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This month: Last Word with Anthony Joyce Behind the scenes of Den Living Selling sleepers – African Trackwoods

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade

November 2015

450 exhibitors, 5 halls, 4 days, 1 January Furniture Show

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UK by




Hall 4 Stand B20

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The Carpet Specialists

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0 “Now the country is moving again, the furniture trade has more reason than it’s had in years to be confident”

Comment Having moved house just four months ago, the gruelling nature of the process is still fresh in my mind. Evenings filled with property searches, budgeting and paperwork … the acute stress of price negotiations … incompetent middlemen, considerable expense and uncertainty … new FCA guidelines which seemed to make moving even more difficult than getting on the ladder in the first place … and that’s before any removals even took place. Despite the challenges (and these pale into insignificance against what some of my industry friends were going through!), I have no regrets. Property remains one of the safest investments around, and I’m glad I took the plunge. Looking back over the last few months, it’s clear it was a popular choice – according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), property sales reached a 16-month high in September, rising at their fastest rate since May 2014. This trend is great news for the furniture trade, a sector so inextricably tied to the fortunes of the property market that it was one of the first to feel the brunt of the 2008 collapse (as the January Furniture Show’s organisers point out in their industry retrospective on page 38). For my partner and I, upscaling has meant new cabinet furniture for the bedroom, living and dining areas, with mattress, flooring, bathroom and accessory purchases imminent (budget permitting!). In the UK’s commodity- and fashion-driven market, a new home means new furniture, so a recovering property market is good news for us all. Indeed, GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index highlights a significant resurgence in major purchases in the months since the Election. Happy days. … or, at least, they would be, if new buyer demand didn’t so dramatically continue to outweigh instructions to sell. Simply put,

there aren’t enough houses available, so property prices are set to rise much faster than are the frequency of new home furnishing purchases. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, in the form of the Government’s new Housing and Planning Bill, which was put to Parliament last month. The Bill still has some way to go before it’s made law, but it has started the process of freeing up the potential of brownfield sites to develop more affordable starter homes, extending Right to Buy to convert more renters into purchasers, and fast-tracking the conversion of unused office property to residential use. Some argue that the Bill is not capable of realising the Government’s target of a million new homes by 2020 – but even the most ambitious of plans must start somewhere. I’ll be keeping an eye on what the Autumn Statement means for retailers, suppliers and manufacturers when it arrives on 25th of this month, but on balance I’d say that, now the country is moving again, the furniture trade has more reason than it’s had in years to be confident.

Paul Farley Paul Farley, editor T 01424 776101 E Twitter @FurnitureNewsED


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This month: Last Word with Anthony Joyce Behind the scenes of Den Living Selling sleepers – African Trackwoods

November 2015


7 Partner Comment


The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade


The BFM’s Paul Bazeley explains what the new Consumer Rights Act means for manufacturers and retailers

18 News 450 exhibitors, 5 halls, 4 days, 1 January Furniture Show

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The January Furniture Show will be held from 24-27th January at the NEC, Birmingham (www.

Editor Paul Farley 01424 776101 Twitter @FurnitureNewsED

Robyn Sirs-Davies interviews Danny Healey, the owner of interior design firm Den Living, and Fern and Grey stars in this month’s Clickthough interview

30 Events

Deputy editor Victoria Noakes 01424 776105 Twitter @Victoria_FNmag

Reviews of 100% Design, the Autumn Furniture Show and BIFE-SIM, a preview of the January Furniture Show, plus Belgrade Furniture Fair features in the first installment of Furniture News’ Fair Comment series

Advertising manager Sam Horscroft 01424 776100 Twitter @FurnitureNewsAD

42 Resources

Advertising executive Trisha Fletcher 01424 776100

In the final article in Brian Barfield’s series on Modern Day Selling, Brian discusses effective closing techniques

Production manager James Ash 01424 775304

44 Profiles

Production deputy manager Katie Bate Production assistant Stephanie Reading Proofreader Keith Fitz-Hugh Editorial director John Legg 01424 776104 Twitter @extralegg Publisher Nigel Gearing Accounts Wendy Williams 01424 774982 Subscriptions Annual Subscription Rates UK-£65 Europe-£85 RoW-£95 Repro, print and distribution Acorn Web Offset Ltd Gearing Media Group Ltd 4 Red Barn Mews, High Street Battle, East Sussex TN33 0AG ISSN No: 1475 - 3731 © Gearing Media Group Ltd 2015 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.

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22 Interviews

African Trackwoods (44)

Victoria Noakes profiles Zimbabwean African Trackwoods, and Furniture News takes a look at Heritage Furniture’s new direction

50 Living Room 58 Beds & Bedroom 60 Dining room

Anthony Joyce (96)

64 Bed Show review A extensive round-up of some of the highlights of this year’s Bed Show

86 Furnisher 90 Designer

Juwon Seo dissects her Cosmos nest of tables in this month’s In Design article

96 Last Word

Anthony Joyce, CEO of Steinhoff UK Manufacturing, answers Furniture News’ questions about his career history and work and life philosophy

Den Living (22)

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Media Partners

Furniture News enjoys partnerships with a wide range of key global and national institutions and exhibitions, and invites a spokesperson from each to share their views each month …

Act now, insists new legislation


“Manufacturers and retailers are advised to ensure the appropriate specifics are well noted”



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

As though the trade didn’t have enough legislative changes to deal with! From 1st October this year the new Consumer Rights Act came into effect, stipulating how consumers can return goods. Through it, consumers have a 30-day period in which to reject goods sold to them if the item does not match the description given, or is faulty. There is now a particular focus on the item matching the description given in any product information or advertising – manufacturers and retailers are advised to ensure the appropriate specifics are well noted if any differences in colour, wood or anything else the buyer should be aware of may occur. If any problems do occur, the retailer/manufacturer has a ‘one-shot’ repair or replacement opportunity to fix the issue. If these options are not possible, then another remedy may be offered. Once that opportunity has been used, the retailer/manufacturer no longer has the opportunity to repair or replace the product, and instead has to provide a part or full refund, unless an alternative is agreed between the two. It should also be noted that by agreeing to a repair or replacement, the consumer’s 30-day right is paused until this is carried out, then continues after the problem is rectified. If the goods are deemed unfit for purpose, unsafe, or they differ in appearance or finish, the customer has the right to return them. This does not differ from the old law, but is more specific. Not only is there the 30-day period, but consumers may also return an item within a six-year window – although the consumer must prove the item is faulty and any problems are not due to general wear through use. In the case of a refund, the retailer/manufacturer must refund the consumer within 14 days of this being agreed. Also, they must bear the cost of any item being returned, while the consumer must ensure the item is available for collection on an agreed date. However, it’s important to note that the new Act does not cover the consumer if they decide they no longer want the product, and only covers products sold from the 1st October. In terms of installations, such as kitchen fits, there will be breaches in contract if the installation is conducted improperly or without reasonable skill or care. If breaches occur, the consumer has the same rights as those stated above, in the sense of repair/ replace. Although a right to reject is unlikely in the case of an installation, if a repair or replacement is not possible the consumer would have the right to a price reduction. To aid in this process, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a ways in which disputes can be settled between traders and consumers without having to go to court. While there have been ADR schemes in some sectors for a while, ADR will now affect most businesses, and many believe that retailers/manufacturers will look more trustworthy and customer-focused if they adhere to ADR schemes. The two main types of ADR are: arbitration, where an independent third party collects the facts and then makes a decision that is binding for one or both parties; and mediation, which also requires an independent third party to help the parties come to an agreement. Finally, in January 2016, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is likely to come into practice. Launched by the EU due to the increasing numbers of online sales being made throughout Europe, the scheme will help establish regulations so that consumers and traders know where they stand when purchasing items online. The regulations have been trialling since January 2015, and mean that any online trader in the EU will be obliged to provide a link to the ODR platform and a company email address. It should mean very few changes in theory, but should clear up any confusion when buying and selling online between EU countries.

Paul Bazeley is writing on behalf of the British Furniture Manufacturers’ association (BFM), which can be contacted at for further information on the Act – alternatively, visit

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ScS looks ahead

Loaf opens first physical store

In its preliminary results for the year ended 25th July 2015 (unaudited), upholstered furniture and floorings retailer ScS Group reports that gross sales were up 13.2% to £292.2m, revenue up 13.4% to £276.7m, and like-for-like order intake was up 5%. Gross profit increased 12.5% to £127.2m. In that period, ScS launched House of Fraser concessions in 30 stores, and opened three new stores, in Glasgow, Croydon and Slough, taking its portfolio to 96. Gross online sales were up 25.4% to £8.4m. CEO David Knight comments: “We are encouraged by our trading performance since the start of the current financial year and we are in line with our expectations. However, we remain mindful that we continue to face strong comparatives during the remainder of the first half of the year and that a number of key trading periods are ahead of us.” Sales order intake was up 13.3% on a like-for-like basis for the nine weeks to 26th September 2015.

Loaf’s first physical store, called the Loaf Shack, opened in Battersea, London, last month. The 8000m2 retail destination is hoped to help achieve forecasted sales of £100m over the next few years. On his migration to multi-channel retail, founder Charlie Marshall comments: “Our aim has been to make shopping for furniture online as simple and as hassle-free as possible. But there are still a large number of customers that want to see and touch the product before they buy. To respond to that demand we’ve created a seriously beautiful bells and whistles store that we’ve filled with things to make people smile.” The store features designated chill-out areas, a children’s corner, and a traditional-style ice cream parlour. For the first time, Loaf is offering a collection of takeaway gifts and accessories

New location for Minerva members’ show The Minerva Furnishers Guild has announced a change of venue for its members-only show, to be on the 17th and 18th May 2016. The show will change location from Telford International Centre to the National Agriculture & Exhibition Centre at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire. The buying group has booked hall 2, which offers 4500m2 of space with good access points and facilities. Minerva’s group business manager, Roy Beagant, states that this venue change is taking place on a trial basis, as the guild feels that a more central venue might benefit both members and suppliers. However, he says that there is no intention to move the Autumn Furniture Show from its wellestablished base in Telford.

Dinner raises over £6k for industry charity The NBF’s members have been nicknamed ‘Bed Fed Heroes’ by the Furniture Makers’ Company for raising over £6000 for the charity at the Bed Show’s Gala Dinner. The dinner raised £2310 from ticket sales, a table collection produced over £2700, plus a further pledge for £1000 was made.

Decorex regains momentum Luxury interiors show Decorex International attracted 12,875 visitors from the UK and abroad – an increase on 2014. In celebration of the show theme, the Future of Luxury, visitors were the first to see new collections from more than 400 companies. This edition championed newness through its feature stands, installations and Patrons Panel. Patron Nigel Coates says: “Decorex was rocking this year. Its foray into the world of luxury seemed to bring out the best in the exhibitors.”

alongside its furniture product. “Our main focus right now is on getting the brand magic absolutely spot on,” says Charlie. “Our move to bricks and clicks is all about reaffirming our core values and giving customers a fantastic shopping experience.” There are plans to roll out a further 10 Loaf Shacks in the next few years.

FIRA returns to House of Lords The annual Furniture Industry Research Association and FIRA International House of Lords event, hosted by Lord Hoyle of Warrington in September, was attended by 250 guests. Phil Reynolds, FIRA’s general manager, comments: “We have had a busy year, with 35 members joining the association over the last 12 months. We have also had 24 companies achieve certification, or gain one of our awards, including our FIRA Innovation Award and FIRA Gold Installation Certification for home improvement, covering a new sector for FIRA.

“This event provides a fantastic opportunity to catch up with longstanding and new members, and meet our award and certification holders. This year we also welcomed the winners of our student design competition, Future@Work, a project sponsored by Morgan with the aim of encouraging new talent in the industry.” Several of FIRA’s awards and certifications were presented on the night, including the Ergonomics Excellence Award, FIRA Gold Certification and the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme (FISP) Certification.

International growth at Top Drawer and Home Last month, the biggest autumn Top Drawer and Home show to date took place at Olympia, London. The show was attended by a wide audience – international buyers visited from 65 countries, generating an overseas attendance increase of 16%, while many prominent UK buyers also attended. Major design brands including Alessi, AU Maison, Garden Trading, Forma House and LSA International showed alongside a strong intake of new Home exhibitors, with Anna Jacobs, Voyage Maison, Ulster Weavers, Dankotuwa Porcelain and Swarm Design England joining established Home exhibitors such as Black+Blum, Ella Doran Design, Makers & Merchants, Make International and White Brands. A range of successful events within the show were run over the three days. The Academy Masterclasses, which offered short seminars and presentations led by informative experts and

keynote speakers, played a prominent role. Wayne Hemingway’s keynote address on how Creative-led Regeneration is benefiting retailers, proved popular, as did many of the other engaging and varied talks from a host of expert speakers. Now established as one of Top Drawer’s main attractions, Spotted, the new talent section of the show curated by Charlotte Abrahams, returned with 10 brand new names and some of the best from 2014’s show. The event also saw Home and Top Drawer partner with Moo, an award-winning online print and design company, which invited visitors to try their hand at live-letterpressing on its stand. With a major rebrand and the addition of new elements such as speciality and fine food planned, the January event – running from 17-19th January 2016 – looks set to be another record-breaking edition.

RIP Gwynne Powell Former Homeworthy Furniture agent for the South Wales and West, Gwynne Powell, has sadly passed away at the age of 86. Gwynne represented Homeworthy for over 30 years, starting when the factory was based in Edmonton, London, and continued to represent the company when it relocated to Sunderland following acquisition by the Silentnight Group. He also represented many other furniture companies during his long career, including Evans International.

Kingstown appoints new territory manager Kingstown has appointed Chris Shaw to cover the Yorkshire and North-east region, where he will manage a large portfolio of furniture retailers currently dealing with Kingstown. Chris is a creative person at heart – during his graduation he was awarded his own studio where he would make products and sell them himself. This gave him valuable insight into how a product is sold, and he is keen to take these skills into the ready assembled furniture market.

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Dreams sponsors The Furniture Awards 2016 Bed specialist Dreams has been confirmed as the sponsor of the upcoming edition of The Furniture Awards, a scheme which sets out to identify the best new products launched at the January Furniture Show, organised by Furniture News magazine in partnership with the show’s organiser. Dreams’ generous sponsorship will help the 2016 edition significantly grow in stature. Improvements include on-site winner announcements, increased display coverage at and around the event, and a special stand display of the shortlisted entries. “Dreams is delighted to be sponsoring the second year of The Furniture Awards,” comments Dreams’ marketing and ecommerce director,

Lisa Bond. “We recognise the importance of supporting the industry in which we operate, and believe these industry awards provide the perfect opportunity for manufacturers to showcase the best of new innovation.” The judging panel for the 2016 edition comprises: Maxim Romain, general manager for Wayfair Europe; visual merchandising consultant Andrew Durham; ACID CEO and co-founder Dids Macdonald OBE; and Malcolm Walker, director of buying for Furniture Village. “Dreams’ sponsorship is a great endorsement of this rapidly-maturing awards programme,” says awards chair Paul Farley. “It’s great to have this

NEC development to boost January show

Growth across the board at DFS

A new £150m leisure and entertainment destination development at the Birmingham NEC, plus significant investment in Birmingham New Street station, is set to enhance exhibitor and visitor experience at the 2016 edition of the January Furniture Show, taking place at the venue from 24-27th January. Resorts World Birmingham – the first of its kind in Europe – is set to bring life to the NEC campus through a host of major retailers, 18 bars and restaurants, and an 11-screen Cineworld. The fourstar Genting Hotel is the first to open in Europe, while the lakeside complex will also comprise the Genting International Casino. Says Laraine Janes, co-director of the January Furniture Show: “The changes to the NEC campus plus the improvements at Birmingham New Street mirror the rebuilding of the January Furniture Show. The investment shows the confidence in the future of the venue and results in a better experience for all attendees.”

Collins and Hayes raises money for charity Upholstery manufacturer Collins and Hayes has helped raise nearly £10,000 for Brighton-based charity the Starr Trust by sponsoring two of the charity’s recent events. The Starr Trust supports young people aged between 10-18 years to fulfil their full potential in sports, arts and education by helping them achieve their goals at a time when they most need support.

Dunelm buys Fogarty Dunelm reports strong trading through its last quarter (the 13 weeks ended 3rd October 2015) both in-store and online, with all categories showing “robust performance”. Gross margin increased year on year. One store opened in the quarter, and 10 further openings are under contract. Dunelm also announced the acquisition of the Fogarty bedding brand. Fogarty, which can trace its history back almost 200 years, is a leading British brand with a reputation for high-quality pillows, duvets and mattress protection products. Dunelm currently sells a number of Fogarty products.

The DFS group, the UK’s leading retailer of upholstered furniture, has announced gross sales up 7% to £913.1m in preliminaries for its latest financial year, ended 1st August 2015. Group revenue was up 7.5% to £706.1m, while adjusted EBITDA was up 8.4% to £89.2m, and profit before tax stood at £10.7m (up from £3.6m the previous year). DFS CEO Ian Filby says: “The group delivered a good overall performance in FY15, outperforming the broader furniture market, and achieving record sales and operating profits. Furthermore we have made continuing progress across all strategic initiatives, giving me confidence that we will continue to deliver on our growth targets. The dividend we have recommended is a clear

progressive, renowned retail leader on board.” Dreams is one of the UK’s leading bed retailers, and is committed to providing high-quality products and strong customer service. Selling through 160 stores as well as its website, Dreams manufactures much of its product in the UK, and is responsible for a raft of sector-leading initiatives, such as Replace Every 8, which encourages a greater rate of turnover for mattress purchases.

expression of our belief that we will continue to deliver both attractive earnings growth and cash returns for shareholders in the future.” The year saw DFS execute an IPO, open five new stores in the UK and ROI, and trial a small store format in London. Branded upholstery orders through DFS increased by 75%, while the store base for both Sofa Workshop and Dwell were expanded. DFS made international headway, opening two stores in The Netherlands. The retailer also reports 17% growth in web sales. DFS chairman Richard Baker comments: “With the key macro-economic indicators for the upholstery sector all positive and our strategic initiatives on track, we can look to the future with confidence.”

Silentnight wins regional category in apprenticeship awards Silentnight has won the North West Large Employer category of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2015. The regional win means the bedmaker will be entered into the national awards that will take place in January. All Silentnight apprentices are guaranteed full time, permanent employment upon successful completion of the two year course.There are currently 19 apprentices across the business, with four more being recruited before the end of the year. Currently, 16 full-time members of staff are graduates of the award-winning apprenticeship scheme. Silentnight also chairs the furniture industry’s Trailblazer, a Government-backed group of

employers that is rewriting the apprenticeship standards for the industry. Michael Dingwall, manufacturing manager, says: “Here at Silentnight we really do pride ourselves on training our apprentices, having been offering apprenticeships for over 10 years. We understand the importance of investing in our people and the work we are doing with a wide range of other organisations via the Trailblazer means that the value of apprentices in our industry will continue to grow. Our continued hard work to improve the furniture industry’s apprenticeship scheme is testament to our ongoing commitment to keeping quality at the forefront across all areas of the business.”

Argos pioneers same-day delivery Last month, Argos became the first UK retailer to offer same-day store collection and same-day home delivery for nearly 20,000 products across the UK. Customers choosing Fast Track Collection can collect their products free from 800 Argos stores nationwide. Those opting for Fast Track Delivery can select one of four home delivery slots, seven days a week, for just £3.95. John Walden, chief executive of Argos’

owner, Home Retail Group, says: “As customers increasingly shop from online and mobile shopping channels, they are increasingly sensitive to the speed and cost of obtaining their products. “Argos has always been known for convenience, and is uniquely positioned with its national network of stores and distribution centres to provide customers with the best options to fulfil their digital orders.”

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FN CM Apology.qxp_Layout 1 14/10/2015 11:16 Page 1

We’re Putting Right What’s Gone Wrong With the rapid development in the UK marketplace over the past 10 years and the introduction of Beds, Dining, Carpets and Flooring some of our key strengths have fallen behind.

This year we would like to reassure all our customers that we have revised and streamlined our offerings to bring you more stable lead times, larger stock levels of our refined ranges along with improved communications.

We have always had your best interests at heart and are dedicated to providing you, the independent retailer with market leading products and services.

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Join us at our stand Hall 4 Stand B20 to view our new collections, products and services. Telephone: 00353 429 351 351

Hall 4 Stand B20

TCS - Solely Committed to Serving Independent Retailers

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The Carpet Specialists

upholstery dining bedroom carpets

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Big enough to cope, small enough to care The product of years of experience and lessons learned, interior design firm Den Living was opened by Danny Healey in 2005. Robyn Sirs-Davies spoke to Danny to explore his industry origins and the “organic” process that made Den Living what it is today ...

Manchester-based interiors firm Den Living may not be a household name just yet, but that’s the way Danny Healey likes it. Celebrating over 10 years of successful business at Den, director Danny Healey and partners Paula Hopwood and Andrew Riley have struck a balance between profitability and individuality – something that many boutique businesses strive for. “We never want to get massive, which is something I realise now,” Danny states when asked about plans for his company. However, the firm’s current activities are not exactly under the radar. Danny happily confesses to a glamorous client list and an impressive portfolio of commercial projects, including leading Manchester restaurant Chaophraya and a number of bars in the famous Northern Quarter. Indeed, Danny has just returned from a trip to Italy where Den’s new partner, seating manufacturer Cubo Rosso, has agreed to produce a custom seating range, Den Italia. The sofas will be available in a vast range of fabrics from over 200 swatch books, allowing Den to retain its bespoke edge. Growth is, of course, important, but Danny and his team are keen to continue >>>

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Owner, Danny Healey and interior designer, Paula Hopwood

“We very much believe that if you invest in clients, they will invest in you via recommendations.”

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enjoying the benefits of being a smaller company. The firm’s hands-on approach to projects is one of these advantages – the Den team is invested in the client’s vision from start to finish. “Our brand is very much client-focused and client-led,” explains Danny. “As a brand, we are over 10 years old now and we’ve learnt a lot in that time. We very much believe that if you invest in clients, they will invest in you via recommendations.” This focus on individual client engagement is central to Den Living’s ethos. “We barely advertise. We have a good relationship with clients, and once they recommend you, you’re into a certain circle,” says Danny. Although the firm embraces modernity in its design concepts, it is hesitant to move towards online sales. Danny defends Den Living’s preference for showroom business: “I’m old fashioned in my approach – I’m not a massive online seller. We care about our client, and if they want to come and see >>>

“Big enough to cope, small enough to care. It’s a bit of a cliche but I think it works.” it and pick fabrics, they should be able to,” he states. In this the company excels, offering a showroom with diverse design options. Forced out of the design stronghold in Manchester’s Northern Quarter by high rent rates, Den Living moved to larger premises near Bury, Greater Manchester and launched the showroom in 2014. Now based in the 30,000ft2 space, the Den showroom is a wonderland of design concepts, tailored to inspire prospective clients. “I think sometimes clients choose something safe, so it’s nice for them to come to our showroom and think, ‘We can have all of this.’ It ups people’s game a little bit if they realise they can have something more creative. It’s an inspirational showroom without a doubt,” says Danny. Interior designer Paula Hopwood also joined the group after the move to the Bury

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The Imaginarium consultation space

location. Danny enthuses: “She got on board about two years ago and she has basically transformed the showroom.” Key to the creative direction of the business, Paula’s skillset has allowed Den to offer bespoke design consultation for domestic clients and a reliable pair of hands to guide commercial projects. Part of this bespoke experience involves the showroom’s Imaginarium – a specific consultation space in which clients can discuss design ideas and receive expert advice. The focus on unique design at Den Living has been influenced heavily by Danny’s personal experience in the furniture industry. “I was born into a furniture family. We sold typical middle-of-the-road furniture – my dad had two shops. It was kind of standard household furniture, and it never really interested me that much, even though I learned a lot about it,” he explains. Having decided that run-of-the-mill furniture was not his future, Danny went on to work in various fields, including sportswear. However, he eventually returned to furniture, setting up a small wholesale company. “I liked trading – I liked the volume,” he says. “Within the family, I set up a little trading wholesale company and it was good, but it just ended up being boxes moving from

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A to B, and it got a bit boring.” Looking to use his knowledge of the industry in a more creative project, Danny became a partner at design firm Pulse, joining colleagues Lorna and Lionel. Though the venture was successful, Danny and Lorna sought something different and decided to set up the original Den venture in 2005. Lorna left the project five years ago when Danny decided to take the business to the next level at that time. “I wanted to grow it and she wanted to tinker. We built a good platform but then I wanted to build it up and she didn’t, so she bowed out,” he says. This focus is symptomatic of the attitude that has allowed Den to transform from a small boutique interior firm to the aptly-sized business it is today. “Obviously, it has to be commercial, but you have to enjoy it as well because that enthusiasm comes across,” Danny explains. Danny is aware of Den Living’s position in the market, striking a harmonious balance between unusual design and commercial appeal. This combination is the result of Danny’s range of experiences in the furniture industry: “The best word to use for Den is organic because it has been an organic process over the last 10 years.” The benefits of remaining a small business

“Den has been an organic process over the last 10 years.” include the ability to make quick decisions about direction and carry them out instantly. “We’ll try it, and if it doesn’t work out then we’ll drop it. We don’t have to go through a big committee, just the three of us – myself, Paula and Andrew – decide, and it happens,” Danny explains. The company’s recent deal with Cubo Rosso serves as a perfect example of the boutique business’ capacity for new directions. To adapt to this venture, Danny intends to embrace the online world more. He comments: “We’ll be able to produce a lot more and we’ll need to sell a bit more to keep up. The online thing will probably come in then.” However, this does not signal a move beyond Den’s comfortable mid-sized position, as Danny reiterates: “We want to just stay small, independent, and just keep getting rewarded by happy customers, I would say. Staying unique and niche. Big enough to cope, small enough to care. It’s a bit of a cliche but I think it works.” W

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INTERVIEW Clickthrough > Fern & Grey This month, the homewares website in the spotlight is – Furniture News explores the practices and philosophies behind the enterprise …

Clickthrough > Fern & Grey Zora Desai, co-founder

Why visit your website? To put it simply we offer beautiful modern, mid-century and Scandinavian furniture at great prices. We pride ourselves on the high quality of our products and our customer service. Most of what we advertise we hold in stock in the UK so this enables us to deliver items within days as opposed to weeks. How did you enter the trade? When looking to furnish my apartment, it was frustrating to find out that most of the furniture I wanted to buy came with 10-12 week dispatch times. What made matters worse is that even with these excessively long lead times, most companies still struggled to deliver within that timeframe! I felt that there had to be a better way to do things, and although at Fern & Grey not everything is available for immediate dispatch, we ensure that most of what we advertise is in stock. Who is your e-commerce hero? It’s an obvious one, but it has to be Net a Porter. They are always one step ahead of the curve and they have revolutionised the e-commerce industry. I think it is great how flexible they are with delivery and returns – it makes life very easy for lazy shoppers like myself and people on the go. Describe a typical working day As with most companies, there isn’t what I

would call a typical day. I would say though that my regular daily duties involve dealing with suppliers, checking on the daily orders and following up with customers. What part of your job would you prefer to avoid? The most mundane part of the job is probably dealing with shipping and warehousing logistics. At the moment as the company is still quite young, I tend to deal with a lot of the paperwork myself. What has been your greatest challenge? Developing our brand and getting our name out there. With online businesses sometimes it can be hard to get your message across especially if you are a start-up and still building up a reputation. There are so many options online and although you may be offering something different, it is easy to get lost among the crowd. How much do you invest in making your site more visible? We are constantly working on our site and experimenting with paid and non-paid forms of advertising and social media to increase our visibility. Visibility is key for any online business but especially so for a start-up as people are not familiar with your brand. Without number dropping, I would say advertising and marketing currently represents the largest percentage of our total costs.

What are your growth plans for the business? Over the next few months we are aiming to increase the number of products we have available and expand more into living and bedroom furniture. Our aim is to at least double the number of products we have available by the end of the year. What advice would you offer an aspiring e-tailer? Just keep testing. You have to keep an open mind as you will never know what works and what doesn’t work until you try. Sometimes the things you never think will work in a million years can often end up pleasantly surprising you

Snapshot: Fern & Grey specialises in the sale of high quality modern, mid century and Scandinavian furniture Launched: July 2015

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EVENTS Fair Comment – Belgrade Furniture Fair

Fair Comment: Belgrade Furniture Fair Fair Comment is a new feature in which Furniture News quizzes the people behind the scenes to discover what makes their exhibition unique, what changes are taking place, and why buyers from the UK and ROI should take note. This month, Nikola Andric, project director of Belgrade Furniture Fair, offers his views … Identity: Over 400 exhibitors from Serbia and South-east Europe will unveil their latest thoughts in furniture design, displaying the historic Serbian tradition of hand-craftsmanship in woodworking, cabinetry and upholstery. Attendance: Last year, 381 domestic and foreign exhibitors participated. This year, to meet increased demand, the fair will expand to cover over 50,000m2 – 100% of the fairground’s exhibition halls. Visitors will find 481 exhibitors, and we’re hoping to attract 55,000 [trade and consumer] visitors. What’s new? At the 53rd edition, the focus will expand from the domestic and regional markets to those further afield. Retailers’ needs to reduce inventory, purchase from dependable partners who are nearby, and assure profits through competitive and stable prices for products that will satisfy consumer expectation, have driven us to expand the fair’s reach. For the first time, the fair will dedicate its opening day to trade buyers. Direction? As well as highlighting the fashionforward thinking of Serbian furniture designers and manufacturers, we recognised the need for a significant trade platform for the entire region. Why is Serbia suitable for furniture manufacture? Serbia and the ex-Yugoslavian region have a strong tradition of woodworking and furniture manufacturing. Abundant forests of hard and softwood, an experienced workforce, labour and operating costs among the lowest in the developed world, thousands of flexible enterprises willing and able to react to the demands of foreign markets located just days away by truck from European markets and a stable currency that moves with the euro, all combine to give Serbia an unbeatable advantage. The importance of this sector to Serbia is demonstrated by the Forestry School and testing laboratories at the University of Belgrade.

“For part of the last century, Yugoslavia was the top foreign supplier of wood furniture and components to most of the world, including the US”

Will the show suit the demands of UK buyers? The exhibitors are willing, able and hungry to respond to the needs of UK buyers. Serbia’s location – only 2000km from the UK – and competitive prices represent a reliable supply source, offering commercial products that will increase retailer profits while allowing them to reduce inventories. UK visitors can arrive non-stop from London Heathrow in three hours or less – with round-trip

tickets available for as little as £200 – or connect through most major European cities. In which areas do Serbia’s manufacturers excel? Furniture and wood products are among the few sectors in which Serbia’s exports exceed imports (about fourfold, in fact). With abundant forests, the country is well positioned to produce all types of wood and upholstered furniture, in every style. Is Belgrade visitor-friendly? Belgrade is a sophisticated and tranquil capital city with a population of over 1.5 million. Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport provides non-stop connections with most major European airports. The city offers a wealth of comfortable lodgings, from boutique to conventional hotels, and Belgrade’s newest hotel – the 236-room Radisson Blu – is directly across from the fairgrounds. The fairgrounds are in the city centre, just minutes from numerous cafes, fine-dining restaurants, pubs, museums and other tourist attractions. Why has Serbia only now chosen to target the UK? Our government recognises Serbia’s raw materials and skilled workforce as precious resources. For part of the last century, Yugoslavia was the top foreign supplier of wood furniture and components to most of the world, including the US. Unfortunately, during the years of strife, Serbia and its neighbours lost that position – mostly to Asia. On reflection, our government saw that all the elements that helped us achieve that position are still in place. What is missing is the commercial relationships that permit buyers to exploit the possibilities. Anything else? The 53rd International Fair of Woodworking Machines, Tools and Production Materials is held concurrently at the same location. There is also an interesting showing of works by the region’s most successful designers and architects, entitled Young Balkan Designers. Why is your event better than its competitors? Honestly, it may be premature to claim that it’s better than other furniture events. However, with dramatic currency fluctuations, rampant cost increases in other major furniture export venues, and retailers’ need to purchase goods that can arrive quickly, the Belgrade Furniture Fair is particularly well positioned. We believe we offer advantages that are both unique and in demand

Date: 10-15th November 2015 | Location: Belgrade Fair, Serbia | Contact:

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EVENTS 100% Design

Review 100% Design thrives in new home Attracting over 27,000 visitors (audit pending) from 98 countries, including record numbers of architects and designers, the 21st 100% Design featured 610 exhibitors – a 35% than 2014 – across 22,000m2 of its new home, Olympia London. Paul Farley reports …

My personal highlight of the London Design Festival, 100% Design has turned a corner in recent years, and its offer, although broad, certainly stimulates the senses whilst maintaining commercial heft. Whilst Olympia proved a little less accessible than Earl’s Court – and certainly felt a good deal smaller than the former, despite the presence of a greater number of exhibitors – the bright, modern surroundings suited the high-concept event perfectly, and served to distance it from the somewhat consumer-oriented layout 100% Design previously adhered to.

“The bright, modern surroundings suited the high-concept event perfectly” Set across five sections – Interiors, Design & Build, Kitchens & Bathrooms, Workplace, and Emerging Brands – the UK’s largest design trade show offered a wealth of talks, installations and

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trend presentations alongside a strong exhibitor complement. My own product highlights included Italian fitted furniture specialist Novamobili’s in-situ apartment display, Tom Raffield’s eye-catching steam-bent wooden lamps, and a collection of pieces from the winners of The Furniture Makers’ Design Guild Mark awards – in particular, Cairn Young and Ian Spencer’s Cubrick Cabinet. Show director William Knight was justifiably pleased by the edition’s performance: “Moving 100% Design to a new venue, for only the second time in its 20-year history, has created a number of opportunities to build on the event’s recent successes since Media 10 acquired the show in 2012. Not only did the magnificent surroundings of Olympia London allow us to embrace the hall’s natural light, it also enabled us to revisit the show layout and maintain the ideal balance between an easy-to-navigate show and a series of features to be discovered and experienced.” W

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Collins and Hayes enjoyed their 1st Minerva exhibition, and look forward to working with all the new customers from the show. Our fabulous new ranges are permanently on display in our showroom in East Sussex, and at our trade showroom in Long Eaton, by appointment.

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EVENTS Autumn Furniture Show

Review Autumn Furniture Show celebrates success The organisers of the Minerva Furnishers Guild reported a steady flow of visitors over the two days of the Autumn Furniture Show this year. Many exhibitors took the opportunity to launch new product ranges, with lots stating that healthy business was done over an upbeat two days. There was a noticeable change in exhibitors’ stands – both in terms of design and product – from last year, and the organisers had difficulty in

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selecting the Best of Show award. In the end, Mayor Tapizados of Spain was selected, and the award was presented to the company at the gala dinner on the Tuesday night. The Autumn Furniture Show will be held at the International Centre in Telford again next October, making use of its great facilities and ease of access. Details will be advertised nearer the time. T 01225 444204

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Thank you for making the Autumn Furniture Show a success “New product ranges and improved displays meant a steady flow of visitors, leading to a healthy level of business taking place across the two days – all in all, a performance to be proud of” – Minerva Furnishers Guild T 01225 444 204

The Autumn Furniture Show

| October 2016

The International Centre, Telford 11th & 12th October 2016 Minerva.indd FN_320 v15.indd1 35

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Review Buyers return in force to Bucharest BIFE-SIM, the biggest furniture industry event in South-east Europe took place between the 19th-23rd September at Romexpo Exhibition Centre in Bucharest, Romania.

Attracting some 22,000 visitors over five days, this year’s edition comprised 300 exhibitors from Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary, displaying their product across an exhibition floorspace of 30,000m2 within seven halls. The exhibitors were arranged across five thematic areas: Classic; Design; Comfort; Kitchens; Decorations, Accessories and Materials; and Equipment. In all, some 5000 furniture and accessory products were displayed this year. According the event’s organiser, sofas and kitchens proved the biggest audience draw, and the

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children’s furniture on display, with its minimalist lines and vivid colours, proved a real highlight. Thanks to its scale and the level of innovation on display, the Equipment area too proved impressive. Finally, the winners of Romania’s National Design Contest for furniture were announced at the event, celebrating the next generation of furniture design. BIFE-SIM boasts a “real variety of styles and product types”, commented Furniture News’ Paul Farley, who visited last year’s event. “I’d recommend any buyers exploring new markets in Eastern Europe to take notice.” W

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EVENTS January Furniture Show

Preview 25 years of furniture As the industry prepares to take part in the 26th furniture event to be held at the NEC in January, current show organisers Laraine Janes and Theresa Raymond look back on the changes, challenges and opportunities that have shaped the sector over the past quarter of a century …

1 Pine gave way to chunky oak in the Nineties 2 The Birmingham NEC has been at the heart of the UK’s furniture trading calendar for 25 years


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Revived, refreshed and bursting with new ideas, the British furnishings industry has seen some seismic shifts over the past 25 years. Back on course after one of the longest and deepest recessions in modern times, the industry today is a very different one from that of the early 1990s, when Britain still had a robust manufacturing base, few people had mobile phones, and the internet was in its infancy. British furniture companies were still largely British owned, and brands thrived. Fast forward to 2015, and the world is a very different place. A growing number of furniture transactions are now executed online, increasingly via the mobile phone. The number of cabinet manufacturers still operating in the UK can be counted on one hand, and, while the sales culture remains critical to retailers, the most successful stores present their offer as a lifestyle choice, undoubtedly influenced by Ikea, which wowed with a mix of retail experience, affordable pricing and fun advertising. As Ikea’s stores began to open up around Britain, others tried to compete with its value offer by turning to offshore production, sourcing container loads of furniture from newly-emerging Chinese production facilities. However, it did not take long before disillusionment with the quality, design integrity, consistency, lead times and after-sales services that came with some imported goods set in. While many overcame the issues associated with outsourcing cabinet furniture, much upholstery production has returned to our shores, or relocated to Eastern Europe.

The rush to the bottom also saw a shift in consumer attitudes towards furniture, which became just another fashion item, changed on a whim and discarded without conscience. The switch to commodity trading also lured more value-led retailers into the market. The onslaught of imports saw the industry unite behind such buy-British initiatives, and a new culture of upcycling and recycling. However, by far the biggest impact on the industry in the past decade has been the emergence of online shopping. Consumers themselves are increasingly web-wise, researching online the products they intend to buy. Many now even go online in-store to check out the competition – and the best retailers facilitate this. Household spending has been tightly tied to the housing market, locking the furniture industry’s fortunes into the rollercoaster of property sales. When the market collapsed in 2008, the reverberations were felt keenly by the industry – but when it re-emerged, it was much changed, the companies that survived emerging as leaner organisations. It has been a fascinating quarter of a century, and one which has seen many casualties. But a new era of hope, innovation and fresh ideas is emerging – an era best reflected in the line-up exhibiting at the January Furniture Show, taking place at the Birmingham NEC from 24-27th. Read the extended article in the Resources section of the Furniture News website. W


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RESOURCES Effective closing


Brian Barfield is a two-time published author who specialises in retail sales training. His Modern Day Selling series offers a unique perspective in teaching sales associates how to reconnect with their customers and achieve greater success in their sales career. W

Effective closing techniques Brian Barfield’s series on Modern Day Selling concludes this month with a look at closing the sale – which should prove a straightforward process if the customer has come to trust you …

Have you ever really thought deeply about the concept of closing a sale? For many sales associates, closing can be very complicated and complex. It is often the hardest part of the sales presentation. This has happened because of the way we have chosen to sell to our customers in the past. What if I told you that there was a better way to close? What if I told you that closing could be the easiest part of your sales presentation? For years we have been taught to start closing the sale at the beginning of the sales process. We have been shown many crafty techniques and styles of closing that can actually work – sometimes. I want to share with you a more effective approach, which starts with an understanding that there is a time and place for everything in your sales presentation. From this day forward, I ask you to put your closing technique back in its proper order of selling, which is at the end of the sales presentation. Would you watch the ending of a movie first? No! It would ruin the movie and give you nothing to look forward to. For years we have been selling our customers out of order, which can give you and your customer an uncomfortable experience and ruin the sales presentation.

The first important concept in effective closing is to understand that you must earn the right to close your sale. You do this by building trust and giving your customer the confidence that they need to jump into the close with you. I encourage you to think of closing like skydiving. Think of the courage it must take to make that first jump into the unknown. Your customer can feel the same way when they enter your store for the first time. In order to find this courage it is important to have a knowledgeable instructor to safely see them through the sale. You as a sales associate are now your customer’s instructor through the sales process. They must have complete trust in you and you must overcome their fear of the unknown. Once you have gained their trust and given them confidence, they will jump into the close with you time and time again. Imagine what would happen if you had a lousy instructor on your first skydiving experience. What if your instructor did not appear confident? If they didn’t know how to pack your parachute properly and seemed just as nervous as you when you head up into the sky – would you feel confident enough to jump with this instructor? Confidence is the most important skill that you can possess in closing. Your customer

“Confidence is the most important skill that you can possess in closing. Your customer is looking to you as their instructor to give them the confidence they need to buy”

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is looking to you as their instructor to give them the confidence they need to buy. Any sign of weakness can have your customer begin to second-guess themselves as you are closing, and they will not jump into the close with you. Another important concept in closing is to remember that your customer may begin to give you some reassurance objections as you go through the closing process. Reassurance objections are very different from regular objections. Reassurance objections let you know that you are doing your job well. They might ask: “Is this the best price you can offer?” What they are telling you is that they have found the item that they would like to buy. They need reassurance that they are not overpaying. A confident sales associate will close immediately with reassurance. Apply this knowledge to your closing technique, and see how effective you become. Further insights can be found in my book, Modern Day Selling. In closing this series, I hope you have seen your sales process and customer in a new light. The days of tough selling filled with mistrust and manipulation no longer need to exist. By turning your focus back to meeting your customers’ needs and impacting their lives in a meaningful way, selling can become easy and almost effortless. Over time you will build a large and loyal customer base that will set you apart from your competition. I challenge you to look back over this series, examine each article in depth, and apply your findings to your sales technique today

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PROFILE African Trackwoods

African Trackwoods is a unique handcrafted furniture company based in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, which designs and creates original pieces of furniture from hardwood railway sleepers. Victoria Noakes takes a closer look into the company’s roots and distinctive product offering ...

Modern-day living with a cultural twist At the beginning of the 19th century, thousands of hectares of Southern Africa’s indiginous hardwoods were cut down to be used to form part of the Cape to Cairo railroad. Since the ealy 1900s, these sleepers have been exposed to the elements, constantly weathered and aged in a unique way that is not likely to be repeated. In using these materials as a base for its furniture pieces, African Trackwoods recycles this otherwise unwanted wood, breathing new life into it. The company’s product portfolio includes dining, console and coffee tables, dining chairs, desks, bookcases, TV units, chests of drawers and beds – all of which are heat and water resistant – complementing a modern lifestyle whilst maintaining an historic appeal. Each railway sleeper weighs about 50kg and measures about 2m, and the initial breakdown stage of production is the most costly and tricky, with thick bolts and a steel plate underneath the sleeper needing to be carefully extracted. Three different characters of wood are exhibited within every sleeper – first, a rustic cut with more lines and deep markings, a second, less rustic cut, and a third, very fine look, meaning that several tastes of style can be catered to. The production process involves close attention to detail and a high standard of finish – when the sleepers are delivered to African Trackwoods’ factory, they are graded according to their wood, character and quality. The wood itself is predominantly African teak,

Simon Fox

Coffee table

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African Trackwoods PROFILE saligna or panga panga, all of which are indiginous to Africa. The company is owned and managed by conservationist Simon Fox, who started out his career as a professional guide in the Zambezi Valley, on the shores of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe. After getting married, he moved to Harare with his wife, and saw an opportunity to combine his passion for conservation with life in the city in buying the company around 17 years ago. “What attracted me to it was that they weren’t cutting trees down – it was all natural, recycled and very green. There’s so much



deforestation in the world. There’s still a lot of railway sleepers out there, and I expect the process is going to finish in the next 10-15 years,” says Simon. “Our furniture makes a great talking point – if you sat down at a dining table for example, you’d wonder how many trains had driven over it and you’d know that it could have been laid down as long as 150 years ago. A lot of people like the more rustic look because you can really see the character and history – it’s so unique.” At the time of Simon’s acquisition of the company, the previous owner – and Simon’s past fellow safari guide – moved to the UK and opened up stores in Marlow and Hungerford, which African Trackwoods then supplied to. Unfortunately, when the recession hit the UK in 2008, the shops were closed, leaving African Trackwoods without a steady link to the UK.

“A lot of people like the more rustic look because you can really see the character and history – it’s so unique”

Panelled bed

As a result, the company is working to reintroduce itself to the UK market, and exhibited in the UK for the first time at the Manchester Furniture Show in July. Although it has already seen success in other markets including the USA, Australia, the UAE, Asia and the rest of Africa, the business is now keen to target the less-explored territory of Europe, but with a focus on the UK. “It’s quite tough being a newcomer to the UK market and trying to break into it, especially when it’s clear that the industry is so tightknit and everyone seems to know everyone!,” states Simon. “I still sell to some people who used to shop in the Marlow and Hungerford stores, but establishing ourself better in the UK is definitely our main priority going forwards.” W

4 seater round dining table

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Beautiful Hand Painted Furniture At It's Best Tel: + 353 (0) 404 80068 Mobile: +353 87 0995269 E-mail:

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Heritage Furniture PROFILE



Fresh from launching its biggest oak collection yet – Earlswood Oak – Heritage Furniture is readying itself for the January Furniture Show, at which it plans to unveil a fresh new identity and meet customers’ demand for unique product. Furniture News quizzes MD Saeed Mohmed on the company’s new direction …

Heritage Furniture enters a new phase

Why is Heritage Furniture due for a change? January 2016 is our 10th anniversary, so we decided the time was right to look at every aspect of our business – to rearrange our current offer and launch a new product portfolio. We’ve earned an enviable reputation over the past 10 years and want to build on that but keep moving forward so we stay relevant to our customers’ needs and changing trends. We’re making changes, but we’re not changing for change’s sake – our customers will benefit from being able to offer greater choice and greater value to their customers. No business can stand still – it has to move with the times. What was popular five years ago can easily be out of favour today, and any business that does not adapt and evolve is doomed to fail. Which aspects are set to evolve? The company will have a new look with fresh branding, and beautifully-produced brochures with new photography of all current and new ranges. Customers will also be able to create their own branding on PoS materials, and additional PoS will be available on all ranges. Most importantly, we will introduce fresh, unique ranges with a wider choice of items, and unveil a simpler and more competitive pricing structure, with quicker service and home delivery options. Retailers will be offered exclusivity on ranges to enable them to offer something different – we aim to work with them as partners to ensure we are meeting their specific needs, and develop mutually-beneficial long-term relationships. We are also in the process of updating our website – customers will be able place orders online, which will be linked to our back-end system where the orders will be processed instantly. The new site will feature more information on products, pricing and availability, and customers will be able to download brochures and images. Why is it so important to offer something different? Flick through most furniture wholesalers’ brochures and you’ll see the same ranges with similar finishes, all presented in the same way. We

Earlswood Oak

want to stand out and offer something different, so that when you see our name you’ll know there’s something new and exciting to discover. The launch of the Earlswood Oak range has proven very successful – with 38 pieces in the range, at a fantastic price point, it’s now one of the largest oak ranges in the UK. All customers stocking Earlswood have exclusivity in their territory – customers have seen a growth in sales and profitability. How are you going about developing unique product? We have joined forces with a new designer who has been out on the furniture front line for us, talking to customers, researching trends, analysing our competitors and helping us plan for the future. Extensive market research has given us an insight into what people want, and we’ve been working hard to deliver on our findings. Is your operation set to change significantly? Not everything is changing. Our commitment to outstanding customer service will remain, as will our insistence on offering the best quality and value possible – and we will continue to listen to our customers, because our future success depends on theirs. We founded Heritage Furniture back in 2006 with the aim of sourcing and supplying high-quality wooden furniture, and we’ve never wavered from that initial ambition. We’ve worked hard to establish strong links with the best manufacturers worldwide and offer furniture for the home that is as beautiful as it is practical. From the very beginning, we’ve developed our own furniture from the design stage through to the finished product, and it’s something that’s always set us apart, and will continue to do so. When will the trade find out more? We aim to start next year with a bang. By the time the 2016 January Furniture Show comes around, all our hard work over the course of this year – new designs, pricing and branding – will come to fruition.

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Drawer Palette, Authentic Models

Glimmer, a key trend from Gallery Direct, featuring a sample of the company’s new products

Gallery Direct (01795 439159, sales@ launched its Autumn/ Winter Look Book at Birmingham’s Autumn Fair in September, adding around 160 new products to its already-extensive collection, including items across all five of the company’s brands. Mat Penney, product director, comments: “The team has worked really hard to create something fresh and new for our autumn launch, and we are extremely proud of the results. Whether you’re seeking a glimmer of gold or a hint of rustic charm, our brandnew stunning range of exclusively-designed furniture and accessories will provide you with all you need to achieve those key ontrend looks for this autumn. “We’ve widened our eclectic range of

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eye-catching mirrors still further, along with introducing an inspirational new collection of lighting featuring stunning materials and striking designs. On the furniture side, our sofa and chair collection has been expanded to include a selection of sumptuous velvet designs, whilst our range of tables has grown to include even more stylish yet affordable designs, both classic and contemporary. We’ve also extended the range of accessories and soft furnishings we offer.” The Look Book presents all the new products, featuring key trends and Get the Look ideas. From elegant to modern, these new collections are set to inspire, offering a huge variety to suit all tastes. The new Drawer Palette cabinet from Authentic Models (01403 734999, www.

Horten, Serene Living is hand-finished in AM’s trademark French style, then slightly distressed, featuring drawer fronts finished in warm and bright colours. Silent sliding doors on the bottom and campaign-style corners finish this piece, which is ideal for a playroom or to add a pop of colour to a hallway. The popularity of Serene Living’s (0121 505 0270, Recliner Collection continues to grow. As a generously upholstered 360˚ swivel recliner, Horten is one of the collection’s best-selling designs. More-than-ample cushioning and a robust frame make Horten a sturdy and comfortable adjustable chair that comes in a choice of black, brown and cream faux leather, its mahogany finish wooden base complemented by faux leather inserts. >>>

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LIVING ROOM Mix and match Bluebone’s designs to produce a striking effect

This sofa features Exeter, from Kobe’s Essente upholstery and curtain fabric range

Luxury fabric specialist Kobe (01344 771653, introduced its Essente autumn collection of contemporary curtain and upholstery fabrics. The range features a variety of plains in a cool linen, soft suede and silk satin appearance. Essente’s curtain and upholstery fabrics include Exeter and Cambridge, both comprising 100% polyester. The Essente Savanna collection, a range of upholstery fabrics, includes Antelope, a woven jacquard comprising 100% polyester. The collection is easy to care for, washable

Z Modern coffee table, Homestyle GB

and suitable for upholstery and soft furnishings. When used for upholstery, Kobe’s Essente fabrics can be supplied with a domestic backcoat which complies with BS 5852 ignition source 0 and 1, passing the cigarette and match test. All Kobe’s upholstery fabrics offer high durability, scoring highly on the Martindale Rub Test. Well known for its unique designs and quality furniture, Bluebone’s (www.bluebone. bestselling items cover various styles and budgets. Painted white, mango lounge and engineered accessories and a neutral

multi-drawer chest can be combined to create a cool and crisp design. Homestyle GB ( is a family-owned and operated wholesaler specialising in high quality solid wood and genuine leather furniture to the furniture trade. With a large warehousing capacity, the company prides itself on the fact that 99% of its products are available from stock. Homestyle supplies a wide variety of products including dining tables and bedroom furniture. Its ranges are constantly evolving and offer great value

Relax in...


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Expert in fibre, foam and feather fillings, Fibreline, has further improved its already-popular Encore cushion range with the addition of a zip, making the cushions even easier to maintain.

Encore’s new cushions boast even quicker recovery The simple addition of a zip allows easy access to the inner core of the cushion, so it can be massaged to full plumpness with ease. According to Fibreline, the Encore brand has been a great success since it was launched in 2010, and now offers two variants – fibre and feather. Crucially, these cushions have the look and feel of fibre or feather, yet boast the recovery of foam. Encore-Fibre has been awarded the FIRA Gold seal of approval, outperforming all other fibre cushions in tests. The Encore cushion range retains a casual look, and, with a four-year guarantee against sagging, gives retailers confidence in the performance of fibre and feather in seat cushion applications. Encore’s secret is a core of highperformance seating foam which allows the cushion to spring back to its original shape again and again. An Encore seat cushion also has the added advantage of being lighter than a similar-sized fibre or feather cushion. It is therefore easier to pick up and plump. In fact, altogether less frequent plumping is required, as the simple action of regularly turning the cushion is enough to maintain its performance. Fibreline believes in a continual investment programme to keep it at the leading edge of fillings manufacturing. Established in 1982, Fibreline was one of the first companies to manufacture carded fibre cushions for use in the UK upholstery market. Over the years, Fibreline has grown to be a leading supplier of not only polyester fibre, but also feather and foam cushions. As a manufacturer of all three fillings it has pioneered the development of a range of combination fillings for designers wishing to offer something different to the norm. Encore feather/foam cushion

The addition of a zip to Fibreline’s popular Encore range means that plumping cushions is easier than ever

Encore fibre/foam pillow

“The zip allows easy access to the core of the cushion, so it can be massaged to full plumpness with ease” Fibreline intends to continue to innovate in this market, using its skills and the latest technology to stay at the forefront of cushion design. T 01535 606846 W

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Introducing Panacea’s contemporary styled sofa, The Bowie This gorgeous looking sofa features soft scatter backed cushions, with a center cushion in soft velvet of the Union Jack, sumptuous pocket sprung seating, black leather gel studded with chrome and matching chromed feet, give the Bowie a truly sensational look to compliment any home.

Contemporary styled luxury, this sofa has been designed for the modern home, clean lines, trendy chromed legs, soft Italian Cayman leather, yet as always total support and luxurious comfort make this fabulous sofa another winner from Panacea

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A masterpiece of design from Panacea, finished in Italian Oiled Leather, chrome side studding, lavish pocket sprung comfort seating, plump back cushions, scroll arms all complement each other to create this stunning sofa, if you are looking for the WoW factor, look no further.

Classical but with a modern twist, say hello to the Prodigy, covered in stunning Italian Rawhide this beauty fits any style of home, our luxurious pocket sprung seating, is part of our sofas DNA. Scroll arms and deep buttoning, and oak turned feet creating a chesterfield that is unique in comfort and style.

Covered in the softest of soft velvets, the Prodigy takes on a completely different appearance, giving a soft and gentle look, chrome studding on the arm fascias and chromed legs, to transform this classical sofa into a modern masterpiece. In three different sizes, let it bring out the designer in you.

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Harrison Spinks has developed the NaturalStart cot mattress range

DG range, Kettle Interiors

Unveiled at its recent successful in-house show, the new DG painted bedroom collection is the latest launch from Kettle Interiors (01536 444960). Representing the reintroduction of contrasting top furniture into the supplier’s portfolio, the new DG range is in line with the latest emerging trends in the painted furniture segment. The collection features a contrasting oak top and the option of oak or metal knobs supplied with every piece. Featuring a range of chests and three different sized wardrobes, this collection is ideal for retailers wanting to stay abreast of the latest developments in the market. It is

also the first to enjoy Kettle Interiors’ new naming convention in order to combat online price comparison and trading solely on price. With over 80,000 items of furniture in its UK and overseas warehousing, Kettle Interiors is ready to supply retailers across the UK with great value oak, pine and painted furniture collections through its service packages that promise fast, flexible and reliable supply. Harrison Spinks (www.harrisonspinks. has launched NaturalStart, a new range of cot mattresses specifically designed for babies. The collection uses 100% natural materials and a world-


leading pocket spring technology, which have been specially manufactured for the mattresses. Innovative BabySpring technology adapts to the sleeping position of the baby, and ensures perfect postural support throughout the night. The mattresses also feature luxury fillings such as Herdwick wool, cashmere and mohair, plus a layer of hemp. The mattresses are dual sided, designed to offer the correct postural support at each stage of infant development. The first side is for babies between 0-18 months and the other for those up to five years of age

CASA BELLA FURNISHINGS Manufacturers of inspired fabric sofas & chairs Trade showroom now open!

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DINING ROOM Launched at Kettle Interiors’ (01536 444960) recent in-house show and co-ordinating well with the supplier’s oak dining furniture, the PR dining chair represents new ground for the supplier as its first upholstered style. Finished in a striking yet durable linenlook fabric, PR makes a great addition to any

Lichfield dining group, Old Charm dining room – its classic styling blending well with both contemporary and traditional settings. With natural finish oak legs, PR is an ideal accompaniment to Kettle Interiors’ oak dining tables, providing retailers with an option to padded and wooden seat chairs, as well as the existing Cheltenham and Chester bonded leather styles. Enjoying Kettle Interiors’ new naming convention in order to combat online price comparison and trading solely on price, PR is now available through wholesale, stockist and container supply packages. Old Charm’s ( new finish Fumed Oak is proving popular with the trade. Fumed Oak is a paler and more weathered colour enhanced with a

PR, Kettle Interiors

subtle charcoal grain strike. The new oak colour provides a more sophisticated and contemporary feel as well as offering the consumer a wider choice of wood finishes, with seven colours in total. The new Lichfield dining group was successfully launched at the Manchester Furnitue Show, and features an extending refectory table available in two sizes – 5ft & 6ft – and a sideboard. An elegant wing back dining chair featuring a comfortable high back and tapered legs completes the group. One of the company’s bestselling dining groups, Lancaster, is one of the oldest styles in the collection. The traditional H-frame base and turned legs create a classical look that complements many interior styles


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Introducing the stunning new Miraform collection. Our uniquely engineered spring-free mattress technology, featuring ergonomic zoning to provide superior spinal alignment and unsurpassed pressure relief. Available with a choice of traditional memory foam or state of the art Geltex comfort layers.

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Taking place at the Telford International Centre in September, this year’s Bed Show lived up to expectations with an array of innovative product on display from a host of major bed industry players.

The Bed Show celebrates a successful edition

The winners and runner-ups of the Bed Industry Awards

This year, the Bed Show boasted three full halls of returning, established exhibitors – including Breasley Consumer Products, Sweet Dreams, Hypnos, Silentnight, Simmons and Steinhoff – as well as newcomers Global Components, MA Living, Duvalay trading as The Hilary Devey Collection, Kozee Sleep Midlands and Revitalise, part of The Foam Company. A unique mix of bed manufacturers and component suppliers made the event a must-attend for those involved in the bed industry. With only NBF members being able to exhibit at the show, this ensured that visitors placing orders were investing in and supporting British manufacturing. What’s more, with the independently audited Code of Practice firmly in place after being introduced at last year’s event, buyers were given the confidence that all exhibitors meet legal standards and supply safe and honest products. “Each year the Bed Show attracts between 1300 – 1400 visitors and this year was no exception. Once again the halls looked amazing – the amount and quality of product was fantastic and the two days were buzzing with activity, particularly on the first day. Both exhibitors and visitors reported another excellent show so we must be doing something right!” says Jessica Alexander, executive director of the NBF. Once again this year, five industry players were recognised at the NBF Bed Industry Awards at the Gala Dinner. Now in their fifth year, the awards are designed to acknowledge companies considered as ‘best in class’ over the past 12 months. The winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges consisting of editors from the industry’s trade journals, plus Bernard Eaton, MD of Greenwood Retail, and Jessica Alexander, executive director of the NBF. The winners were Harrison Spinks for Bed Manufacturer of the Year; John Cotton for Bed Component Supplier of the Year; Furniture Village

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for Multiple Bed Retailer of the Year; Newbridge Street Bedding Centre for Independent Bed Retailer of the Year and Mattress Online for E-tailer of the Year. Ebrahim Patel, president of the NBF, says: “The bed industry awards are the pinnacle of excellence and this year the competition was stronger than ever with the quality of entries improving year-onyear, giving the judges an ever harder task. Once again, the awards demonstrate that the bedding industry has some brilliant companies doing very brilliant things – and it’s great to be a part of that. Well done to our winners!” The Bed Show will return to Telford’s International Centre for a seventh year on 20th and 21st September 2016. W

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Heritage, Rest Assured

Shire Beds continues to bring innovative products to the market

The Rest Assured ( Heritage collection now includes a luxury 2800 pocket product. With 2800 pocket springs, the latest model in the range offers comfort and back support. The memory wool filling keeps the body warm in winter and cool in summer and with a choice of headboard designs and base colours, it has been designed to offer style at an affordable price. The beds are created using traditional techniques to combine Mirapocket springs with premium fillings and all mattresses in the Heritage range come with Purotex as standard. The mattresses are all handtufted throughout for long-lasting support and with the no-turn policy, upkeep and maintenance of the products is kept to a minimum. The Heritage collection offers a selection

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Royal Sovereign, Dunlopillo

of different storage solutions including the innovative ottoman unit, along with a choice of luxury handmade headboards to complement the divans to achieve a classic style which will suit any bedroom. The divans and headboards also come in a choice of colours to suit personal style, including a light slate grey and a deeper tan. All Rest Assured’s products and raw materials are rigorously tested in the company’s in-house Satra-approved testing lab so its customers know that their bed or mattress meets all safety quality and flammability standards. Dunlopillo ( recently won a Which? Best Buy award for its Royal Sovereign mattress. With consumers desiring a breathable alternative to the memory foam products in the marketplace, Dunlopillo’s

unique open cell structure is proving popular. It not only creates high levels of comfort and support, but it also delivers much-needed airflow which is not present in the premium memory foam brands. With nationwide distribution, Dunlopillo has a firm hold on the premium end of the market. Shire Beds ( brings to market innovative and design-led products – from boutique-inspired divans to bed-bugbanishing mattresses. At the Bed Show, Shire Beds added to its ever-popular eco Shire range as well as filling the gap with more price-led offerings. With more and more people matching their bed to the decor of the bedroom, Shire Beds added two blue hues to the Victoria range of base fabrics. In addition, the company’s Roll and Rest range will be available in time for Christmas. >>>

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Our Heritage Collection offers affordable luxury and exquisite style and has been awarded Good Housekeeping Institute approval for the 2nd year running! For more information please call 01282 851111 or visit

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BED SHOW REVIEW SleepShaper Gold 2000, The Foam Company

Coolwave, Hush-a-Bye Beds Somnus makes use of natural fillings in its mattresses

The Club, Mammoth Technologies

The Foam Company’s (01235 514240) SleepShaper Gold range of beds and mattresses features ground-breaking Vystex foam, incorporating V-Max technology for improved airflow. Manufactured in the UK exclusively for The Foam Company, this pioneering foam has gone through extensive thermal testing, showing that Vystex is able to dissipate heat 47% more quickly than standard memory foam. Not only is this foam cooler than standard memory foam, but at 70kg compared to most memory foams of 40-50kg, it is also of a better quality. There are five mattresses in the SleepShaper Gold range. All come with divans and co-ordinating contemporary headboards. Jason Lowdon, sales and marketing director of Somnus (, part of Harrison Spinks, says: “We were proud to be a part of another successful NBF show. It also gave us the opportunity to offer the trade a first look at our new generation Supremacy collection, which has an unrivalled spring count of more than 30,000 – a number previously unseen in the industry. “Launching to the consumers in 2016, the new range features our unique 4K spring technology and uses 100% natural pocket cloth. This continues our drive towards all natural materials used in our products, some of which are sourced from our own Yorkshire farm. The new collection also introduces luxury tree-silk cotton and sumptuous alpaca

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wool, along with high-quality, long stranded, hand-teased horsetail, giving our mattresses the highest quality of filling blends. “The show was made even more special as we were named NBF’s Bed Manufacturer of the Year at the prestigious awards. Overall, it was a great show once again.” The NBF Bed Show proved a resounding success for Hush-a-Bye Beds (www. this year. The theme of its stand was innovation, with a completely re-imagined Coolwave range, new pillow tops and an original ottoman base. Coolwave is a range of gel-infused latex mattresses, which is seen by many as a much more credible proposition than gel-infused memory foam. As sales director, Andy Richards, explains: “It has always seemed odd to us that one would start with a naturally hot product, such as memory foam, and then attempt to cool it down. Why not start with a cooler material and improve on that? And if orders are a good indication, our customers agree with us.” Of course, technology is not everything – this year’s range was displayed with a completely redesigned look featuring a striking dual tone border. The new ottoman, acknowledged by FIRA as one of the safest products of its type on the market, also generated a lot of interest, as did the new range of pillow top no-turn mattresses. The company prides itself on listening

to its customers. Andy explains: “As we sell exclusively to bricks and mortar stores, we have a very direct conversation with them about what they are looking for. So whether the issue is safety, an alternative to memory foam or the turnability of quality, handmade mattresses, we can respond with new product and innovation.” This approach seems to be working as the Bed Show 2015 was a successful show for Hush-a-Bye, with more new floor models and accounts secured than at previous shows. Responding to consumer and retailer demands for high-end mattresses, UK mattress brand Mammoth Technologies ( has launched a luxury range, The Club. Unveiled at the Bed Show, The Club is made from Mammoth’s most advanced Medical Grade foam, combined with a pocket base, offering superior circulation and pressure-relieving benefits. Each mattress has integrated washable mattress protectors, a high-spec Tencel cooling cover, edge-to-edge support and a 10year guarantee. Mammoth has reaffirmed its unique designs and intellectual property this year with new design features including an exclusive-to-Mammoth marbled effect on its foam, which cannot be copied – giving retailers further USPs whilst providing consumers the peace of mind that they are purchasing the genuine article. >>>

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Regal Signature mattress, Hypnos

Climate Collection, Carpenter

Sovereign 6000, Sweet Dreams

Mozart 6000 in bronze, Highgate Beds

Chris Ward, marketing director at Hypnos (, says: “Exhibiting at this year’s NBF Bed Show gave us a great opportunity to show off our extensive product offering and the supreme comfort that these offer, as well as our stylish new Regal Collection. “It’s the sixth time we’ve attended the show and we’ve been working incredibly hard to become a benchmark in the luxury bed market around the world. Events like this provide a great platform to be able to showcase our craftsmanship and design efforts and to meet with other like-minded bed manufacturers and most importantly, engage with customers. “Our customers know that Hypnos beds come with comfort as standard but when coupled with our bespoke design options, including headboards, fabrics, divan styles, hidden under-bed storage options and feet, they know they’ll be getting something which is really special. “The Regal collection has been designed with supreme levels of comfort in mind and boasts the ultimate in luxuriously firm comfort and total body support, which can be personalised with the addition of a loose comfort layer packed with sumptuous Alpaca wool. It was great to be able to debut these no-turn mattresses and the coir-top low profile divans at the show and we’ve had some fantastic feedback and orders already.” Carpenter, (

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the manufacturer behind some of the world’s leading foam bedding products, has launched a new temperature-regulating bedding product – the Climate Collection – which includes memory foam mattresses, pillows and toppers, and is part of the popular sleep better range. Using a patented Thermic technology, the bedding responds to changes in temperature by absorbing, storing and releasing heat to keep the microclimate temperature – the temperature close to the skin – within a comfort zone of 28-30˚C for longer than standard products. Different to other cooling bedding currently available in the UK, the Climate Collection regulates temperature at the closest point to the skin thanks to a specific layer on top of Carpenter’s memory foam mattress, pillow and topper products. The coating absorbs heat when the temperature of the microclimate is above the comfort zone and releases heat if it drops below around 28˚C. Climate Colection is available to retailers now with stock availability from January 2016. Sweet Dreams, ( focusing more than ever on own-manufacture beds, launched two top-end collections at The Bed Show to acclaim – the Royal Pillowtop and Enchanted Beds collections. The company continued its move into high quality beds with these luxury divans and enjoyed record sales at the show as a result.

The Royal Pillowtop collection features four beds with an impressively high count of pocket springs in the main part of the mattress and a pillowtop with its own minispring system. Top model Sovereign contains 4000 pocket springs as well as memory foam in the main mattress and 2000 mini-springs in the pillowtop, bringing the total spring count to 6000. Across the range, luxurious fillings are used in the tufted, luxury knit mattresses and the finishing is high quality, with bumper bar and shepherd castors to the bases. The beds come in three sizes with multiple storage options. Enchanted Beds is a collection of upmarket divans in five sizes with encapsulated springs, luxury fillings and removable covers. Four beds feature pocket springs and four feature Sweet Dreams’ exclusive Sleepzone springs. Zircon Latex, an encapsulated pocket spring bed with latex filling, attracted a lot of attention at the show. Beds in both new collections will be sold complete with branded footmats and pillowcases for showroom models. Highgate Beds ( reported that this year’s Bed Show was one of its best exhibitions to date, with numerous orders, meeting the criteria for both loyal customers and potential new ones. The company’s new products, particularly the Zero Gravity range, proved to be popular at the show. Highgate thanks its customers – old and new – for their continued support

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One of Britain’s biggest bed and mattress maker, Silentnight, has announced the launch of its new mattress collection, Miraform – its most technologically advanced mattress to date.

Silentnight makes use of new technology

Miraform with Geltex and two drawers, in Sandstone

Silentnight’s new spring-free Miraform mattress technology features unique ergonomic zoning with micro cavities specially designed, and officially proven, to align the spine and provide superior pressure relief. Consumers can choose the comfort layer to suit them – opting for memory foam or Geltex – for great pressure relief. The traditional memory foam is for those who prefer its slow-release body-moulding properties, while breathable Geltex is for people that prefer their mattress to be instantly responsive. Both options provide a technically-advanced spring-free system. The mattress has also been designed to fully complement the choice of accompanying stylish bases and headboards. The complete Miraform bed collection is available in a choice of high quality fabric colours, so users can personalise every aspect of their sleep solution. Nick Booth, marketing director of Silentnight, says: “We are always working hard to stay ahead of the game in the industry and bring the most technically advanced products to market first, and Miraform is a great example of this. The specifically engineered layers, ability to tailor the comfort layer, and the ergonomic zoning, result in an unrivalled comfort and quality sleep solution for consumers.” W

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Miraform ottoman with memory foam in Teal

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100 night sleep trial offer on all Breasley are proud to have won the NBF Bed Manufacturer of the Year Highly Commended Award, and to have achieved the AIS Gold Standard Award for 2015. These accolades show our commitment to investment, innovation, design and customer service.













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Kaymed has over a century’s expertise at the forefront of sleep science and is a leading innovator of temperature-regulating materials for mattresses.

Kaymed’s impressive autumn launches

Mighty Summit

With an ethos of innovation and not imitation, Kaymed introduced a number of new additions to its bestselling range during the autumn show season. The company’s latest advancement is Response Gel, a fusion of Kaymed’s exclusive instant-response open cell material and patented MicroSupport Gel Beads. This unique combination delivers the feel of latex combined with thermal regulating gel technology, for a scientifically-proven cooler and more comfortable sleep. Response Gel is one of the most advanced instant feel materials to enter the UK market, offering high levels of pressure relief and temperature control. A wide range of models has been introduced, including pocket sprung and all foam options. Kaymed also presented its latest Therma-Phase introductions to this unique and commercial offering. Therma-Phase combines high-density visco-elastic with an infusion of unique phase-change gel crystals. The gel works constantly to absorb, store and release body heat to maintain the ideal sleep surface temperature of 30-32°C. To further enhance the range, the Therma-Phase Reflections collection has been introduced. This range allows consumers to combine either a pocket-sprung or all-foam base mattress with a choice of Therma-Phase topper for a bespoke solution to their requirements. Bringing pressure relief to the fore, Kaymed also featured the V85 range. Available as a solid block or on pocket springs, V85 is a superior grade visco-elastic, approved for, and used in, medical applications. V85 has a high level of density that gives a combination of support and pressure relief regardless of temperature. While some materials

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Silhouette require heat to make them function, making them susceptible to environmental conditions, V85 remains consistently comfortable throughout the year. Finally, the Kaymed Mighty Bed was on display – a bed designed to be durable with long-term performance. This range has proved fruitful for the company’s stockists and is now one of the UK market’s leading firmer-feel premium brands. Mighty Bed has a reinforced spring system and strong divan base giving it a durability level reflected in its 15-year warranty. W

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A plan to grow sales that’s not a fairy tale

Sell happily ever after From Therma-Phase™ to Mighty Bed™, V85™ Visco Elastic to our new Response-Gel™, Kaymed’s patented technologies have every base covered. We lead the way in the development of pressure relieving and temperature regulating materials, all created and manufactured in house. This allows Kaymed stockists to enjoy the benefits of being first to market with groundbreaking technologies, giving them the edge over their competition.

If you want to increase sales and realise the return on investment of innovation over imitation, contact us now via the ‘Become a Stockist’ link on, and sell happily ever after.

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To coincide with its 10 year anniversary, Breasley Consumer launched the new You range at this year’s Bed Show on a dedicated stand, displaying the Perfect collection.

Celebrating 10 years of innovation

You range Perfect collection

Breasley’s unique You range of 10 mattresses offering 10 different feels is the culmination of 10 years of investment, innovation and design in vacuum packed mattresses. Numbered from 1 to 10, the collection has an impressive range of USPs. One of these is new ConiCoil technology – these micro pocket coil springs have been designed exclusively for Breasley Consumer, and the three dimensional properties of the springs offer a comfortable experience. The collection features 1000, 2000 and 3000 spring counts. The collection also features three comfort layers – high grade foam, Viscoool or Latexco latex – and the latest compression technology means Breasley can fold, roll and deliver a pocket sprung mattress. In addition, there is a 100 night sleep trial offer on the full range of You mattresses, and the You Perfect collection is manufactured in the UK, and comes with a full five-year guarantee. The striking lime green and black branding caught the eye and the imagination of visitors to the show. Comments such as: “It’s bold and fresh, and will have real appeal, particularly to our younger market” and “Numbering the mattresses from 1 to 10 is a great idea. These days, with people living such busy lives, we find that customers want a simple message that is easy to understand, to help them make their buying decision.” MD Stuart Hibbert says: “If a customer prefers a non-spring construction, then mattress No 10 is the perfect combination of latex, Viscoool and high grade support foam. This fantastic collection really does offer something for everyone, so you can find the mattress to perfectly suit your individual needs.” The pinnacle of Breasley Consumer’s success this year was receiving the Highly Commended accolade in the the NBF Bed Manufacturer

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You range mattress close up of the Year Award at the Bed Show Gala Dinner. The week before, Breasley Consumer was also presented with the coveted AIS Gold Stand Award. Stuart continues: “These awards are very important to us, and show our commitment over the past decade to invest, innovate and design commercial products to help our retail partners every step of the way, including a high level of customer service. I’m sure the next 10 years will be just as rewarding!” W

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With a busy stand full of customers plus world champion boxer David Haye and Olympic snowboarder Zoe Gillings paying a visit, Sealy certainly made an impact at this year’s Bed Show.

Sealy’s sporty appeal

Sealy’s ottomans offer a great storage solution

Pocket Profile Reflect 1400

On Sealy’s stand during the Bed Show, former WBA World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, David Haye, patiently signed autographs in between telling delegates about how sleep impacted on his training regime and sporting performance over the years. At the opposite end of the sporting spectrum, Zoe Gillings, Britain’s Olympic snowboarder, spread a similar message: “I work incredibly hard with an intensive training schedule throughout the summer and I need around 9.5 hours sleep per night to be at my best. I’ve slept on a lot of beds over the past 10 years and my Sealy is by far the best I’ve ever experienced. I’ve had one for years and wouldn’t change it – except for another Sealy!” Zoe was on the Sealy stand to launch the company’s new Bed Selector app that will be available to help customers ensure they get exactly the right bed for them when they go in store to try out and

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Zoe Gillings with Sealy’s Bed Selector app

make a purchase. Away from the high profile visitors, it was business as usual on the Deeper Sleeping Sealy show stand. The two Which? Best Buy beds were on show – Napoli and Teramo from the Pocket range – attracting considerable interest. To receive two in one year is a major accomplishment for Sealy. With a Sealy Profile bed – now with the addition of pocket spring models – the user can feel the slightly convex zones which sit laterally across the centre of the mattress and the neck zone, which are ideal for subtly offering an extra bit of support. If storage space is at a premium, customers may wish to consider one of the new Sealy ottomans. With a choice of mattress from the most popular Sealy ranges, the ottomans offer a spacious solution. W

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2,000 Pocketed Springs

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FURNITURE NEWS NEW DPS OCT 9.qxp_Layout 1 08/10/2015 16:11 Page 1

Pocket Teramo 1400 Which? Best Buy Top Scoring Mattress

For more information on these groundbreaking beds, contact the

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Pocket Napoil 1200 Which? Best Buy Pocket Spring Mattress

The Which? accreditation is trusted by the consumer as objective, trustworthy and hugely important when it comes to making major buying decisions. At Telford, despite the presence of boxing legend David Haye and champion snowboarder Zoe Gillings-Brier, our two Which? accredited models were the stars of the show. The Sealy Napoli 1200 was first Which? Best Buy for Pocket Spring Mattresses back in 2013. Two years and two further accreditations later, it’s still the best. In June this year our Pocket Teramo 1400 mattress was awarded a Best Buy by Which? with them saying it was "the best mattress we've tested in years." What more can we say?

Sealy Sales Hotline on 016973 20342.

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Don’t Take Our Word For It, Take Theirs! “What you said would happen, in fact, did happen and I've never seen a queue like it....customer base increased by 100%, and heightened profile within Northumberland, possibly due to television advertising. We had a lot of very happy customers.” Richard Rutherford • G. Rutherford & Co. Ltd., Morpeth, Northumberland • 27th July 2015

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“I thought the 1st event was fantastic, but we have beaten that figure by 15% and we have never achieved such a turnover in a 4 week period.” David Christy • Ramsdens Home Grimsby • 17th July 2015

"It was a success once again, up to expectations, creating a large flow of customers into the stores and making the sales we needed. Will surely organise another one in the future!" Polis Xinaris • Xinaris, Nicosia, Cyprus • 13th July 2015

All our testimonials are genuine, current and displayed in full on our website.

Contact Us Today!

Contact Gareth Price Tel: 07974 209761 Copyright 2014 Lynch Brothers Licensing Corporation

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Louis de Poortere ( has introduced its latest in innovative rug design with the vintage 60s-inspired Mad Men range, which debuted at this year’s 100% Design in London. A statement range featuring designs inspired by the Mad Men of Manhattan – the golden boys of the 60s responsible for some of America’s most recognisable brand images – these are contemporary looks for the bold and daring individual. The zany style is woven onto jacquard wilton looms in a combination of high gloss polyester and cotton chenille. The style is a vibrant mixture of straight and broken lines, dull and shiny yarns, and smooth and rugged pencil strokes, all geared towards creating something unique for striking design-led interiors. A choice from Mad Men’s Skyscraper, Jacob’s Ladder, Herringbone or Griff designs ensures the end user is gaining a piece unlike anything produced by Louis de Poortere before. Skyscraper plays on the straight lines of the late 50s and early 60s, the cool colours of day offset by the rich shades of night, captured in the shine of urban office windows. Herringbone champions simplicity and has its roots in more traditional rug design, these geometric weaves comprising bicolour patterns representative of contrasts in communities, struggles felt not just in the times of the Mad Men but also through to modern day society. Finally, the feeling of disorder and rift is taken to new levels with the energetic 60s-style action painting as displayed through Griff. Empire Red, Broadway Glitter, Brooklyn Blue and Columbus Gold are just some of the hues on offer from the eclectic Mad Men collection, these colours woven into fine materials

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DESIGNER In Design – Juwon Seo

Furniture designer Juwon Seo’s nest of tables, Cosmos, mixes traditional Korean influences with a modern appeal.

In Design: Cosmos nest of tables, Juwon Seo “My ambition is to be a designer who creates playful, functional and unique pieces of furniture that people enjoy using”

“Koreans traditionally ate using a small portable table called a Soban. When a Korean family had a meal, the family members brought their Sobans together”

“Cosmos can be used as a one-person dining table or transformed into a group/family dining space when more than one table in the nest in used”

“The table can be personalised with pictures and cards, to remind people of their family, friends and past experiences when they eat alone at home”

“Cosmos helps bring a human connection to the solo dining trend – people often forget the importance of having company due to technology and individualised consumption”

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Training: Juwon studied chemistry at Han-Yang University in South Korea until she realised an ambition for design. She then came to the UK and started an Art and Design Foundation course at London Metropolitan University, which led her to a BA Furniture Design course at Bucks New University. Achievements: Juwon has received two awards this year – the New Designers John Lewis Award for Design & Innovation and the Makita Award for Excellence of Design Combined with Excellence of Craft. E

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SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER BFM Ltd has been a trade association since 1949 and has therefore represented the interests of the British furniture industry for more than 65 years. There is currently a vacancy for an enthusiastic and motivated Sales and Marketing Manager to recruit new members from manufacturing companies from all the furniture sectors and the wider industry. The successful candidate will also provide on-going customer service to current members. The role is positioned at a competitive salary with benefits. The job description is available on request. Applications/requests should be made to Jackie Bazeley, Managing Director, The Clare Centre, Wycombe Road, Saunderton, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4BF or by email to BFM 2.indd 1

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? 96


LAST WORD Anthony Joyce

Anthony Joyce CEO, Steinhoff UK Manufacturing Steinhoff UK Manufacturing encompasses the local beds and upholstery manufacturing and sourcing divisions of Steinhoff International. As one of the UK’s leading bed manufacturers, Steinhoff is a custodian of some of the best-known industry brands – Relyon, Dunlopillo, Myers, Slumberland and Staples – as well as producing and sourcing upholstery in Bridgend, and managing its Pritex acoustic solution and foam conversion business in Wellington.

How did you enter the trade? I started work in my father’s business, Gateway Systems, after leaving college. Gateway imported machinery, and produced and reconditioned machines for the mattress industry. Who was your inspiration? I have been very lucky in my working life as I have worked with many inspirational people – however, two stand out. My father was my first mentor, and taught me to work hard and play hard. I think it’s a bonus when you have an opportunity to work with a family member, and have a much closer relationship than you would under normal circumstances. My second mentor was Tom Wells. He helped me develop from running a small family business to working for an American multinational. He actively worked to grow and develop talent and played a hand in the careers of many of the current senior executives at Leggett & Platt (L&P). What was your career high point? So far, I would say convincing Leggett & Platt to invest £25m in a new manufacturing facility in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As with all large investments, many options are considered, and it took time to get the goahead. Creating over 200 jobs on the site of the old Grimethorpe colliery was something I am proud of. … and low point? I don’t really have a low point – I am a halffull rather than a half-empty type of person.

… and the turning point? Joining Steinhoff in 2013. I had, until then, never been for a job interview or changed company. L&P acquired my family business in 1996, and I continued working for them up to the end of 2012, when I handed in my notice. It was a big move for me, and I have never looked back. Please describe a typical working day I don’t have a typical working day. My office is in Cheltenham, and we have three main manufacturing facilities in the UK – Wellington, Huntingdon and Bridgend. We have bedding, automotive and upholstery businesses spread across these sites, and I spend most of my working days at one of them. In addition, I am travelling to Europe regularly on M&A [mergers and acquisitions] work, looking to expand Steinhoff manufacturing where I can. I set my alarm for 6am during the week, and love the fact that I can listen to the Radio 4 Today programme on my iPhone wherever I am. If you had to start over, you’d probably pursue which career? I can’t imagine working in any other industry. I grew up in the bedding industry, it’s all I know. It’s not too big, but it’s big enough. Generally, the people are nice and friendly, and the good ones tend to stick around – I have seen many come in with big reputations and high expectations, but leave generally disappointed in their achievements.

“I think it’s a bonus when you have an opportunity to work with a family member, and have a much closer relationship than you would under normal circumstances”

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“I can’t imagine working in any other industry. Generally, the people are nice and friendly, and the good ones tend to stick around” What date do you most look forward to on the business calendar? Steinhoff have an annual world conference where a group of around 80 come together and spend a weekend reviewing the last 12 months and planning the future. It was held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, this year, and is a lot of fun. I also enjoy trade shows, especially the NBF Bed Show in Telford, where this year we introduced the new Myer’s range and launched a completely new Slumberland product range. What’s the most important issue affecting your business right now? We are investing heavily in new and upgraded buildings on our Wellington and Huntingdon sites. These investments are designed to take our business to the next level of output and customer service. It’s always a challenge getting longterm infrastructure investment right, so I am focused on getting the best value and creating long-term growth in these businesses. What company do you most look up to? I am a big fan of Elon Musk – the way he has developed and brought Tesla Motors to the mainstream, while the major auto manufacturers were in denial about electric cars, is amazing. He is working on a highspeed transportation system called Hyperloop – I have no idea if it will work, but he does. He just doesn’t understand the concept of ‘you can’t do that’.

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Anthony Joyce LAST WORD

What would you most like to change about yourself? This is probably a question best answered by my family and work colleagues. I am content that I have a wonderful family and a great business with great people to work with, so I will stay as I am. What do you most enjoy about working in the trade? It’s always the people. The fact there are still so many family businesses operating means we have a continuity. I am guessing that my family has been involved in the industry for

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“The trips were epic, and were discontinued some years ago – probably for health and safety reasons!” about 65 years, and there are plenty of family businesses that have been around for many more generations. I hope that it will continue. Leave us with an industry anecdote please! I have plenty, but rather than share one in print, I would rather say where most of the great stories took place. The NBF overseas tours are a thing of legend!

They were mostly to the USA, to the ISPA show. A group of UK mattress manufacturers and suppliers, together, on a five-day trip. The show took place every other year, and always in a different city. This was usually combined with a tour of a few American mattress manufacturing plants. The trips were epic, and were discontinued some years ago – probably for health and safety reasons!

23/10/2015 11:21

Further Reading On the web this month:

Do you have a story to share? To contribute, call the editorial desk on 01424 776105 or email

The Furniture News website is constantly updated with fresh stories. Visit to access the latest unique content, or sign up to the weekly newsletter

Are you looking to place product before the UK’s buyers? To advertise or submit product advertorials, call the sales team on 01424 776100, or email or Do you wish to receive a copy of the magazine every month? You can subscribe to receive the magazine monthly by emailing On the move? To download issues of the magazine to mobile devices, you can download the updated Furniture News app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

News: AHF identifies gap between advised and actual furniture purchase turnover

Keep up to date You can also sign up to receive free access to the digital edition each month, as well as the weekly Furniture News e-newsletter, at – or email sam@gearingmediagroup to be signed up automatically. Don’t forget to follow the Furniture News Twitter feeds, @FurnitureNewsED and @Victoria_FNmag, to keep up with the latest news and opinions from the team.

News: Furniture Village opens new store in Northampton

Furniture News is an invaluable resource for those operating in the UK domestic furniture and furnishings sector – but it’s just one of the titles published by Gearing Media Group.

er 2014









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| July

- August


carpets 25/07/201

4 16:25

Those involved in the contract furnishings market should take a look at Hospitality Interiors magazine (, while anyone seeking furniture manufacturing machinery or supplies should check out Furniture Production (

In next month’s issue:

Showtime! | 20 Years of The Sleep Council | 2016 Exhibition Yearplanner January Furniture Show (Preliminary) Preview | Competition Law | Home Preview

Further Reading FN_320 v15.inddNov 9815.indd 1

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15 15:01

FN_320 v15.indd 99

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Profile for Gearing Media Group Ltd

Furniture News #320  

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade

Furniture News #320  

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade