operations and this has constrained this

elected to the

As of 30th March, 35 full-line stores

year’s performance, particularly in Clothing & Home.

National Bed

had been closed as part of the retailer’s


transformation programme, 26 of them

“However, we remain on track with our


during the financial year described – yet

transformation and are now well on the road


there has been 48 new store openings,

to making M&S special again.”

board as a director. Jim, who has been

and good online revenue growth, with UK

New initiatives outlined include a shift

an active member of the NBF since 2012

Clothing & Home revenue up +9.8%. The

towards less discounting, more rationalised,

and previously sat on the marketing

retailer disclosed that despite a strategy of

contemporary store environments, and

committee, says: “I am delighted to

resizing, relocating and new openings, it

the ongoing development of an improved

be joining the executive board and I

expects to close a further 85 full-line stores.

logistics network. Further investment in

am hoping to bring a more export-

Operating costs decreased by -1.2%, with

digital capability will be leveraged in an

focused view to the NBF as well as

the aforementioned store closures more

effort to combine the group’s substantial

fully supporting the entire UK-based

than offsetting the cost of new space and

customer databases (encompassing the M&S

bedmaking business in becoming more

shift towards the online channel.

credit card, Sparks and Ocado).

professional and profitable.”

Steve Rowe, Marks & Spencer’s CEO,

Marks & Spencer also revealed a plan to

comments: “We are deep into the first phase

devolve more decisionmaking to its store

for three years, and reports to the Flex

of our transformation programme and

managers, who will now have visibility of

Group, the company’s Madrid-based

continue to make good progress restoring

their own profits and losses.

owner, for all aspects of the business

the basics and fixing many of the legacy

worldwide – the UK represents 55% of

issues we face. As I have said, at this stage

progress” on saving costs, delivering

the group’s sales, and exports 45% of

we are judging ourselves as much by the

some £100m, during the year on top of

its output. Previously, he worked for

pace of change as by the trading outcomes

the operating costs of the closed stores.

four years as the company’s UK sales

and change will accelerate in the year ahead.

Profit before tax and adjusting items was

Jim has been at the helm of Vispring

director. Prior to joining Vispring, Jim was

“Whilst there are green shoots, we have not been consistent in our delivery in a

The retailer continues to make “good

down -9.9%, but the business’ net debt was reduced to £1.5b.

merchandising director at House of Fraser, firstly in womenswear and lingerie before moving into homewares

Minerva show praises bedmaker

and furniture. says Clive. “Our much-loved Pocketgel and Royal Backcare ranges were also on display

BFM to move to Oxfordshire

at the show.” Minerva’s group business manager, Roy Beagent, reports that the show performed well despite taking place against

The BFM (British Furniture

a backdrop of difficult trading conditions,

Manufacturers) has announced plans to

with “excellent” attendance levels from

relocate its office from The Exchange in Long Eaton to Bloxham Mill in

Sleepeezee’s team receiving Minerva’s award

Oxfordshire on 1st August. The new office is 10 minutes from Banbury with fast trains to Birmingham and London. The move concludes a project to

Fresh from launching a new range and marketing campaign, Kent-based bedmaker

develop a virtual workplace solution

Sleepeezee scooped the best stand award

following a review of operations

at the Minerva Members Furniture & Bed

by new MD, Nick Garratt. Internal

Show, an exhibition for the buying group’s

administration processes have seen

members, which took place at NAEC,

the introduction of a cloud-based

Stoneleigh last month.

document management system,

Furniture Group director Charles Charlton to

without the need for a physical space,

Sleepeezee’s sales and marketing director,

says Nick. Although the team will work

Clive Parry.

switchboard answering service.

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for the Minerva-organised Autumn Furniture Show, which is open to the wider trade and will take place at the same venue from 1st-2nd October, are “well ahead”.

The award was presented by Minerva

enabling the business to operate

remotely, the new office has a central

members. Roy also remarks that bookings

“We proudly presented our new Perfectly British Collection and its striking new PoS,”

28/05/2019 13:10

14 | News

Bed retailer increases capacity

Bazaar targets new business British soft-seating

Bed retailer Time4Sleep is opening a new £3.5m warehouse this month. The business, which operates online and from a showroom in Huddersfield, says the warehouse will drive growth and development. At 35,000ft2, the warehouse, located in the West Midlands town of Willenhall, has been designed specifically for handling beds and bedrelated furniture. The move will allow the company to triple its stockholding

Jen Hannant

Jen, who comes from a home

manufacturer Bazaar

improvement and wholesale retail

Group has appointed

background, says: “It’s a very busy time as

a new business

the new Eden is finalising new ranges for

development manager

2020 and Ayla is, in a sense, a brand new

to support its growing


B2B arm.

Jen Hannant will oversee client-

“A large part of my role is getting out there, getting the brand known and showing

relationship management and tracking

how we can offer full support for new

new business for Bazaar’s educational soft

stockist partners. Ayla is a quality, well-

furnishings brand, Eden Learning Spaces,

designed range, so that’s half the battle, but

and Ayla the company’s first exclusively in-

it’s also about communicating the benefits it

store retail offering.

offers to retailers.”

capacity, enabling it to commit to next-working-day delivery on all stock items. The warehouse utilises new technology including narrow aisle, wire-guided trucks, solar panels to power the facility and electric car charging points for employees. CEO Jonathan Warren says: “In a period of financial uncertainty for the retail sector, our business continues to flourish. After 13 years of trading from our West Yorkshire base, this move will kick-start a whole new cycle of growth for our business. Providing a clean, modern working environment ensures we can continue to advance the quality of service to our customers throughout the UK.” The multi-million pound investment included funding from Yorkshire Bank.

Promotion and closure at AHF

Free repair and legal advice FIRA International’s Service Technicians

identification of possible issues in the

and The Furniture Ombudsman will deliver

production process.

a free joint learning session covering the

The consumer law section, delivered by

latest consumer legal updates, and the

Judith Turner, legal council and head of ADR

process of furniture inspection and repair

at the Furniture Ombudsman, will focus

when customers report a possible product

on consumer remedies in furniture and


home improvement cases, highlighting the

Taking place on 26th June at FIRA’s facilities in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, the event will include a mix of classroom-style

desirability of remedial works in the first instance. Trudi Dunn, operations manager at FIRA

sessions and hands-on workshops, in which

Service Technicians, says: “Consumers are

delegates will learn how the experts inspect

becoming more legally savvy and often

furniture and identify possible faults, while

turn to the internet for guidance, so by

trying out a range of repair techniques.

working with The Furniture Ombudsman

The sessions will specifically focus on

we’re aiming to support retailers and

upholstery, mattress and cabinet repairs.

manufacturers in understanding the latest

There will also be a focus on utilising

in consumer law.

photo-triage as part of a customer aftercare

“By knowing their rights, and the rights

programme, plus guidance on how good

of consumers, they can approach customer

reporting analytics can help the early

care issues in the correct way.”

Ikea’s new country manager

AHF has promoted Laura Chiddey

our business to ensure Ikea’s continued

to the post of commercial director.

success. Building on many years of solid

Laura worked as a buyer for DFS

growth, we are responding to the changing

from 2006-16, working as head of

needs of our customers to secure an Ikea

buying for the latter four years. She

that is affordable, reaches more people,

subsequently moved to Fabb Sofas, where she was appointed buying

Peter Jelkeby

director, before joining 18-store retailer

delivers excellent customer experience and is truly people- and planet-positive.” Swedish-born Peter returns to Ikea

AHF last August. She has also joined

Ikea has appointed Peter Jelkeby as country

having enjoyed an extensive career of over

the retailer’s board as an executive

retail manager to lead the UK and Ireland

20 years with the company in Sweden,


business. Peter returns to Ikea from Swedish

Russia, Vietnam, and the UK and Ireland.

In other news, AHF MD Matt Hesketh

retailer Clas Ohlson where he worked for the

He started out at the company as a part-

states that the business’ Abingdon

past nine years, most recently as acting CEO.

time co-worker in his local store before

store is to be closed as the site is being

He takes over the role from Javier Quiñones,

joining Ikea Trading, and went on to secure

demolished and rebuilt from scratch.

who is joining Ikea USA as country retail

further experience across the business

“We are just finalising a deal to go


in positions including store manager at

into one of the new stores in the newly

Peter comments: “I’m delighted to return

Ikea Lakeside, sales and communications

built units, which should open in

to Ikea UK and Ireland at such a significant

manager, and deputy retail manager at Ikea

approximately 12 months,” he says.

point in our history, as we evolve and renew

UK and Ireland.

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Full pagGallery

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16 | News

Alstons certified for fire safety Essex-based upholstery manufacturer Alstons has been certified under the Furniture Industry Research Association’s Compliance Scheme for the Fire Performance of Upholstered Furniture. Alstons passed an independent audit and showed that it has suitable processes and procedures in place to demonstrate due diligence compliance with the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations (FFFSR). MD Philip Grindrod says: “It was key for us to be part of the Compliance Scheme for the Fire Performance of Upholstered Furniture as it enables us to demonstrate to our stockists that Alstons have a strong focus on compliance and due diligence. The auditor’s analysis of our processes and procedures throughout our entire production process was very in-depth, and passing the audit was a real achievement for the whole team.”

Debenhams plots CVA Debenhams’ creditors have approved the

Redesigned strategy, which proposed a

two CVA proposals presented by Debenhams

smaller UK footprint with better-quality

Retail and Debenhams Properties in April.


The proposals provide a mechanism to

£200m of fresh liquidity to Debenhams,

plan outlined by management in October

and have committed to equitise £100m of

2018 to reduce Debenhams’ 166-store

debt. The value recovery for shareholders

portfolio by closing around 50 stores, with

of Debenhams plc is expected to be nil,

22 closures set to begin next year, affecting

yet the retailer says that the CVA does

some 1200 employees.

not seek to compromise the claims of any

Debenhams says that further closures

creditors other than certain landlords, local

will be confirmed in due course, the

authorities and inter-company liabilities,

final number being dependent on future

and that all trade suppliers and the

trading performance, and discussions with

entitlements of employees will continue to

landlords regarding changes in lease terms

be paid in full during the process.

and rental levels, as well as with local authorities regarding business rates. Executive chairman Terry Duddy says: “The issues facing the UK high street are

Debenhams has confirmed the closure of its Lodge Farm warehouse. The 11 stores in the Republic of Ireland are not affected by the proposal.

very well known. Debenhams has a clear

“I am grateful to our suppliers, our

strategy and a bright future, but in order

pension stakeholders and our landlords

for the business to prosper, we need to

who have overwhelmingly backed our store

restructure the group’s store portfolio

restructuring plans,” adds Terry. “We will

and its balance sheet, which are not

continue to work to preserve as many stores

appropriate for today’s much-changed

and jobs as possible through this process.

retail environment.”

This is a further important step to give us

The group had previously outlined its

Cane specialist marks centenary

Financial creditors recently provided

restructure the store estate in line with the

the platform to deliver a turnaround.”

Dreams rolls out new technology

Cane and wickerware specialist Desser is celebrating its centenary this year with a series of events and promotions. The family-owned and run firm – now in its fourth generation – was founded in Manchester in 1919, and has since grown to become a leading UK supplier of rattan, wicker and cane conservatory furniture. Today, the company is based in a purpose-built warehouse and showroom in Cheetham. “One hundred years of continuous trading is a remarkable milestone for

Folowing an initial introduction in

sleep – and a bad mattress can be the

any business, particularly in today’s

November 2018, Dreams is rolling out its

main culprit. Yet we know the process of

harsh economic climate, and it’s an

unique mattress-matching technology,

picking a new mattress can sometimes feel

achievement of which we are very

Sleepmatch, to its 195 UK stores.

overwhelming and confusing.

proud,” says sales director Mark

The system analyses 18 measurements

“We don’t think it should be that

Stewart. “During the year we are

including height, weight, shoulder

way. That’s why we’re so proud of our

celebrating the centenary with our

width and preferred sleeping position,

Sleepmatch technology – the only system

many customers throughout the UK

and conducts 1000 calculations to pair

backed by science and specifically designed

with prize competitions, give-aways,

customers with the right mattress for them.

to make choosing the right mattress easier

fun days and celebrity events.

Further informed by Dreams’ Comfort

than ever.

“We will also be active raising

by Colour system, store staff will use the

“This nationwide rollout is a significant

money for our chosen charity, the

findings presented to better guide their

step towards helping more people to get a

Christie Hospital in Withington,


better night’s sleep.”

Manchester, which carries out amazing

Daniel Parsons, director of buying at

Globally, the technology has already

cancer treatment and research and is

Dreams, says: “Too many people in the UK

resulted in the creation of over 12 million

especially close to our hearts.”

are currently suffering from a poor night’s


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18 | News

NBF champions social and ethical compliance

Charity installs new master Dids Macdonald OBE, CEO of the design

The National Bed Federation (NBF) is to extend

and intellectual

its Code of Practice to cover social and ethical

property membership

compliance. In a vote at its annual forum and AGM –

and campaigning

the association’s 107th – the NBF’s members voted

organisation Anti

unanimously to join the Fast Forward programme,

Copying in Design

which will involve all members being audited against

(ACID), has been

a rigorous set of statutory compliance criteria.

installed as the 58th

These include all aspects of employment,

master of The Furniture

including eligibility to work, national minimum

Makers’ Company, the

wage, employment law, health and safety,

City of London livery

mistreatment and access to remedy. It also covers

company and charity for

business structure and tax.

the furnishing industry.

NBF president Tony Lisanti says: “We are all

She succeeded Hayden

aware of the stories and rumours widely circulating

Davies, and is the second

about rogue businesses which do not behave in

female master in the

socially or ethical acceptable ways and who may even

company’s history.

be breaking the law. Members and their customers

Dids Macdonald OBE

The annual ceremony

– retailers – have been telling us that they would

took place at St Mary-le-Bow Church, followed by a dinner at Mansion House,

like to see our Code of Practice move beyond product

the official residence of the lord mayor of London. Around 220 guests were in

compliance and we wanted to find a way of helping

attendance, plus city dignitaries.

our membership clearly distance themselves from such rogue businesses.” The NBF will now embark on an 18-month programme, introducing the scheme, conducting

Dids says: “To represent the furnishings industry as master of The Furniture Makers’ Company is not only an honour but a huge opportunity to champion the outstanding work of this talented sector.” In a speech to guests, she announced that one of her focuses for the year

training and then audits, with a view to all members

would be increasing awareness of the company’s welfare support provision to

being audited by the end of 2020. The cost of the

industry workers, through the launch of a new campaign called One Step at a

first round of audits will be covered by the NBF.

Time.s “I plan on raising awareness about our charitable giving so that every

In addition, the NBF’s members also voted for the

single individual knows where to come if a curveball strikes,” she said. “As well

federation to sign up to a new initiative co-ordinated

as encouraging more women to join our ranks, I will do everything I can to raise

by the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority

awareness about the looming skills gap crisis.”

(GLAA) – the Apparel and General Merchandise

The evening also saw The Christopher Claxton Stevens Prize presented

Public/Private Protocol – launched in November

to Marc Fish for his Vortex Table, while a Lifetime Achievement Award was

2018, which aims to bring together manufacturers,

awarded to Sir Terence Conran, one of the world’s best-known designers,

suppliers, retailers and a wide range of enforcement

retailers and restaurateurs.

authorities, including The Health & Safety Executive

Terence says: “In my heart I have always considered myself a furnituremaker,

and HMRC, in a proper exchange of information and

it has given me more pleasure than anything else during my rather long career.

intelligence to support targeted enforcement activity

As a very young boy I vividly remember the absolute joy of finally finishing

and investigations.

making my very own bookcase, and it has been in my bloodstream ever since.

Fast Forward audits to date have uncovered

“So it was truly thrilling to be recognised by The Furniture Makers’ Company

serious issues, particularly in the apparel sector,

and to enjoy a very special evening with fellow craftspeople who share my love

ranging from wholesale disregard for employment

of making furniture. One of my big fears is that as a nation we often appear

laws to practices that border on forced labour, such

to have lost the joy of making things, so it was uplifting to be surrounded by

as cash payments below National Minimum Wage,

passionate furnituremakers and see that the talent and passion in our industry

no contracts or paid holidays, benefit fraud collusion

burns as brightly as ever.”

and illegal workers. A support industry that exists to limit risk and hide criminal behaviour, such as fraudulent lawyers and accountants, false paperwork and money laundering, has also been uncovered.

Sofas & Stuff enters the Mailbox

“We hope that joining the protocol will give us a channel for reporting any similar concerns we

Hancrafted and bespoke sofamaker

Level 1, alongside the likes of Heal’s,

hear about in our sector and thus help to protect

Sofas & Stuff is set to open at the, BoConcept, Calligaris, and

vulnerable and exploited workers, to disrupt

Mailbox, Birmingham. The new

Design Quarter.

exploitative practices and bring criminals to justice

3000ft2 showroom will be the

– but also to protect honest businesses who do

retailer’s 13th, and marks the brand’s

models, it will be home to a wide

the right thing and are being disadvantaged in

debut in the Midlands.

range of luxury and designer fabrics,

the marketplace as a consequence of such unfair competition,” concludes Tony.

FN363_Pages.indd 18

The showroom is located in the 20,000ft2 Home at Mailbox section on

As well as the retailer’s newest

so customers can customise their selections.

28/05/2019 13:10

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28/05/2019 15:57 13:10 22/05/2019

22 | Events


AMAZING SPACES A panoply of Long Eaton’s finest – plus guests – took to the Spring Long Point show to present sourcing and networking opportunities from the intimate surrounds of the town’s local showrooms. Paul Farley reports …


he sun shone on Derbyshire, as April gave way to May and 22 exhibitors put their new

lines to the fore. According to Andrew Mitchell – chairman of the Long Eaton Guild of Furniture Manufacturers, and the show’s de facto director – the event was a success, particularly given the current state of trade. Long Point majors in upholstery, with the likes of Westbridge, G Plan Upholstery and Steed Upholstery flying the flag for British-made, midmarket sofas. Yet the show’s cabinet component – from German bedrooms (Wiemann and Staud) to English Harrington Mill, home to many of Long Point’s exhibitors

reproduction furniture (Iain James Furniture) – is growing. Although bolstered by guest exhibitors and those seeking a

the trade during the biannual show,

and hospitality of a manufacturer’s

permanent presence in Long Eaton,

and there’s nothing like seeing new

home turf. It’s just one of owner Sofa

the event sits on a bedrock of local

product in its optimal setting.

Brands International’s showrooms

Take Duresta’s showroom on

in the town that’s open to the public

Eaton Guild – which predominantly

Fields Farm Road. Its opulent look

nearly all year round, proudly flying

comprises long-established upmarket

may be recreated accurately enough

the brand’s flag and giving customers

sofamakers – typically open their

at other exhibitions, but it’s hard

a better idea of how they can sell its

well-appointed factory showrooms to

to beat the atmosphere, intimacy

models in their own stores.

businesses. The aforementioned Long

Elsewhere, guild members such as John Sankey, Steed and Artistic Upholstery present their own highend collections to visiting retailers and interior designers. The town’s showrooms are just a short distance apart from one another, and make for a rewarding diversion from the event’s central hub, Harrington Mill. This expansive building houses the lion’s share of Long Point’s guest exhibitors, but has also seen its inhabitants lavish attention on their own spaces, which are often permanent. Carlton Furniture’s vintage stylings work particularly well, while Alexander & James’ creativity is beyond reproach. The latter wowed January Furniture Show’s visitors with a new Wonderland-themed look (winner of Duresta’s captivating showroom

FN363_Pages.indd 22

Furniture News’ Stand of the Show

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Events | 23

“We’re already in talks with some new companies regarding their participation in September’s event” award), and it can only be a matter of time before its Harrington Mill John Sankey offered inspired interior design directions

showroom enjoys a similar makeover. Award-winning bedroom manufacturer Wiemann (07787 106225, enquiries@wiemannuk. enjoyed a successful show. Its permanent showroom on the first floor of Harrington Mill featured a selection of the company’s latest bedroom collections and innovations, ranging from entry level to the top-quality VIP. Taking centre stage was The Furniture Awards-winning Monaco, plus Misura, Kansas and Brussels. Simon Hewitt, MD of Litmus Furniture, Wiemann’s sole agent for the UK and Ireland, says:

Westbridge reports a good show

“Our perseverance at Long Point and Harrington Mill is paying off. We had a number of productive conversations with a greater number of customers than ever before. Our new showroom ranges and layout were well received, and we look forward to catching up with all the retailers who visited us.” Parties interested in visiting Wiemann’s showroom can do so by appointment. Just down the road from the mill is The Exchange, a new venue that’s home to CG specialist Orbital Vision. As well as show exhibitor Hugo Park, it’s also the

Misura combo slider in a white and pebble grey finish, Wiemann

new permanent base of operations for upmarket German bedroom furniture brand, Staud (see overleaf), adding further flavour to the locale. And Andrew is confident there’s room for further growth. “There’s certainly the capacity to house more exhibitors here,” he says. “Indeed, we’re already in talks with some new companies regarding their participation in September’s event.” To avoid clashes with a bank holiday and a buying group show, this year’s Spring Long Point occupied an earlier dateline than usual, and its organiser is yet to confirm when the 2020 edition will fall. In the meantime, Autumn Long Point will take place from 23rd-25th September.

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The show ended with a prize draw for a deluxe accommodation and meal package at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons. Maggie Throup MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Group, did the honours – pictured are winner Robert Shotton of Cousins Furniture, with Andrew Mitchell

Alexander & James’ brand director, Michelle White, was presented with Furniture News’ Stand of the Show award for its display at the January Furniture Show

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24 | Events


OPENING NEW DOORS Visitors to this year’s Spring Long Point may have noticed a new name on the exhibitor roster. Upmarket German manufacturer Martin Staud is intent on setting a new standard for bedroom furniture in the UK, and has taken up permanent residence at The Exchange to start spreading the word, writes Paul Farley …


lready a household name in Germany, Staud can trace its roots as far back

as 1653, when Matthäus Staud opened a carpentry workshop in Bad Saulgau, near the German border with Switzerland. Fast-forward a few centuries, and Staud was purchased by furniturefocused investment group Vivonio in 2012. Since then, its turnover has risen from around €45m to €110m – but its owner is not content to stop there. Staud made an abortive attempt to enter the UK market 18 years

Bedside cabinets on display in Staud’s showroom

ago. Consequently, its new owner conducted extensive research before committing to returning – and it best export market for wardrobes,”

Exchange in Long Eaton (home of CG

says Michael. “Staud is making its

specialist, Orbital Vision). Michael

sales director Michael Tattersall and

biggest export investment in 10

explains that the new facility took

area sales manager James Wilson –

years right here – it’s a significant

approximately six weeks to install, but

both previously of Nolte Möbel, and


is pleased with the look his team has

shows. The new UK operation is fronted by

now overseen by UK country director, Sandro Zemunovic. “The UK is traditionally Germany’s

For evidence of Staud’s intentions, look no further than its new permanent showroom, situated at The

achieved. “It’s an excellent central location, and well equipped to show what we’re offering,” he enthuses. “As well as the Long Point shows, we’ll open the showroom for appointments – and we’ll be able to use The Exchange’s conference and hospitality facilities when we receive visitors.” The showroom houses Staud’s range of mid- to upper-level bedroom furniture, which is defined by three tiers of wardrobe system: Sinfonie Plus, a flexible, entry-level programme; Sonate, a higher-quality proposition; and, at the top of the line, Media. All proudly made in Germany from (mostly) German materials, the wardrobes favour sliding doors and glass fronts over hinges and wood, and make great use of frosted glass and innovative fittings to

Media in volcano with frosted glass, with a concealed TV on hydraulic riser mechanism

FN363_Pages.indd 24

deliver thoroughly modern bedroom solutions. The little details reflect how much

28/05/2019 13:10

Events | 25

Sinfonie Plus in light grey with Alpine white glass and crystal mirror

Left: An intuitive product configurator helps guide shoppers’ decisions

thought has gone into the range. A simple product configurator presents the available options, in print and digital formats – “stockists displaying at least three floor models will be supplied with a touchscreen TV for the configurator,” says Michael. Three wardrobe heights – 2m, 222cm and 240cm – mean more efficient use of space, no matter the size of the bedroom. And upon opening the doors, it is clear that as much thought has gone into the internals, with door reverses finished like the external carcass. “Staud were the first company to create sliding door wardrobes with drawers,” states Michael, “and they’re still way ahead when it comes to innovation.” A good example of this

“Staud is making its biggest export investment in 10 years – it’s a significant commitment”

is those models fitted with three kinds of TV unit – front mounted, cupboard

to me that there’s room for our

becoming a leading name in German

concealed and hydraulic riser.

product here.

bedrooms here in a matter of years.”

Then there’s the wide range of bedroom cabinet and beds on offer (all

“After establishing our presence in the UK, we’re looking forward to


in UK sizes, with some sporting FR upholstered headboards). It all works together so well, replete with nifty design features and encompassing

Sinfonie Plus in natural oak and sand glass

walk-in wardrobes, angled corner units and full-depth corners. Staud’s models are available on an eight-week lead time for delivery directly to the consumer, or four weeks to a warehouse. “We’ve already got some good accounts in the UK,” says Michael, “which we’ve achieved in part thanks to Staud’s impressive marketing materials and its great bedroom configurator. Staud has a huge desire to work in this market, and it’s clear

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26 | Events


NEW VENUE, NEW EXPERIENCE FOR SINGAPORE EVENT This year’s International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS), which closed on 12th March, attracted 15,126 visitors – including 95 overseas buying delegations – from 87 countries.


he show, which took place in a new venue, the Sands Expo and Convention Centre,

Marina Bay Sands – and will do so for the next four editions – is recognised as one of Asia’s leading events for higher-end, designer product. A total of 204 exhibitors presented new products at this year’s show, which, along with the co-located ASEAN Furniture Show and Nook Asia, represented the entirety of the furniture, furnishing and interior design industries. “As the show continues to evolve amidst a challenging trade landscape, we progressively and sustainably reinvent the show to spot key trends, identify major challenges and

will elevate IFFS to the next level,”

(Belgium), Lumas Gallery (Germany),

propose alternative solutions to best

says Ernie Koh, chairman of show

Manutti (Belgium), PR Interiors

cater to the ever-changing needs of

organiser IFFS Pte Ltd.

(Belgium), Reeves Design (Vietnam),

tomorrow’s urban living. The change

FN363_Pages.indd 26

Exhibitors included brands such

Talenti (Italy), Tetrad (UK) and Woven+ (The Netherlands).

in venue has been a positive step

as Anno 13 (Belgium), Asiades (Hong

for us, as with the introduction of a

Kong), Deesawat (Thailand), District

new, exciting and relevant theme, as

Eight (Vietnam), Halo (Hong Kong),

from 9–12th March.

we welcome a myriad audience that

Koda (Singapore), Life Outdoor Living

Next year’s edition will take place

28/05/2019 13:10



DATES F O R YO U R D I A RY … Now in its sixth year, this successful trade show now has a permanent home at Stoneleigh Park, near Kenilworth, Warwickshire. The impressive exhibition halls will feature beds & bedroom furniture, upholstery, cabinet, home office, mirrors, pictures, lighting, accessories, software. A must visit one stop furniture event.

TUESDAY 1st OCTOBER & WEDNESDAY 2nd OCTOBER 2019 G R EAT VENU E On show will be a wide variety of products from national and international suppliers



TUESDAY 1st OCTOBER 9am - 5pm WEDNESDAY 2nd OCTOBER 9am - 4.30pm



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28 | Events


LOOKING AHEAD TO SUMMER’S LIVELIEST SHOW Manchester Furniture Show (MFS) returns to Manchester Central from 14-16th July. More relaxed than its sister event, the January Furniture Show, MFS is already 90% sold out and once again features MidPoint – the show within a show, which promises to be full of exclusive designs from prominent brands …


xhibitors in the Main Hall and the MidPoint section include both regular and

new exhibitors with plenty to shout about – hundreds of new collections and dozens of additions to bestselling ranges, all ready to entice more than 5000 expected visitors. Just a few of the well-known UK and international brands showing their latest collections include modern Tate Charcoal Collection, Rowico UK

cabinet supplier ALF from Italy, Baker Furniture from the UK and Ireland’s Vida Living. Upholstery expert Italia Living, Poland’s Sits and the UK’s Westbridge and Whitemeadow brands will all have new models on show. In beds, UK luxury manufacturers Furmanac and Whitemeadow will launch new styles, and will be joined by Sweet Dreams with new mattresses and beds, and Arte N, showing new beds and co-ordinating bedroom

Augustine, La-Z-Boy UK

furniture. The Main Hall plays host to a large

Cabinet suppliers Ancient Mariner, Corndell, Global Home, Heartlands,

on-trend styles since the early 1970s,

those rapidly becoming regulars –

Heritage, Rowico and Value Mark

continually adapting as fashions

upholstery majors Alpha Designs,

regularly enjoy meeting their existing

and manufacturing methods have

Buoyant, La-Z-Boy and XYZ will

customers and making new ones at


all return after previously enjoying

MFS, while experts in mixing furniture

successful shows, and will be joined

with decor items such as Bluebone,

show, event director Cleere Scamell

by relaxation and recliner expert

Derry’s, Pharmore and Wilde Java will

says: “We are anticipating a lively

Sherborne Upholstery this year.

also return.

MFS this summer. Our exhibitors –

Virginia, Sherborne

Looking forward to this year’s

After the success of MidPoint’s

both MFS and MidPoint – are experts

debut at MFS last year, the show will

at producing collections that are right

further establish itself as an essential

for the market and that buyers will

part of the event, with many favoured

love. Yet again the exhibitor line-up

brands picking up where they left off.

includes brands with great pedigree

Premium international brands ALF,

and great skills. We look forward to

Gala Collezione, Italia Living and Sits

welcoming all of our visitors to the

will show alongside UK brands Baker

UK’s most important and enjoyable

Furniture, Chelsom and Kesterport.

summer furniture event.”

Then there is new exhibitor

FN363_Pages.indd 28

Poland, which has been producing

number of MFS regulars, as well as

Entrance to MFS is free, and

Kler, a highly regarded multi-case

registration is now live.

manufacturer and supplier from

28/05/2019 13:10


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32 | Resources

The pharmaceutical industry famously relies on patent protection, but is there also a place for intellectual property in the furniture trade? In the first of a new series from legal practice Abel and Imray, Sarah Phillips outlines the different forms of brand protection available to the industry …

How useful are intellectual property rights? Furniture design and production

for disclosing to the public what you have

necessary to prove actual copying – there

generates intellectual property in many

devised. The right is exclusive – you can

is no protection for independent creation of

different forms: the visual appeal of

prevent others from working your invention,

the same work.

individual products (for example tables,

but will still need to check for existing rights

chairs, cabinets and 2D patterns/surface

to be ‘free to operate’ in the field yourself.


decoration) is protectable by unregistered

At the end of the patent term, protection

Registered designs protect the appearance

and registered designs; the look of your

expires and the public may freely use your

of your product, and, aside from the product

websites, brochures and new software are


itself, cover things such as packaging, get-

protectable by copyright; and the technical

Patents therefore give you the certainty

up, graphics, surface decoration and parts for assembly into a complex product.

innovations (for example new fixtures and

of exclusive use of your invention for a

fittings, or methods of assembly) required

limited period of time, and during that time,

to make items function are protectable by

protect against independent generation of

new and have individual character – giving

patents, or may be retained as secret ‘know-

the same idea by a third party. In addition,

a different overall impression to previously


patents provide a tangible business asset

disclosed designs. Registered designs last up

that can be attractive to investors, and can

to 25 years from registration, providing a

and methods of manufacture, trademarks

be used to generate extra revenue, whether

monopoly right for use of the design.

allow you to protect and assert your brands.

through licensing or as a result of having

Aside from protection relating to products

To qualify for protection, designs must be

Registered design right provides many

exclusivity over the innovation. Of course,

of the same benefits as patents, but can’t

and kept confidential in the form of trade

having a patent also provides marketing

protect the function of an article – just its

secrets, can be a powerful way of retaining

value, and serves as a deterrent to potential

2D or 3D appearance. Unregistered design

valuable information inside your company


right can arise automatically under certain

Know-how, when recognised as such

conditions, but lasts for a shorter duration,

for an indefinite period of time. Copyright

and doesn’t provide a monopoly right – so

information be leaked, it becomes public

Copyright arises automatically through

copying must be proved in order to establish

knowledge, and the options for protecting

the creation of a work, and protects the


your intellectual property are greatly

expression of your ideas, rather than the

reduced. Know-how arises organically, and

ideas themselves. It arises in original 2D


can be lost – for example, as personnel

artistic works such as drawings, patterns

Registered trademarks protect your brand,

move on, taking with them their knowledge

and other graphic works, and photographs.

enabling your customers to identify you and

It also arises in literary works such as

to differentiate your products from those of

On the other hand, should the

and expertise.

computer programs. Importantly for the

others. They usually take the form of a word,

provides no protection against independent

furniture trade, there is also provision for

slogan or logo, but in certain circumstances

generation of the same ideas by a third

works of artistic craftsmanship.

can also cover shapes, colours and sounds.

Another drawback is that know-how

Since 2016, copyright bans replicas

Trademarks are registered for particular

of such pieces, thus protecting original,

goods or services – the more narrow the

and if commercially important, can be

high-quality works like the Eames DSW

category, the easier they are to obtain.

actively protected through registered rights,

chair and the E1027 side table. Copyright

or managed through internal confidentiality

outlasts other forms of protection, such as

existing rights, they are straightforward to


design right, which might subsist in such

register in the UK.

party. Know-how can be captured and defined,

As long as they don’t conflict with other

designs, lasting for a considerable period Investing in IP can pay dividends in


of 70 years after the death of the author, or

Patents, on the other hand, provide a

50 years from the making of any computer-

the long-term – in the next article, I’ll

20-year monopoly for exploitation of your

generated work.

be looking at how IP can be valuable to

new technical innovations, in exchange

In order to assert copyright, it is

businesses in the furniture trade.

THE AUTHOR Sarah Phillips is a trainee patent attorney at London law practice Abel & Imray, and is writing on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA). E

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Full pag

• ADVERTISING – Most advertising does not work, so if

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1 Wilmslow House, Grove Way, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AG GreenwoodRetailJune19.indd 1 16/05/2019 14:57 13/05/2019 10:59 28/05/2019 14:46

34 | Resources

Whether we’re catching up with old friends on Facebook, sharing holiday snaps on Instagram or scrolling through Twitter in the morning for the latest news, social media has become part of our daily routine, writes Stuart Barker, portfolio director at Internet Retailing Expo (IRX), who explores the role these platforms are now playing in relaying brand and product information to customers …

Improving customer experience through technology Recent research by IRX found that social media influencers top the list of third parties who actively influence purchases – showing the truly significant impact they have on consumer decisions. These influencers have become more relevant to our shopping decisions than national newspapers, celebrities and fashion magazines. Yet, as influential as they are, brand is still king. Our research shows that consumers trust brands (45%) significantly more than online influencers (29%) for

“Our research shows that consumers trust brands significantly more than online influencers for shopping recommendations”

for providing the best delivery and returns service. Amazon’s rise shows the huge importance of fast and reliable delivery, with a smooth returns service, in building a successful online brand. When shopping online, consumers are able to benefit from tailored recommendations – an element that can be lacking in the in-store experience. Furthermore, online recommendations and promotions use data to ensure they are as personalised as possible, which in-store shopping struggles to compete with.

shopping recommendations – finding that promotions, advertising, and online and

when they could just get it now. This should

in-store experiences offered by brands have

encourage brands to boost their online

a difference in enhancing the in-store

more of an impact than online influencer

delivery options and offer convenient

experience for the customers – the use

campaigns. We’re used to the high street

return policies, enabling them to meet

of tablet computers for example, could

hitting the headlines each day, but it’s

the increasing expectation of instant

deliver the best of both worlds and excellent

encouraging news for any brand to see that

satisfaction that customers have when

customer service, linking the online

they still have the biggest influence over

buying products online.

and in-store shopping experience with

Online retail giant, Amazon, are a great


This is where technology could make

capabilities such as instant stock checks,

example of a brand that understands how

reserving goods, flexible delivery and

enough. Brands that are thriving in difficult

to get online experience right. According

tailored shopping recommendations based

times are those that go an extra mile with

to GlobalData, over half of Brits buy from

on previous purchases.

customer experience, for example, or

Amazon every month, with 84% of UK

through engaging marketing initiatives.

shoppers buying from Amazon last year.

ability to sway consumers into picking their

With one in every five pounds spent with

Their same- and next-day delivery services

products, and although a great marketing

UK retailers spent online, online experience

have led the way – research shows Amazon

strategy helps, maintaining a loyal customer

has become as important as in-store, and

topping the list of consumer-ranked brands

base means having excellent, friction-free,

However, having influence is still not

It is in every brand’s interest to have the

succeeding in an omnichannel environment

customer experiences online, in-store, or

means learning lessons from both.


In-store shopping provides the

To achieve this, technology should be

opportunity to assess the quality of a

utilised at every step – whether it’s data

product before choosing to purchase, with

analytics in marketing, AI for personalised

recent research finding that 40% of female

product recommendations, in-store tablets

shoppers miss being able to experience the

or automated processes speeding up delivery

product’s look, feel and fit when they shop

and returns, the retailers defying trickier


times will be those turning to technology to

The same goes for delivery – consumers question the need to wait around for days

augment promotions and recommendations strategies.

THE AUTHOR Stuart Barker is the portfolio director at Internet Retailing Expo (IRX), an annual ecommerce and digital marketing event and conference targeting multichannel retailers. The 2020 edition of IRX will take place on 1st and 2nd April at the Birmingham NEC.

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36 | Profile

The new Fifty Five South showroom is well appointed and full of light

Luxury design’s new destination Premier Housewares’ luxury lifetyle brand, Fifty Five South, reports that it has spent over 12 months meticulously designing and renovating its new showroom, fussing over every detail to create a unique space that serves as the perfect backdrop for its collections … Housed next to the company’s headquarters

colours, plumping cushions, and so much

that you’ll find our photographers setting up

on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow,

more, we are delighted to announce that this

a lifestyle shot in the bespoke studio space,”

the showroom occupies an old industrial

new space is ready to receive visitors.”

Emma continues.

building, which has been painstakingly

With over 4000 unique Fifty Five South

“This spectacular location also offers

restored, with a view to maintaining

products currently in stock, and hundreds

the visual merchandisers a new canvas

its exterior character while completely

more being added every month, the new

upon which they can portray the constant

transforming its interior.

showroom provides space to present even

evolution of interior design. This creative,

more products and ranges. Visitors will find

energetic space is sure to leave you feeling

30,000ft2 showroom, and allows visitors

a selection of both established and emerging

inspired after each visit.”

to discover even more of the constantly

interior design trends, from glamorous art

evolving Fifty Five South collection.

deco styles to exotic Indonesian and cool

showroom was to create a destination for

mid-century modern.

buyers and interior designers looking to

This new space complements its existing

Exposed brickwork and original industrial fittings pay homage to the building’s

The whole experience is tailored around

heritage, while double-height ceilings,

the showroom’s guests, with 18 intimate

mezzanines, and a distinctive wedge-shaped

roomsets thoughtfully configured to flow

roof create a sense of drama. Flooded with

from one to the next.

natural light, the 25,000ft2 space “feels

As well as reflecting how the collections

Premier Housewares’ ambition with this

immerse themselves in the latest luxury furniture, lighting, and home accessories. “We’re proud to have created a completely unique, one-of-a-kind destination, and we’d love you to experience it for yourself.

vast, open and airy, inviting visitors to lose

complement and anticipate a variety of

themselves in our design-led furniture”,

design trends, the showroom also gives the

says the brand’s senior visual merchandiser,

company’s creative teams a new space in

tour,” concludes Emma.

Emma Carberry.

which to work.

T 0141 579 2000

“And, after obsessing over the latest paint

FN363_Pages.indd 36

“When you visit, there’s every chance

“Get in touch now to arrange a personal

28/05/2019 13:10

FullAdve pag



NEW SHOWROOM NOW OPEN. FN363_Pages.indd 37 Full page USE.indd Advert 2019.indd 1 1

• Over 14,000 product lines in stock • Over 100 new lines added every month • Fast lead times


28/05/2019 13:10 17/05/2019 14:28 16/05/2019 15:42

38 | Profile


Craft master Striking a balance between modern and traditional production techniques, Covercraft Upholstery is a modest yet capable designer-manufacturer that has garnered a reputation for quality, service and creativity. Paul Farley visited Covercraft’s factory in Long Eaton to find out more from the company’s director, Stuart Simmons …

Founded in 1986 by Stuart’s father, Jeff,

including hessian, felt, high-density foams

gauge springs, while the backs – and some

Covercraft started life as a re-upholstery

and fibre, and de-quilled feathers.

more compact models – feature serpentine

business, before diversifying in 2000 to offer

The bulk of Covercraft’s seats feature

a well-rounded selection of finished sofas

traditional mesh coil springs on steel laths,

and chairs.

with areas of heavy use employing heavier

springs. Vulnerable areas such as corners feature solid blocks for extra durability. The construction of each model is efficient yet labour intensive, with

Last year, a further piece of the puzzle fell into place when the business acquired its

Covercraft’s skilled team utilising a range

own framemaking shop. Today, Covercraft

of skills to ensure quality and character is

operates from two nearby units and employs

present in every finished model. “Many of today’s upholstery

23 members of staff.

manufacturers have dispensed with the

Its independent portfolio boasts some 60 models, ranging from traditional to modern,

more traditional skills behind our craft,”

and these are dressed in fabrics (plus COM

says Stuart, “but, where they complement

and a few leathers) from textile houses

the process, these have been retained within

including Jim Dickens, Linwood and Art of

our team, handed down from generation to

the Loom.

generation.” Covercraft also offers bespoke design

Each piece is hand crafted, with most of the frames constructed from sustainable

and manufacture, and makes white label

hardwoods, and traditionally glued, screwed

collections for a range of clients, including

and dowelled. The fabrics are hand cut and pattern matched (with matching piping if appropriate), and tailored across fillings

FN363_Pages.indd 38

Emilie Georgia’s Mozart armchair, in Covercraft’s Long Eaton showroom

a growing number of customers in the contract sector. “Everyone’s got their niche,” says Stuart,

28/05/2019 13:10

Profile | 39


“but we do our best to turn our hand to whatever’s required of us. The bespoke element – being able to diversify when we need to – is key to what we do here.” There’s also a playful side to Covercraft. Taking pride of place at the showroom’s entrance is the Mozart armchair, a specially developed model emblazoned with an

“We do our best to turn our hand to whatever’s required of us. Being able to diversify when we need to is key”

Since emerging onto the scene at New

needs, and we pride ourselves on being able to do that at the best possible value.” A growing number of customers is coming to realise Covercraft’s abilities, ensuring a healthy order pipeline and likely further growth. “Our customers appreciate the quality of

eye-catching printed fabric from up-andcoming textile designer Emilie Georgia.

“Alongside our stock portfolio, we’re able to deliver pretty much whatever the client

marries graffiti and watercolours, is one of

our output – and our service. We’re happy to

her more left-field creations, but it makes

go the extra mile to help out if necessary,”

Designers 2016, Emilie has worked with

for a great statement piece, and also conveys

concludes Stuart.

the likes of John Lewis and Sofas & Stuff.

a measure of Covercraft’s attitude. “It’s all

T 0115 973 6111

Mozart, a brash contemporary design that

about capability,” says Stuart.

Benson chair and Bedford sofa

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With the striking style and impressive value of GAO Bedroom Cambridge, from award-winning manufacturer Wiemann

from Essentials by Kettle Interiors (01536 444960, sales@

(, breaks from the traditional German, retailers can deliver impactful

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

special offers, store promotions and eye-catching everyday value. Featuring a warming and soothing natural oak finish, rounded

Cambridge has been really well received,” says Simon Hewitt, MD of Wiemann’s UK agent, Litmus Furniture. “It offers all the

corners with bevel detailing to tops and tapered legs, GAO

practicality and flexibility you’d expect from a Wiemann hinged

Bedroom sets a stylish mood, with a look that promises to work

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

in almost any setting. Thoughtful details such as brushed metal

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

handles complete the look.

surprise!” Cambridge is available in widths from 100-300cm and twoto six-door compilations – along with the option of matching bedside and storage chests. The contemporary range comes in

With 12 pieces made to fit today’s modern homes, the GAO Bedroom collection’s high value and price proposition is set to impress retailers and homeowners alike. Like the rest of the Essentials by Kettle Interiors collection, GAO

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

Bedroom is available with fast delivery across the UK through the

mirrored doors are also available.

supplier’s Wholesale, Stockist and Container packages.






If you are a retailer, contract buyer or indeed any trade customer that needs to buy or source new, innovative furniture and homeware products, then the IFHS is where you need to be with all the top suppliers in the industry.


24TH - 27TH August 2019 | The National Show Centre, Dublin | 1/2 page landscape.indd 1

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44 | Beds & Bedroom


Ranj took to the in-house bowling alley with the event’s visitors

Last month, Sleepeezee (01634 723557, invited

The research also found that customers are often confused by

a number of its retailers and partners to an event at London’s Ham

technical jargon, and that the three most important factors deciding

Yard Hotel to present its new brand strategy and website. It also

a bed purchase are price, size and comfort level.

took the opportunity to launch its Perfectly British Collection of

Sleepeezee’s new website puts these factors to the fore, allowing

mattresses – each of which is made using materials sourced from

customers to filter their options based on personal criteria.

around the UK – and introduce its partnership with new brand

Additionally, it supports and drives footfall to Sleepeezee’s partner

ambassador, TV personality, author and NHS practitioner Dr Ranj

retailers, by helping customers find their nearest stockist after

Singh, who previously worked at Sleepeezee’s factory in Kent.

specifying their ideal bed.

Sleepeezee recently completed an extensive consumer insights

The company also presented its new brand campaign – everything

project into how the British public shops for beds. The findings

is easy when you Sleepeezee – which promotes the impact of a good

identified a number of common pain points in the bed-buying

night’s sleep on health and wellbeing the next day.

process, and at the event, Sleepeezee presented its solutions to

This dovetailed into the brand’s exclusive partnership with Ranj,

overcoming these and other common barriers along the purchase

who gave an insightful speech into the importance of sleep, and


revealed five practical ‘sleep hacks’ to ensure a soothing night’s rest.


1/2 page landscape.indd 1

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15/05/2019 13:11 08:28 28/05/2019

46 | Beds & Bedroom

Activ Gel Pocket 2800, in a peat colourway

BEDS BUILT WITH THE ENVIRONMENT IN MIND At a time when protecting the environment is more important than ever, it has never been more vital for companies to do what they can to limit the impact their processes have on the environment, believes bedmaker Sealy UK … Sealy UK has undertaken a number of

encouraging biodiversity, the planting

effect that manufacturing can have on the

initiatives to minimise any adverse

demonstrates Sealy’s commitment

environment, Sealy has made a pledge to

environmental effects caused as a result of

to environmental education, and the

minimise adverse environmental effects as

its products – from operating a zero-to-

company’s aim to reduce its impact on the

a result of its production, with a zero-to-

landfill policy to gaining Carbon Neutral

natural world.

landfill policy.

Handmade in Cumbria

resources and energy, Sealy seeks to reduce

consumers are finding it easier than ever to

Sealy possesses a rich heritage that dates

wastage to the lowest practical level, with

be environmentally friendly when buying a

back to 1881, and its beds are now handmade

products now being designed in such a way

new mattress.

in the heart of Cumbria. Based in a village on

as to minimise their environmental effects

the edge of the Lake District, the factory’s

in production, usage and disposal.

Through minimising the use of materials,

status last year. Together, these initiatives mean that

Neil Robinson, Sealy’s marketing director,

Carbon Neutral status

natural surroundings are a constant

Last year, Sealy was awarded Carbon Neutral

reminder that the natural world should stay

says: “It’s never been more vital for

status – a result of balancing its carbon

that way.

companies to step up and review their own

emissions by funding an equivalent amount

All Sealy mattresses are handmade by

practices when it comes to the environment.

of carbon savings elsewhere. The move

a dedicated team of professionals, with

We’re always looking for new ways in which

has seen the company become a Carbon

consideration given to the environmental

we can minimise adverse effects on the

Neutral organisation in both production and

effects of raw material sourcing. The

environment by constantly reviewing our


company aims to use materials that are

manufacturing and distribution policies,

renewable and recyclable whenever possible,

and believe this is a vital step in tackling the

teamed up with Carbon Footprint to plant

helping minimise harmful effects on the

environmental issues in our industry.”

over 350 native broadleaf tree species at

natural environment.

As part of this initiative, Sealy recently

School in Wigton. As well as creating wildlife habitats and

FN363_Pages.indd 46

For more information about Sealy’s environmental policies, visit the company’s

St Matthew’s Church of England Primary Zero-to-landfill pledge


Conscious of its carbon footprint and the

28/05/2019 13:11

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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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48 | Beds & Bedroom

BREASLEY SECURES ROLLED MATTRESS SUPPLY DEAL Leading UK producer of vacuum-packed, rolled and boxed mattresses, Breasley, has been appointed the exclusive supplier of the new Brook + Wilde Elite mattress range for bricks-and-mortar retailers. Brook + Wilde is a new British luxury sleep

pocket springs to support the individual

reputation for customer service. Brook +

brand that offers an innovative range of

movement of the sleeper. The mattress

Wilde is a nice addition to our higher-end

mattresses, and is aiming to take comfort

requires no turning or rotation and comes

rolled mattress collection and delivers an

and design in the rolled mattress market to

with a 10-year guarantee.

exceptional level of comfort and choice.”

a new level.

In partnership with Breasley, the Brook

A spokesperson for Brook + Wilde adds:

+ Wilde Elite collection is available with

“We are pleased to have Breasley on board

for everyone, consumers are given a choice

a choice of headboards and bed bases

in order to help us grow the retail base for

of soft, medium or firm comfort levels. Each

from Breasley’s luxury Salus collection –

Brook + Wilde. Breasley are well known

mattress consists of eight layers, which

including the new ottoman storage base,

within the retail bed market and have the

work together to provide high levels of

as well as standard divan bases with other

routes to market to help us grow our brand

functionality, comfort and support.

storage options – and it has its own choice

and achieve our ambition of offering levels

of plush fabrics.

of luxury and comfort unheard of in the

Rejecting the notion of one mattress type

These include: a removable, washable cover; a thermo-regulating top layer

Rob King, Breasley’s sales director,

rolled mattress sector, and building on our already successful online boxed mattress

which provides a higher level of moisture

comments: “We are delighted to have been

evaporation, keeping the sleeper cool and

selected by Brook + Wilde as the exclusive

product, Brook + Wilde Premium.”

comfortable; advanced wave technology to

supplier of the Elite mattress range for

T 01629 823680

support shoulder and hip alignment; and

bricks-and-mortar retailers, based on our

FN363_Pages.indd 48

28/05/2019 14:49

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When you wish upon a star


aving a celebrity-endorsed collection may seem a sensible

Tom Bourne Creative director, Select First (industry PR)

Now, a wiser move might be to look at commissioning well-known

move towards gaining a lift in sales and leveraging some

designers to come up with a range, and indeed on the surface it’s

kudos, but I’m really not sure that having such a close

probably a more sensible decision for those involved directly in

relationship is a particularly good thing for any brand – and here’s

product design and manufacturing. Getting a designer with a relatively mature level of fame to design

why. Firstly, celebrities are a fickle bunch, and in a badly timed

a new coffee table or lamp – everyone loves a designer lamp - might

revelation they can go from A-lister to Z-lister in a flash – whatever

even be considered by some as a canny move. However, it’s also one

happed to Tulisa? Of course, most furniture and flooring brands

with potential complications.

aren’t after Hollywood stars or even X-factor judges, but the same is

Design is hugely personal, and just because a product bears

true of even some of our most treasured home and lifestyle TV celebs,

the name of someone like Tom Dixon or even Virgil Abloh (Ikea

with impropriety leading to a potentially epic downfall a genuine risk.

references here), it isn’t necessarily any more attractive. Home

Even if your chosen celeb manages to stay out of the headlines for

interiors are not fashion, and people tend to look at purchases as

the wrong reason, there’s an inevitable peak and more worryingly,

a longer game. If the bed fits the style of the home, then it really

a subsequent gradual decline to their career. Strike it lucky and you

doesn’t matter who’s designed it. In effect, a designer won’t be

might hit them on the way up and ride on their coat-tails for a good

enough of a reason to purchase something – so what does a designer

few years – get it wrong and you might well ride the wave straight

range actually bring to the long-term brand picture? It is more a question of raising profile in an immediate and instant

into obscurity. Joining them at their peak means they likely know their own worth

way – changing brand perception by proxy, if you like. It could work

and will want to cash-in, demanding an eye-watering fee and then a

as a flash approach to getting profile in lifestyle media and on social,

healthy percentage of any sales bearing their name. Partnering with

but sustaining a long-term brand perception shift this way is almost

them on the way down because you got a deal … well, then you’ve

impossible – unless you can keep reinventing and bringing out new

only got yourself to blame.

product from the designer on a frequent cycle, something that is

When you think of the two biggest stars in UK home and lifestyle TV, Kirstie and Phil (who doesn’t love an episode of Love It or List It,

costly and not feasible for most manufacturers. Also, it probably goes against the designer’s desire – don’t forget,

even if Kirstie wins nine times out of 10 because who of sane mind

they have their own brand to nurture, too – so it’s an unlikely

would move after spending £50k on making their home perfect?), I

premise anyhow. After a brief reinvigoration and moment in the

have absolutely no doubt they would demand a six-figure up-front

spotlight, an exciting launch and maybe an award, the hype soon

fee, and anywhere north of 10% of profits on sales. Getting someone

dies, and what remains is the longevity and saleability of the product.

at the top of their game is not a cheap way to brand success. For some, though, the gamble is worth taking – particularly in

And so we’ve come full circle – what ultimately remains is the design of the product (of course, it could be argued that good

the competitive world of retailing where big brand stores compete

designers will, by nature, deliver you a good design that has genuine

for every bit of attention across broadcast, online and print. Phil

functionality and beauty, but that’s a whole other debate).

Spencer’s voice-over on the Wickes advert certainly makes me

When it comes to collaborative efforts there are many successful

feel warm inside, but does it really give me impetus to rush out to

ones, but these generally reside in companies and designers with a

Wickes? And anyone remember DFS’ Linda Barker collection? See – I

symbiotic approach to product, echoing similar ambitions and with a

told you it was a risky game.

similar sense of craft and making.

Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a two-way street, either. There

Yet these are collaborative ways of working to achieve a goal,

is little or no elevation in a celebrity’s status by working with brands

rather than an endorsement as we understand it, and this is a

in the home and lifestyle sectors, it is merely them cashing in and

different thing entirely. Here, where mainstream meets celebrity, I’m

making money while the spotlight remains bright.

just not sure the two go hand-in-hand.

Even if your chosen celeb manages to stay out of the headlines for the wrong reason, there’s an inevitable peak and more worryingly, a subsequent gradual decline to their career Got a view you’d like to share with the trade? Get in touch with the editor at

FN363_Pages.indd 50

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Buoyan Telephone 01282 691631 Telephone 691631 Telephone - 01282 Telephone 691631--01282 01282 691631 Telephone - 01282 691631



Buoyant Upholstery build over over a century’s worth of knowledge, experience Buoyant Upholstery Buoyant build Upholstery a century’s build worth over aofcentury’s knowledge, worth experience of knowledge, experience and quality into every piece of furniture we make. and quality into every and quality piece of into furniture every piece we make. of furniture we make.

Buoyant Upholstery build over a century’s worth of knowledge, experience COME AND SEE US AT THE MANCHESTER and quality into every piece of furniture we make. FURNITURE SHOW Buoyant Upholstery build over a century’s worth of knowledge, experience and quality into every piece of furniture we make.

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We new&&exciting exciting collection of sofas Wewill willbe belaunching launching aanew collection of sofas & & accent tocompliment compliment existing range. accent pieces pieces to ourour existing range.



FN363_Pages.indd BuoyantJune19.indd 51 1

28/05/2019 17/05/2019 13:11 14:23



Nido snuggler

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE TOP DOG For Alpha Designs Upholstery, coming Highly Commended in this year’s edition of The Furniture Awards was just the latest stepping stone towards widespread recognition in the sector. Furniture News talks to Charlotte Floate, director of the Bilston, Wolverhampton-based business, about her lauded entry and the business’ trajectory …

Alpha was founded as a wholesaler in 2008 by Constantino Xydhias, and began manufacturing its own models soon after. Since its inception, the family-run business has taken great strides towards becoming a sought-after supplier to the trade, offering an engaging contemporary upholstery line that marries comfort and style. Pipped to the post by Parker Knoll in the Upholstery Category of The Furniture

“Achieving such an award … really does motivate us to continue to be creative and confident in the direction we choose”

change for the business. We strongly believe that we need to continually invest in the best working practices, people and product development to be able to gain momentum whilst really adhering to our underlying values of providing flexibility, quality and service. “We are currently increasing our development team substantially, working on a works processing system and updating our

Awards this year, Alpha put its best foot

working environment.Factory-wise, we’ve

forward with Nido, a collection which

further invested in our development team

combines contemporary design with a traditional fabric treatment. Available with pillow or traditional backs, with contrast




much on-trend.” This flexible line comprises four-, three-

new technologies to enhance the working “Our showvans are out doing the rounds,

– attracted praise from the judges, who shape, displayed in a colourway that’s very

facilities, and are currently investigating environment.

or self piping, Nido – Italian for ‘nest’ commented: “Comfortable, a great frame

and facilities, along with new warehousing

10-year frame guarantee. Its manufacturer has its sights firmly set on growth through investment – yet never at the expense of integrity, explains

showing a mix of product launched at the NEC and beforehand to existing and potential customers.” Prior to receiving the accolade at this

and two-seater sofas, plus complementary

Constantino’s partner, Charlotte: “This

year’s January Furniture Show, Alpha came

snuggler and footstool, and comes with a

year will be another year of growth and

Highly Commended in 2018 for its eye-

FN363_Pages.indd 52

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Living Room | 53

catching entry, Tiffany. “Being chosen as a Highly Commended entrant for the second

Nido three-seater with traditional back

year in a row is an amazing accolade,” enthuses Charlotte, “and really enhances the feeling of achievement and pride that all of our development team feel. “Achieving such an award in a category that attracts so many long-established industry names really does motivate us to continue to be creative and confident in the direction we choose. “The show always provides us with the best platform to display our product, and has really helped to establish our name within the industry. The overall reaction to the presentation of our business and our new products this year was extremely encouraging, and in a tough climate we can only further strive to be the best at what we do and to entice people to trust us to deliver new product design, accompanied by great customer service.” Alpha will be present at the Manchester Furniture Show next month, where it plans to introduce several new models.

T 01902 492937 E Product suppliers exhibiting at the January Furniture Show in 2020 can find out more about how to enter The Furniture Awards at

Nido four-seater pillow-back sofa

FN363_Pages.indd 53

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54 | Living Room

Hayward velvet sofa

JULIAN BOWEN INNOVATES TO IMPRESS Julian Bowen is one of the UK’s leading furniture wholesalers. The company is based in Nottinghamshire at the centre of the UK’s transport network, and has been the recipient of numerous industry awards in recent years, in recognition of its broad capabilities and industry-leading customer service.

Julian Bowen’s ethos is based on a commitment to offer the highest-quality

Mila chair in teal

providing an eye-catching accompaniment to immaculate pale oak tops to create a

product in the marketplace across the

range that sits equally well with traditional

widespread categories, styles and price

and contemporary decor. Julian Bowen’s accomplished upholstery

points at which it sells. This is underpinned by a deep investment in its supply chain

offering also continues to grow. The stylish

over many years, which includes an

new Hayward sofa range exudes quality,

extensive quality control team in the UK

combining strong craftsmanship with a

and around the world, plus long-term

timeless design in a soft, tactile grey velvet,

relationships with specialist manufacturers.

while the Mila accent chair hits a smart

The team at Julian Bowen is focused on

contemporary note, combining a metal

a constant programme of innovation which

frame with a sleek, modern shape, and

has resulted in significant growth in the

presented in a choice of velvets in classic

number of ranges offered by the company

grey or on-trend teal. Children’s furniture is an acknowledged

in recent years, while an extensive new product pipeline is under development to

strength of the business, and a significant

ensure even greater choice for customers

focus for the in-house design team. Its

and a solid platform for sustainable growth.

latest offerings are off to a strong start in the marketplace, with the Jupiter mid-

Recent newness has been well received in the marketplace. The Brooklyn living

sleeper, offered in both pure white and grey

and dining range, which combines solid

oak finishes, performing notably well, and

oak with a gunmetal finish, is accompanied

consumers warming to its combination of

by a range of industrial-style chairs and a

functionality and crisp styling. The company is particularly excited about

bench, and has proved particularly popular, with extensions to the range already in

current developments in its kids’ range, and


will unveil a number of innovative products in the coming months.

The success of the company’s existing

Visit the website to explore the full range

Richmond dining collection, finished in dove

of Julian Bowen products.

grey, has been followed with the same range now presented in a striking midnight blue,

FN363_Pages.indd 54

Richmond sideboard in midnight blue

28/05/2019 13:11

Full pag JB 2205

Julian Bowen

Brooklyn Dining

Bentinck House, Park Lane, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts NG17 9LE Tel: (01623) 727374 Fax: (01623) 754555 e-mail: All Products are available for Direct Home Delivery FN363_Pages.indd 55 Full page USE.indd 1 JB 220519 FN 297x216.indd 1

28/05/2019 24/05/2019 09:24 22/05/2019 13:11 17:34



Available from Essentials by Kettle Interiors (01536 444960, sales@

extending models), four sideboards, and a range of occasional pieces, the stylish GAO Dining collection

including three sizes of TV units. Featuring a natural oak finish,

represents impressive value for modern oak furniture, and is ready

rounded corners with bevel detailing to tops and tapered legs, as well

to lead the charge on promotions, window displays and in-store

as brushed metal handles, every piece in the collection is packed with


stylish detail.

Comprising 21 items well-proportioned for today’s homes, GAO Dining features three sizes of dining table (two of which are

GAO Dining is now available through Kettle’s Wholesale, Stockist and Container services, with fast delivery across the UK.


110 - Slat Side (& High Back) Chair

111 - Spindle Side (& High Back) Chair

112 - Fiddle Side (& High Back) Chair

114 - Slat Low Carver

115 - Spindle Low Carver

116 - Fiddle Low Carver


1/2 landscape.indd M&Ppage Chairs 340.indd 1 1

FN363_Pages.indd 56

07802 648383 07469 819520

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

28/05/2019 13:11




Ye Olde Traditional Furniture Company

Welcome to - our new website now online

YOTFC produce Solid Oak, Beech & Pine Chairs,Tables, Stools, Cabinets and Components. We offer on site, comprehensive bespoke polishing and upholstery services. Deliveries are made by our own dedicated vehicles, customer collection or by pallet/carriers where “Just in Time� is the order of the day.

tel: 01604 890 956 | email: | 3 Roe Farm, Whiston Road, Cogenhoe, Northampton, NN7 1NL FN363_Pages.indd YeOldeJune19.indd 57 1

28/05/2019 24/05/2019 13:11 11:27



Belgian rug and woven carpet specialist Louis de Poortere (info@, has released the Haute Couture Design box, which contains a plethora of woven carpets, tailor-made rugs, standard-sized rugs and stair runners. Now readily available, the box holds swatches of the collection’s woven wool, cotton polyamide and cotton wool qualities, across 40 samples selected from 15 designs. Giving an overview of the scale of the collection, the box also holds a brochure, revealing the designs, colours and finer points of the concept in full. Each of the designs, themselves available in a selection of

Alexander Joseph (01202 863600,

colourways, can be made in either broadloom carpet, standard-

supplies high-quality, completely cordless lamps which hold

sized rugs or a tailor-made rug. Along with stair runners in six

a charge for up to four weeks – take a look at the company’s

designs and over 30 colourways, it is a comprehensive range.

website, which features a video demonstrating how these wireless

“The Haute Couture Design collection is expansive, and it has been something of a challenge to make sure it can be thoughtfully

models can work within the home. Made from 100% British materials and designed in the UK, the

and elegantly presented,” explains Alan Russell, sales director

lamps employ innovative technology which utilises the latest in

UK. “We believe we have just the thing with our new box. It’s a

high-density lithium ion batteries with specially made vintage-

genuinely useful tool for retailers looking to offer their customers

style LED bulbs. The technology is discrete but delivers over 52

a very special service.” The box is available for €99, discounted

hours of use before recharging is needed.

back from the first order if required. For those investing, 9 x 9cm cuttings of all designs are available from the sales office.

In addition to its range of cordless lamps, Alexander Joseph also produces one-off designs and commissions. 1/2 page landscape.indd 1

FN363_Pages.indd 58

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Full pag

M1, off junction 28

ex-display old stock prototypes end of line seconds returns

visit FN363_Pages.indd Full page USE.indd 59 1

28/05/2019 16/05/2019 13:11 15:19



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 YA author “Writing can be very therapeutic, and can take you away from the stresses and strains of the normal working day” My name is Gavin Boden, and I’m a sales

genres (hopefully being nominated for

agent. Working as GB Agencies, I sell

literary awards!).

furniture into retail. I have learned that writing can be very Out of hours, I like to write young adults’

therapeutic, and can take you away from the

(YA) books. I’m having my first book

stresses and strains of the normal working

published in August this year – it’s called

day in the furniture industry.

Time Travelling Heroes, The Dreams of You might not know this, but I hold a


Guinness World Record in ten-pin bowling. I became involved in this because over

Because of the work MacMillan Cancer

the last six years I have been through a

Support did for my sister, I wanted to raise

great deal of loss, losing my sister in 2013

some much-needed funds for the charity,

to cancer, my mum in 2015, and then my

so in June 2017 me and my friend Anthony Kyme (from Cleethorpes) bowled for 24

brother in a road traffic accident in 2017. I used the power of imagination to get myself

will need to market the book, including my

hours without any rest, and knocked down

through the grieving process, by escaping to

website and social media presence.

37,653 pins to break the world record by over 1200. At the same time, we raised over

an imaginary place and writing about it. My

£7000 for the charity.

sister was an amazing inspiration to me and

I’m most proud of that fact that I’ve

loved my writing – she was always pushing

completed the first book (which I’ve

me to write a book and get it published.

dedicated to my sister).

It asks that I commit to several hours

Ten years down the line, I see myself as a

the mailing list for updates about the book

of writing each week, but the biggest

successful author, with several published

– when it will be on sale, where it will be

commitment will be the time and work it

books under my belt across lots of different

available, book signings, special events, etc.

If you want to know more, email me at and I will put you on

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

FN363_Pages.indd 60

28/05/2019 14:52


1/2 page landscape.indd 1

20/05/2019 12:07


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12 issues UK

Each monthly issue of Furniture News provides market news, insight and new products. Subscribe today to receive your physical copy every month, plus a copy of Connect, The Furniture Trade Directory (and VIP online login status).


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28/05/2019 14:54 28/05/2019 14:54




Array coffee table, Matt Hill Matt unveiled Array at last year’s New Designers show, before going on to receive an accolade for the design’s innovation at the Young Furniture Makers exhibition in October. Combining the classic pairing of oak and walnut with metallic fixtures, Array bosts modular contruction elements and steam-bent components.

“The inspiration for this design came from exploration of

“As my design process progressed through

patten inspired by nature in art, design and photography

initial design to development, the concept

throughout my education. Research into how pattern is received

of using modules to create interconnecting

by the brain and the reactions it causes inspires the use of

and modular furniture became the direction

pattern, symmetry and material in my designs. Steam-bending

I wanted to follow. This led to the Array

was the process I wanted to explore – pushing how steam-bent

module used in this coffee table”

components can interact, utilising their properties of strength and elegance”

“Oak and walnut are a classic combination

“Inspiration from

in furniture. However,

mid-century furniture,

I wanted to contrast

through the use of

these classic warm

material combinations

tones with stark

and utilising modern

metallic fixtures.

techniques, pushed

Further development

me in the directions of using precisionmachined components and fixtures”

of the design could see

“Experimenting with processes and materials to try and understand their limitations is an important aspect of design, and has the potential to lead to something new and innovative, pushing modern design”

alternative material options for the different components within the Array range.”

Training: Matt graduated from Nottingham

Achievements: Array was one of two designs exhibited

Trent University with a 2:1 in Furniture and

by Matt at the Business Design Centre as part of New

Product Design, having completed internships

Designers 2018. Matt also exhibited at last year’s Young

at Sitting Firm Chairmakers and as a furniture

Furniture Makers exhibition, where he won the Young

designer at Nottingham Boat Company. Shortly

Furniture Makers Innovation Award for the Array coffee

after finishing university, Matt started working


in product development at deVOL Kitchens, and now aspires to develop his own furniture designs alongside his career there.

FN363_Pages.indd 62


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World of Opportunity

Engage a

The International Alliance of Furnishing Publications (IAFP) is an association comprising the leading industry trade publications in 18 countries. Established in 1997, the IAFP aims to improve communications between international markets and create new business opportunities. Furniture News is the IAFP’s representative in the UK, and can offer readers and advertisers target market information, contacts and reach through the most effective B2B channels. The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade #357 December 2018 |

Contact us on 0044 (0)1424 776101 or visit the IAFP website to find out more. Bowood Night by Rowico

BY THE SEASIDE Habitat wows Brighton

FrontCover357.indd 1

FN363_Pages.indd IAFP_2019.indd 1 63



La-Z-Boy’s claim to fame

Mike Kingsbury reveals all

19/11/2018 15:50

28/05/2019 20/12/2018 13:11 13:58

Are you Connected yet?

The Furniture Trade Directory Furniture Manufact

urers & Suppliers –

Beautiful Bedr oom Furniture


Oak and paint ed furniture collec tions for beau bedrooms, direc tiful t from Kettle Interiors. Enjoy from UK stock fast service s with free delive ry from just £250 . Order today at kettleinteriorsag Kingstown Furnitu re Ltd Victoria House Leeds Road

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Connect Section

2.indd 99

Limelight Beds Orbital House Arthur Street Barwell Leicester LE9 8GZ 01455 850150 .uk Litvinoff & Fawce tt 281 Hackney Road London E2 8NA 02077 393480 LPD Midland Road Hunslet Leeds LS10 2RJ 0113 271 5151 M7 Polska

Ul. Marcinkowskie go 6 Puszczykowo 62-040 Poland 00 48 601 918763 Mammoth Perfor mance Units 8-10 Abingdon Eston Way Oxon OX14 1TR 01235 529148 www.mammoth


New Line Industri al Estate The Sidings Bacup Lancashire OL13 9RW 01706 871933 Mattress Direct Unit 2 32 Lawn Road London NW3 2XU 07921 210641 Mattress-shire 13 Bolton Street Birmingham West Midlands B9 4HH 01217 733476 Metal Beds Ltd T/A Wholesale Beds Verulam Road Stafford Staffordshire ST16 3EA 01785 250888 www.wholesalebeds.c

The second edition of Connect – The Furniture Trade Directory is coming this summer. Within its pages, buyers and sellers will find:

Marine Beddin g Company 101 Woolsbridge Road Ashley Heath Ringwood Hampshire BH24 2LZ 01425 480605 Marthill Int Ltd Marthill Building s Lower Regent Street Beeston NG9 2DJ 0115 9259094


Millbrook Beds (UK) Ltd Calmore Industri al Park Totton Southampton SO40 3XJ 0845 373 1111 .uk Mlily Healthcare Ltd 2 Covent Garden Close Luton LU4 8QB 01582 400604 Myer Adams UK Ltd Grange Road Industri al Estate Grange Road Batley WF17 6LN 01924 444 463 k/ Nathan Furnitu re Frostholme Mill Burnley Road Cornholme Todmorden OL14 7ED 01706 811299 www.nathanfurniture.c Naturalmat Odhams Wharf Ebford Exeter Devon EX3 0PD 01392 877247

Thousands of retailer and supplier contact details (including new and refreshed data) An exclusive report on furniture trend development and deployment Industry state of play summary and event diary

Natuzzi SpA Via Lazzitiello 47 I-70029 Santera mo In Colle Bari Italy

www. gmgc onnec

How to use the directory’s digital counterpart,



To purchase a copy, contact: 01424 776100 | (Also available as part of a subscriber package – see page 61)

FN363_Pages.indd 64 1 FNConnectJune19.indd

28/05/2019 13:11 13:09

19 13:09


1/2 page landscape.indd 1

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Steely Trolleys - Known and Proven

CONTRACT MARKETING MANAGER REQUIRED • To support brand & marketing strategy for the business and come up with and own marketing objectives that will help deliver the strategy for the contract business. • Continuously review our brand and identify how to best utilise our brand identity to develop sales & revenue. • Ownership and communication of the contract marketing calendar. • To own and deliver marketing campaigns to meet planned objectives, on brand and aligned with our customer segments. From initial brainstorming and strategy development through to delivery of commercially successful campaigns, on-time and budget. • Monitor and report on effectiveness of contract marketing communications. • Develop marketing assets and collateral for specific customer segments – with good ability to copy write. • Support the Marketing Manager with strategic research and insight projects to understand our customers, our brand, competitors and products, in order to identify marketing needs and opportunities to create compelling plans and campaigns. • Design and manage the contract events and shows throughout the year. • Develop with the NPD team new product offerings and design options to further strengthen the contract business and target new customer segments. • Develop digital marketing techniques to target new business and support the contract sales team. • Set up and draft regular email campaigns to target different customer segments, with lead follow ups. • Design and scope a new contract website that will either sit on Sleepeezee’s current website platform, or will be a stand alone website. • Oversee and manage the contract marketing budget to maximise spend and ROI. • Liaise and manage external agencies who help support Sleepeezee in achieving their marketing strategy.


Increase Space and Efficiency Call Steely: 0161 702 7002 Email: Web:

• Good analytical and reporting abilities • Good understanding of all traditional and digital marketing techniques • Excellent brand and commercial awareness • Excellent planning and reporting skills • Natural communication skills (for consumers, agencies and key stakeholders) • Good leadership, management and collaboration skills • Ability to manage external agencies to deliver campaigns/projects • Background in hotel/hospitality or furniture industry preferred • B2B experience • Experience with Google Analytics

A competitive salary and package available to the right candidate Please send your CV and covering letter to by 30th June

SteelyJan19.indd 1 FN363_Pages.indd 65

18/12/2018 SleepeezeeJobQP_June19.indd 10:08 1

21/05/2019 11:31 28/05/2019 13:11



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

News Northpoint Show organiser considers rescheduling event to spring timeline

News Charity’s One Step at a Time campaign aims to raise awareness of welfare support

Events Sherborne heads up newcomer roster at next month’s Manchester show




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

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

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Manchester Furniture Show Preview | Showtime Living Room, Dining Room, Beds & Bedroom, Furnisher and Trade Services

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FROM £22,990 + VAT




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Furniture News #363  

Furniture News #363