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This month: I Saloni under the spotlight Bluebone protects its design IP CMYK Living’s traditional appeal

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade

April 2016

Brooke, Collins and Hayes

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“In a fast-paced, perpetually switched-on society constantly striving for results, sometimes less is more”

Comment After being proposed in last year’s emergency Budget in the summer, the Government’s plans to make changes to the UK’s Sunday trading laws to allow shops of over 280m² to open for longer than six hours – to join smaller shops that are not subjected to the same opening hour restrictions – were officially rejected by MPs last month. Ministers in favour stated that the changes to the law had the potential to benefit the economy by around £1.5b over 10 years, and that the plans would allow retailers to compete more fiercely with their online competitors, create new jobs, drive footfall to the high street and take pressure off struggling high street shops. They called the current Sunday trading laws outdated and irrelevant in today’s modern marketplace, stating that shoppers should have more choice of how and when they shop. However, the downside to the plans was also apparent, making them subject to intense opposition from the outset. Having been put forward by Conservative ministers twice previously in the last five years and failing to stick, it was a long shot that this time the changes would get the green light. Those in opposition made a solid case – increasing Sunday trading hours could put extra strain on shopworkers, make it harder for smaller shops to compete with their larger counterparts, and take away the day’s ‘special’ status. This issue forms the basis of a much bigger and long-running

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debate, harking back to the British campaign group Keep Sunday Special, set up in 1985 to oppose plans to introduce Sunday trading in England and Wales. Before 1994, only small shops were permitted to open on Sunday, until a Sunday Trading Act was introduced, bringing in the rules that UK retailers trade by today. With support from trade unions, churches, political parties and private businesses, the group believed that allowing larger shops to open for longer on Sundays would have a damaging effect on families, communities and local economies. This is clearly a sentiment that still echoes in today’s society. The exact effects the plans would have made if successful is difficult to measure and varies greatly in terms of the type and size of business in question, but what this issue makes clear is that in a fast-paced, perpetually switched-on society constantly striving for results, sometimes less is more.

Victoria Noakes Victoria Noakes, deputy editor T 01424 776105 E Twitter @Victoria_FNmag

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INFORMATION This month: I Saloni under the spotlight Bluebone protects its design IP CMYK Living’s traditional appeal

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade

April 2016

Partner Comment

Peter Spinks (64)

Mary Merrills, marketing manager for the January Furniture Show, explains the importance of stand presentation

10 News Brooke, Collins and Hayes

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The Brooke collection by Collins and Hayes (www.

24/03/2016 14:58

Editor Paul Farley 01424 776101 Twitter @FurnitureNewsED Deputy editor Victoria Noakes 01424 776105 Twitter @Victoria_FNmag Advertising manager Sam Horscroft 01424 776100 Twitter @FurnitureNewsAD Deputy advertising manager Trisha Fletcher 01424 776100 Production manager James Ash 01424 775304

16 Interview

Victoria Noakes interviews Sarika Sharma, founder and lead designer of children’s home linen company CMYK Living, plus BuyDirect4U stars in this month’s Clickthrough

20 Events

I Saloni is under the spotlight in our Fair Comment article, plus a review of the London Fabric Show

24 Resources

Including articles on EU data law, IP law and the importance of a brand’s value

30 Profile

Exploring Bluebone’s fight to protect its design IP

34 Beds & Bedroom

Bluebone (30) CMYK Living (16)

Deputy production 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 2016 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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Mary Merrills Mary is the marketing manager for the January Furniture Show


Jeremy Stein Jeremy is the managing director of the BCFA


I Saloni (20) BuyDirect4U (18)

40 Children’s Bedroom

Dene Walsh Dene is the operations director of lead generation service Verso Group, and is responsible for data compliance at the company


42 Living Room 48 Dining Room 54 Trade Services

A round-up of service, packaging and transportation solutions for the furniture industry

Gavin Llewellyn Gavin is an intellectual property lawyer at Stone King LLP in London specialising in design law

60 Furnisher

Decorative accessories and soft furnishings for the home

62 Designer

Furniture designer Chris Hughes dissects his Tallboy product

64 Last Word Chris Hughes (62)

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Harrison Spinks’ Peter Spinks answers our questions on his career history and work and life philosophy

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Presentation matters “Stand presentation says so much about how a company sees itself and its products in the marketplace” How do we sell more products? How do we make more profit? These are two questions all businesses continually ask themselves, regardless of the industry they are in. There were many lessons at this year’s January Furniture Show in how to do both of these things. Those who presented themselves and their products well, performed best. That is hardly a surprise – we all understand the difference between going into a well-laid out, well-lit store, and going into one that isn’t. Why does presentation matter and make such a difference at a trade show? Surely experienced buyers know what they are looking for and can see through the fluff? It matters because stand presentation says so much about how a company sees itself and its products in the marketplace. It also says much about how a company is developing and moving with the trends – and therefore understanding its customers’ needs. Presentation that is well planned and well executed can interest buyers and tempt them to try a range that they might not have considered otherwise. Given the number of high quality stands at this year’s January Furniture Show, the majority of exhibitors certainly understand the difference good presentation can make, with many making a huge investment and a huge effort to present themselves and their products in inventive and eye-catching ways. As would be expected, the majority of the exhibitors in hall 1 demonstrated well-planned and thoughtful displays, with stand and product working in unison. Tetrad even had give-away bears as accessories to match their wool and tweed sofas! But it wasn’t just hall 1 or even the big names that showed the importance of good presentation and flair this year. Panacea in hall 5 and Fama in hall 2 were among those who created a big impact, with stands that made you look twice. As part of the organising team for the January and Manchester furniture shows, and having worked for an exhibitor for many years, I am very aware of the difference good presentation can make to the success of a stand or a particular product. It’s a bit of a game, of course – too much product and the good ones can be lost, too little can give the impression of a lack of ideas and direction. Muddled presentation suggests a lack of confidence in the products – a turn-off for a buyer. Having a good – or even great – stand, where it and the products on it remain virtually the same year after year, won’t work either. Standing still means falling behind. Buyers and consumers are conditioned to look for newness, and the link between fashion and interiors has long been acknowledged. It was evident at this year’s January show – G Plan Upholstery even had a catwalk in the middle of their stand! Our high streets are full of tartans, florals, pretty pinks and industrial looks – and so were the halls of the NEC. Of course, not everyone can build a magnificent two-tier stand like Gallery Direct, or bring in a builder to create a show-stopping stand like Baker. But even a small investment in good presentation – a dramatic colour, some good graphics, a smart layout and some well-chosen accessories – can make the difference between having a successful show or an unsuccessful one. Smaller, well-thought out and well-presented stands can have a huge impact. The stands by Think Rugs and the Edge Company had great aisle appeal and packed a lot into a smaller space, without overloading on product. As organisers, far from thinking we’ve seen it all before, we get excited about seeing the inventiveness of the stands as they are created. Of course, for us, the better the stands, the happier the visitors are, the more they come, and the more they spend – which makes for happy exhibitors and a successful show.

Mary Merrills is the marketing manager for the January Furniture Show (, the UK furniture trade’s principal exhibition. The next edition will take place from 22nd-25th January 2017 at the Birmingham NEC.

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Sweet Dreams purchases new mill Sweet Dreams has purchased a building in Nelson, Lancashire, investing around £1m in a 70,000ft2 mill. Marsden Mill, which is close to the mill purchased last year for sister company Comfort Zone Sofas, will house machinery for making pocket springs, a growing and significant part of the Sweet Dreams operation, as well as bed manufacturing operations in general. The new building was owned by G Plan in the past. Sweet Dreams founder and MD Riaz Ahmed says: “We are very pleased to be able to add the new building to the square footage we have available for our expanding bed operation. In time it will of course see our workforce expanding as we create jobs to cater for the growing demand for our beds. This is not only good news for Sweet Dreams but also for our local area and for British manufacturing.”

New chairman for BFC

Furmanac appoints new MD Furmanac, the UK’s largest manufacturer of adjustable beds and lift-and-recline chairs, has appointed Buzz Pattar, its production director of seven years, as new MD, replacing John Hilliard. John says: “I am delighted to pass the mantle to Buzz, who has proved he will be a more than capable MD to Furmanac. With his product knowledge, enthusiasm and persona I have every confidence he will continue to drive the business forward and maintain our high levels of service, product and company values.” Buzz adds: “I have the utmost respect for John and have learned a great deal from him over the past few years. “It’s an honour to now follow in his footsteps as

the next MD, although I will of course be blazing my own trail as I have high ambitions and plans for the future of Furmanac.” Under the guidance of founder Reginald Hilliard, Furmanac originated as a component supplier to the furniture industry. John Hilliard became MD in 1992 and developed Furmanac into a manufacturing business to encompass the MiBed, MiChair and Hestia brands. John steered the business through the recession and helped it reach a £15m turnover in 2015. Last June, Buzz became MD designate. Over the past eight months he has grown the business further and is set to achieve an £18m sales target for 2016.

Homebase sold to Australian conglomerate The Home Retail Group has sold its Homebase operation to Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers. Initially submitted in December, the deal valued the 265-store improvement business at £340m. Wesfarmers has said it will spend a further £242m to build the Homebase business, under its own DIY brand, Bunnings.

Wesfarmers MD Richard Goyder welcomed the completion of the acquisition, which will add 15,000 new employees in the UK and Ireland to the Wesfarmers Group, commenting: “We welcome our new employees and are excited about the opportunity to bring the best of Bunnings to the UK and Ireland.”

Leekes purchases Bristol’s Park Furnishers Jonathan Hindle and Paul von der Heyde After four years, Paul von der Heyde is stepping down as chairman of the British Furniture Confederation (BFC), the furniture industry’s Government lobbying body, to be replaced by Jonathan Hindle, group MD of KI (Krueger International) EMEA. Jonathan originally trained as an architect/designer before moving into sales and marketing. He has been with KI for the past 21 years. He was master of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers in 2012-13, founded the Design Guild Mark and Corporate Membership at the livery, and is currently chairman of its fundraising committee. He also sits on the FIRA council and the board of the BCFA. Paul comments: “It has been a great pleasure and very rewarding to chair the BFC. The confederation is a unified and determined team with a common purpose. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the chief executives of the trade associations of our broad industry, who have forged a good common understanding. Our voice into politicians, Government and the European Commission has made a difference – I am sure that will continue and wish Jonathan huge success as he takes over the challenge.” Jonathan adds: “The BFC is currently engaged on a number of key issues – apprenticeships and design and technology education in schools, the flammability regulations, exports, design copyright and sustainability and the circular economy. I am looking forward to helping what is already an effective organisation to drive forward with its aim to ensure our important industry has a voice in Government and is recognised for the considerable contribution it makes to the UK economy.”

South Wales retailer Leekes has reached an agreement to purchase the Park Furnishers retail business, based in Bristol. Leekes currently operates five home department stores in Wales, the West of England and the Midlands, and has been actively expanding its business in recent years following the 2009 acquisition of the Midlands-based Coles of Bilston. MD Emma Leeke comments: “We have been looking for new opportunities to continue our expansion plans and we are delighted to have been

able to reach agreement with the Coller family to purchase Park Furnishers. We were attracted to the family-owned business, established by Len Coller in 1967 and developed with his son Deryn and grandsons Tim and James, as it was founded and run on the same strong guiding principles as ours of offering quality products at great prices. “We intend to continue to trade under the Park Furnishers name which is also synonymous with offering an excellent level of service to its loyal and expanding customer base.”

Dwell opens new concept in Manchester DFS-owned contemporary furniture retailer dwell opened a new concept store in Trafford, Manchester, on 25th March. Several staff from the Barton Square store have moved to the new 3500ft2 location in Castlemore Retail Park. CEO and founder Aamir Ahmad says: “We are confident and optimistic about the future of dwell. Strong sales and healthy margins are encouraging, and we look forward to continuing on this trajectory in 2016.”

Silentnight named best of British Silentnight has been named the number one bed brand in the Consumer Superbrands 2016. The annual awards see more than 1500 of Britain’s favourite brands judged on criteria of quality, reliability and distinction. The accolade comes after a strong year for Silentnight, which had already recorded 10% growth on the previous year. This is the 11th year in which Silentnight has achieved Superbrands status.

designjunction moves to new London home Design show designjunction has announced its relocation to a new long-term home in King’s Cross, one of most striking urban redevelopments in the UK. With the support of the King’s Cross development partnership, designjunction will take over the area for its flagship show during London Design Festival, 22nd-25th September 2016. The 67-acre King’s Cross site has a rich history and a unique appeal. This former industrial heartland is being transformed into one of the capital’s most dynamic destinations, with the redevelopment of the area creating 1900 new homes, 20 new streets, 10 new public parks and

squares and three million ft2 of commercial office space as well as cultural attractions. The theme of the 2016 designjunction show will be Immersed in Design, with the move to the larger site marking the next chapter for designjunction and the creation of the King’s Cross Design District at this year’s London Design Festival. “This is an incredibly exciting time for designjunction. King’s Cross stands at the heart of the design and architectural community, with an inspiring cultural scene, thriving business district and strong industrial heritage,” says MD of designjunction, Deborah Spencer.

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Lombok explores sale

Olympic hopeful aids Slumberland campaign European Indoor Champion and Olympic 2016 hopeful, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, has pledged her support to Slumberland’s Healthy Sleep Campaign. Katarina made her international debut in London 2012 competing alongside Jessica Ennis, and has a strict training regime, with rest at its heart. Richard Naylor, marketing director at Slumberland, comments: “We have long known the impact that sleep has on health and wellbeing, yet it can often be neglected. We hope to educate the nation out about healthy sleep habits, and Katarina is the perfect example of how sleep can be the deciding factor in performance.”

According to market sources, independent multichannel retailer Lombok, best known for its exotic, colonial-styled furniture, is exploring the possibility of a sale, with the aim of funding a series of ambitious growth plans. Lombok currently operates though one store on Tottenham Court Road, London, plus a busy transactional website which accounts for 36% of its sales.Lombok’s latest trading update confirms an 18% increase in like-for-like orders for the last quarter (to January 2016), marking the retailer’s seventh consecutive quarter of positive growth. According to the update, the company is on track to exceed £5m in orders at year-end. Adviser Cavendish was appointed to explore the sale following a strategic review of the business, citing a valuation of the company in the range of £10-15m. The company’s plans include store portfolio expansion in the UK and in other markets where Lombok’s business is already strong. Lombok went through a pre-pack administration in 2009, following which it refocused through a multichannel retail model and diversified product offer.

January show enjoys 85% re-booking rate The January Furniture Show has reported a record number of re-bookings, with 85% of 2016 exhibitors already signed up for the 2017 event. Over 450 companies exhibited at the 2016 show, and many renowned and well-established names have booked again. With additional space being added to meet demand, hall 5 will strengthen its position as the biggest hall in the show. The overall look and feel will be a major priority, with a new selection process for exhibitors, better lighting plus the addition of a new arrivals entrance and VIP lounge.

Shire sponsors cricket club The Shire Bed Company will be a major sponsor of Yorkshire County Cricket Club until the end of the 2018 season. This follows an initial one-year sponsorship package which Shire signed up to in 2015. Fara Butt, marketing director at The Shire Bed Company, says: “As keen supporters of the local community we are very proud to be a partner of Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Our passion for Yorkshire and the county’s cricket team makes this an excellent match for us.”

Katarina Johnson-Thompson

The Light Show at Autumn Fair confirmed for a further three years Autumn Fair, organised by i2i Events Group, has signed an agreement with the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) to put on The Light Show for a further three years. The agreement follows on from the debut edition last year, which saw a host of companies support the only LIA-endorsed decorative lighting trade event in the UK. A major factor in the decision was the timing of the exhibition, which takes place during the first

week of September and coincides with the key buying period for lighting, as the days shorten and nights get longer. Autumn Fair will implement a marketing programme to broaden the reach of the event, which will take place from 4-7th September at the NEC, Birmingham. New features planned include the Enlighten zone, dedicated to business content, networking and knowledge sharing.

Dreams announces impressive financials Bed retailer Dreams has announced its full-year 2015 financials, reporting another strong year of growth, including revenue growth of 16.2% to £234.2m, like-for-like sales up 19.4%, and profit before tax of £13.1m. E-commerce sales were up 41%, and online traffic up 30%, whilst the group’s adjusted EBITDA was £21.1m – up 207% on 2014. Mike Logue, CEO, comments: “These strong results demonstrate the success of our strategic initiatives – continuing to manufacture and provide the highest quality products, broadening our

brand appeal, re-sizing and re-furnishing our store estate, improving customer service and providing a seamless multi-channel proposition. “With a clear roadmap now in place for the next phase of the Dreams journey, and our desire to continue to improve everything that we do, we believe the opportunity is both exciting and significant. “This, coupled with our outstanding team of colleagues, means that we look to the future with even greater confidence.”

Spring Long Point approaches Thirty manufacturers will exhibit at various locations in the Derbyshire town of Long Eaton during next month’s Long Point exhibition, taking place from 9-11th May. Every member of the Long Eaton Guild of Furniture Manufacturers will unveil new models and fabrics from their own showrooms, whilst established brands including Alstons, Collins and

Hayes and Parker Knoll will be present at the Harrington Mill exhibition centre. Long Point, which takes place in May and September each year, presents an opportunity to see some of the finest hand-crafted upholstery available, plus much more. A full list of exhibitors, plus additonal details for visitors, can be found at

Wade Upholstery

Iain James Furniture

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The AB Collection. Striking industrial looks make this contemporary furniture collection unique. Featuring aged effect solid oak and metal frames along with soft close drawers and doors, this is a range that demands attention.





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Sainsbury’s confirms HRG offer Sainsbury’s confirmed that it will proceed with its offer for Home Retail Group (HRG), owner of Argos, after rival bidder Steinhoff international abandoned its bid in favour of purchasing white goods retailer Darty. Immediately afterwards, Sainsbury’s share prices rose sharply, while HRG’s dropped 6.7%. Sainsbury’s made an offer for the business at the start of February, before Steinhoff International issued a rival bid. Sainsbury’s subsequently made a cash and shares bid of £1.4b, an offer in line with that orginally made but bolstered by a rise in Sainsbury’s share price. Sainsbury’s has worked with HRG for a year to develop a strategy combining the strengths of its grocery offer with the multichannel, multi-product and delivery strengths of Argos, envisaging a powerful combination which “will create long-term value for the shareholders of both companies”. David Tyler, chairman of Sainsbury’s, comments: “The UK grocery retail industry is undergoing a period of intense change in customer shopping behaviour and in the competitive environment. Against this backdrop, Sainsbury’s has performed resiliently by offering great quality products at fair prices, by providing a differentiated service, and by developing strong multi-channel capabilities. All of this continues to be underpinned by our core values. This combination with HRG presents an opportunity to accelerate our strategy, delivering compelling revenue and cost synergies. We will create a multi-product, multi-channel proposition with fast delivery networks that we believe will be very attractive to the customers of both businesses.” According to a Sainsbury’s spokesperson, the execution risk is low, as there are no significant systems or new infrastructure required to achieve the increased synergies identified. At the same time, Sainsbury’s recent Q4 financials demonstrate the progress already made against delivering its strategy. The Homebase business has already been sold to conglomerate Wesfamers for £340m.

Changes to Sunday trading laws rejected The Government’s plans to change Sunday trading laws in England and Wales, which would allow larger shops to trade for more than six hours, have been scrapped after being rejected by MPs. Pro-change ministers stated that these plans may have benefited the UK economy by around £1.5b over 10 years. However, MPs in disagreement stated that changing Sunday trading laws would take away the day’s status and place extra pressure on workers.

Land of Beds wins family business award Independent bed retailer Land of Beds has won the Family Business Award of Excellence at Cheshire’s 10th annual High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise 2015-16. The awards recognise leaders of outstanding businesses in Cheshire, Warrington and Halton. “We are absolutely delighted with the judges’ comments,” says Land of Beds MD Mike Murray. “They said they had never seen such a vivacious business, which is testament to our staff of 24 employees, the support of the leading bed manufacturers we work with, and of course our wonderful customers. I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to our success over the past 40 years-plus.” Land of Beds’ achievements in the past 12 months include being commended in the NBF’s Bed Industry Awards 2015-16 for the third time in the

past four years, and opening a new distribution centre at Astmoor Industrial Estate in Runcorn. A second showroom in Frodsham opened last month as part of the retailer’s plan to open five more stores over five years.

Barkers Home unveils store revamp Barkers Home has unveiled its revamped £3m furnishing store in Northallerton, Yorkshire. Directors Charles, Ian and Guy Barker cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the family-owned store on Yafforth Road, which has undergone major redevelopment. The store has been expanded by 20,000ft2 to 60,000ft2, and marks the biggest investment by Barkers, which also runs a department store on Northallerton high street. Work is now set to begin on phase two of the redevelopment, to expand the size of the store’s Tree View Café from 100 seats to 150. The exterior of the store is also being given a makeover by award-winning gardener Will Quarmby. In time, the development will create up to 15 new full and part-time jobs.

Consortium identifies workplace potential The BFM is part of an industry consortium that manages Working Tri21, an EU-funded project which aims to enhance the social inclusion of people suffering from disabilities by integrating them into the job market, specifically in the furniture industry. The project aims to develop support for those with disabilities, with a primary focus on those with Down Syndrome (Trisomy21), with the longterm goal of enabling their employment.

The research part of the project has identified the skills, abilities and knowledge regarding prospective job roles in the furniture industry, and the developmental support will now focus on tailoring training packages for individuals with special needs to undertake employment in the furniture industry. Finally, trial tests will be carried out in Spain, with the finished furniture-related training courses being designed and available for use in most EU countries.

Sealy appoints sleep ambassador to help promote deeper sleep Bed manufacturer Sealy UK has appointed an official sleep ambassador, Lancashire pensioner Desmond Wilcox, who was selected from 506 applications after the vacancy was launched in January. Renowned amongst his family and friends for his ability to fall asleep anywhere, Desmond is an active 70-year old who spends the majority of his free time gardening and enjoying the outdoors. The role – for a three-month period initially – will see Desmond testing Sealy’s new range of beds, pillows and duvets, as well as trialling a number

of sleep experiences including testing sleep-aids and snooze-enhancing diets and lifestyles. His appointment forms part of Sealy’s commitment towards helping the country become a nation of deeper sleepers. Desmond says: “I consider myself to be an expert sleeper and I’m also a good communicator, having spent 50 years working in my barbers shop. I have been an ambassador all my working life selling myself, so the switch from that role to promoting a first-class product like Sealy – and I speak from experience – will be simple.”

Silentnight group MD Steve Freeman with Desmond Wilcox

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INTERVIEW Sarika Sharma, CMYK Living

Bringing ancient traditions to a modern-day market CMYK Living, which celebrates the ancient Indian art of hand-block printing on 100% cotton home linens designed for children, was founded last year under its parent company, Triple Nine Designs. Victoria Noakes speaks to founder and lead designer Sarika Sharma to discover more about the brand and its philosophy ...

Tuk Tuk

When she moved to India in 2008, Sarika Sharma was immediately attracted to the country’s rich textile heritage, with a background in graphic design and a keen interest in fabrics, antiques and Indian culture. Taking inspiration from her surroundings, and drawing upon a idea close to her heart, Sarika founded children’s home linen company CMKY Living in 2015. “Being a person of Indian origin and not having lived in India for the most part of my life, when I moved there I was instantly drawn to the history of the design and pattern-making techniques of India, and how simplistic yet artistic it can be. This gave birth to the idea of designing and manufacturing high quality children’s bed linen and making it available to the UK consumer who has been in love with India for years – be it the food, our fabrics or Bollywood,” says Sarika. “Another inspiration for the business was my six-year-old niece, who has severe eczema and used to only feel comfortable sleeping

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in cotton bed linen. I started sending my sister a range of bed linen for her daughters in Australia, and we started to notice that her skin was much more comfortable and less irritable at night – the idea went from there on.” The business, based in New Delhi, currently offers five designs and two debut collections – Children and Nursery. Products include soft bamboo cotton baby swaddles, fitted cot sheets, pillows, cushion covers, duvet covers and quilts, all made from soft fabrics which are gentle on children’s skin. The company’s designs are inspired by iconic motifs that India is renowned for, and a mix of graphic designs from the streets of India, including the lotus flower, tuk tuks, parrots and elephants. CMYK Living sets itself apart from its competition by making use of the intricate art of hand-block printing, resulting in products incorporating traditional Indian flair with a modern twist. “Parents have complimented CMYK Living for the softness,

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Sarika Sharma, CMYK Living INTERVIEW



CMYK offers a wide selection of striking cushions

Sarika Sharma

Baby wraps Colonel Hathi jungle quilt cover

comfort and quality that we are providing, and the uniqueness of the prints. They also love the fact that the prints, style and designs are not overwhelming. A lot of linen in the marketplace overstimulates children with colour and design, and children need to relax and be calm when getting ready for bed,” Sarika explains. “All our pieces are machine washable, breathable and safe even for the most sensitive skin. Being a mother myself, I understand the need for comfort for your child, and it’s rewarding for me to see that the quality and softness of the fabric which I have designed has helped to keep a child comfortable at night.” CMYK Living’s aim is to be known as a leading supplier of quality children’s bed linen and to educate customers about the ancient Indian art of hand-block printing. Since being established last year, the company has received positive feedback from the UK market, recently launching its nursery collection online. The company also garnered interest from buyers at children’s product

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“Being a mother myself, I understand the need for comfort for your child” trade event Bubble in January, where it presented a popular new collection, due to be released in May. “As with every business, in particular start-ups, there comes many challenges – especially with cross-border consumers – but we have a very strong and experienced team of professionals who make sure the sailing is as smooth as possible,” states Sarika. Citing the team as “a very ambitious lot”, CMYK Living is always finding ways to improve, and this year will be another busy one. The business is looking to grow its wholesale and retail sales, and plans to establish a presence on the UK high street this year. W

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INTERVIEW Clickthrough > BuyDirect4U This month, the homewares website in the spotlight is www. – Furniture News explores the practices and philosophies behind the enterprise …

Clickthrough > BuyDirect4U Andrew Steel, general manager

Why visit your website? is a home, garden and leisure e-tailer, sourcing competitively priced goods from across the globe. By sourcing directly from the manufacturer and supplying straight to the consumer, is able to sell products to its customers at a more competitive price, without compromising on quality. During the last 11 years, BuyDirect4U. has grown into a successful business with an annual turnover of £8m and now distributes to 31 countries across the globe, with further expansion in the US planned in 2016. Who is your e-commerce hero? Amazon is an obvious one. It was started in a garage, selling only books and has grown into one of the biggest online retailers in the world. Describe a typical working day Thankfully there is no such thing as a typical day at, which is why I enjoy the job so much. My role involves overseeing every aspect of the operation, so this week I may be in the office planning our sales and marketing campaign, but the next I could be in China sourcing the latest lines, including furniture, which is one of our biggest sellers. What part of your job would you prefer to avoid? Black Friday. It is one of the biggest days of the year for us in terms of sales, but there is so much work that goes into ensuring it is successful. From choosing to promote the right products to having enough staff, every aspect of this one shopping day has to be carefully considered. We pride ourselves on our customer service, so it is imperative

that we are able to fulfil our promises and dispatch and deliver goods within an appropriate timeframe. What has been your greatest challenge? Last year invested £6m in purchasing a new warehouse and we faced the enormous challenge of relocating our entire operation to the 202,000ft² building, which is the largest single building in Loughborough. How much do you invest in making your site more visible? As an ecommerce retailer, our website acts as our shop front, so we have to make significant investments in order to make it user friendly. In fact, we are currently gearing up to launch our redesigned website, which will be easier to navigate for our customers and will feature improved photography of our products. This will be complemented by investments in Google AdWords and SEO to make the website more visible to consumers. What’s your take on how the relationship between online and physical retail might develop? I think soon we will see more e-commerce companies taking up space on the high street. Internet businesses have lower overheads than shops, but they have to look at other ways to grow. Consumers are increasingly looking for retailers to meet their expectations in terms of customer service and delivery, which is where multi-channel retailers can really get ahead. Having parcels delivered dropped by drone, delivered to the boot of your car or available for click and collect are just some of the ways that e-tailers are trying

“I think soon we will see more e-commerce companies taking up space on the high street. Internet businesses have lower overheads than shops, but they have to look at other ways to grow"

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to improve the speed and convenience of delivery. What are your business growth plans? So far, has exceeded expectations in terms of year-on-year percentage growth. Our retail turnover forecast for 2015 was £10m, which we achieved comfortably, and we have increased our overall sales by 50% in the last 12 months. With the investments we have made in our new premises and our website, we plan to further expand this growth in 2016 and beyond. What advice would you offer an aspiring e-tailer? Invest in your website, as this is the first impression a customer has of your business – make it easy to navigate and they will enjoy the shopping experience, and are more likely to return. Always offer something different, whether that is a particular product or ensuring that you are offering it at the best price – give customers a reason to come to you.

Snapshot: BuyDirect4U is a home, garden and leisure e-commerce retailer which sells thousands of products to customers across the world Launched: 2005 Average monthly unique visitors: 100,000

08/04/2016 10:02

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“ 20


EVENTS Fair Comment – Salone del Mobile.Milano

Fair Comment: Salone del Mobile.Milano Fair Comment sees Furniture News quiz 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, Roberto Snaidero, president of Salone del Mobile. Milano, describes the developments behind the world’s biggest furniture design event …

Identity: A showcase that has always mixed business with culture, shaping the history of design and furnishing yesterday, today and tomorrow. A global platform for truly top-notch products and services, with an emphasis on innovation. Attendance: The 2014 edition attracted 311,781 trade visitors (106,317 Italians, and 205,464 nonItalians from 170 countries) plus 39,155 public on the Saturday and Sunday, and 5620 journalists. 2015’s attracted 272,439 (84,456 Italians, 187,983 non-Italians from 165 countries), 37,944 members of the public and 5091 journalists. In 2016 we expect a similar visitor count to that of 2014, because there are the same biennial shows dedicated to bathrooms and kitchens. In terms of exhibitors, 2014’s edition featured 1993 in the main show, plus 700 designers at SaloneSatellite, 2015’s 2158 exhibitors plus 700 at SaloneSatellite, and for this year’s event there will be 2310. What’s new? First of all, thousands of new products across all four exhibitions (Salone Internazionale del Mobile, International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, EuroCucina, and the International Bathroom Exhibition). Then there’s the new sector, xLux, in pavilion 3. In recognition of a luxury product category already largely established in the American markets, from East to Far East, the new xLux section responds to the increasing demand for a venue dedicated to this type of product, which was showcased inside the various pavilions until the latest edition. Many manufacturers, who started off with classical or design products, have embraced this new typology, which represents a synthesis of the two categories, consisting of linear products

Roberto Snaidero

embellished with details, finishings and warmer, softer materials – there will be a strong presence of leading fashion brands. Also, the theme of the 19th edition of SaloneSatellite – New Materials, New Design – is new. Then there are three collateral events. After all, mixing business and culture is, since its foundation, Salone del Mobile.Milano’s mission. The first, within the ambit of the XXI Triennale International Exhibition, is the Rooms – Novel Living Concepts exhibition, curated by Beppe Finessi, held at the Triennale di Milano from 2nd April to 12th September. The exhibition is geared to underscoring the particular remit of interior architecture and providing a vision of home living projected towards the future. The second is Before Design: Classic, a reflection on the classic soul of contemporary living, with artistic direction from Ciarmoli Queda Studio, and a short film by multi-award-winning filmmaker Matteo Garrone screened in pavilion 15 F15/H18, which discusses classic Made in Italy taste and its currency in an audio and visual narration. Lastly, there is space&interiors, a city event

“A global platform for truly top-notch products and services, with an emphasis on innovation”

Date: 12-17th April 2016 | Location: Milan Fairgrounds, Rho | Contact:

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Fair Comment – Salone del Mobile.Milano EVENTS

linked directly to the Salone del Mobile.Milano, organised by the international architecture, design and construction biennial MADE expo, and held at The Mall Porta Nuova – Brera Design District. It is a fascinating display of surfaces, flooring, doors and interior finishings curated by Migliore+Servetto Architects. In addition, there’s our new communication campaign, which pays homage to our cultural and artistic past, and new web platform (www., which employs cutting-edge web design and digital communication trends, making navigation more interactive and multi-channel. Direction? Internationalisation and innovation are the key drivers of this important edition. In particular, companies taking part in the Salone affirm that 63% of revenue is generated by exports, while 67% of them have made substantial investments in innovating machinery, equipment and software, research and development – especially within the companies themselves, and in the design of new products. Some people visit the fair to be inspired rather than to buy – can you comment on the suggestion that I Saloni and its sister events are not transactional meeting places? It’s true – many people come here to get inspiration and smell the trends of tomorrow. The Salone is an emotional experience because each company sells not only products but their philosophy, through the beautiful layout of their stands. The show always seems to threaten to spill out further than was originally intended. How do you work together with (or against) the other events going on in the city? We work together with the city, firstly by having our own events in the city – as mentioned earlier in the form of the Triennale and The Mall Porta Nuova – Brera Design District. For the third year, the Salone will be running the Welcome Project, devised with the Municipality of Milan councillor for employment, economic development, university and research, Cristina Tajani, together with the city’s leading design schools – IED, Domus Academy, NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti



Milano, Polytechnic University of Milan/Design School and Istituto Marangoni Milano. In collaboration with Fiera Milano, Milan Airports Authority SEA and Milan’s transport agency ATM, 100 students at various focal points (Malpensa and Linate airports, the Central Station, Superstudio, Fuorisalone Brera and the main underground stations) will provide visitors with information on how to negotiate the city, on the trade fair itself and the brochure of events in Milan. To your knowledge, what British visitor presence will there be at the fair? I can’t speak for the event to come, but the number of visitors from the UK has increased steadily over the last four years – 5353 in 2012, 5810 in 2013, 6200 in 2014, and 6688 in 2015. Anything else our UK readers should know? The UK market is a very important one for Italian furniture. Furniture export was worth ¤1.1b in 2015, with a growth of 15.3% compared to 2014. Every single sector of the Italian furniture market is experiencing growth. Upholstered furniture is especially doing well. These figures are taken from the Centro Studi Federlegno Arredo Eventi’s Istat datas. In your opinion, what makes your show better than any other similar furniture event? Milan is definitely the most important of all the furniture fairs, not only because it is the largest and the one with the most exhibitors and visitors, but because it gathers the best of the sector. In addition, the Salone del Mobile not only has the support of the General Furniture Association (FederlegnoArredo), but an important tradition of craftmanship, the Brianza district, behind it. This area, north of Milan, was the cradle of carpentry and furniture for many centuries. There have been so many furniture makers here for such a long time that design has emerged in the natural evolution of the craftmanship of the area, making it part of the success of Made in Italy. These two are the main reasons of the supremacy of Salone del Mobile. As a centre of innovation, and being the traditional capital of Italian design, no other city has the same foundations

“Many people come here to get inspiration and smell the trends of tomorrow”

Date: 12-17th April 2016 | Location: Milan Fairgrounds, Rho | Contact:

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? 22


EVENTS London Fabric Show

Review Fabric event enjoys significant lift Exhibitors and visitors have described the second BFM-sponsored London Fabric Show held at Chelsea FC as a “great success” reports the show’s organiser.

The edition saw a large increase in visitor numbers – up 88% on the first day and 58% overall from last year’s show – boasting representatives from many of Britain’s upholstery companies.The number of visiting companies in attendance over the two days of the event was up 33% on last year. Visitors were treated to a wide variety of highquality fabrics from the show’s 33 exhibitors. Mills and suppliers from Belgium, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the UK took over executive boxes and suites of the football ground and turned them into a sea of colour and texture. On display were jacquards, velvets, wools, tweeds and cottons, chenilles and linens, in soft hues and vibrant patterns, as well as backing fabrics and FR coatings. Satisfaction with the show was expressed by exhibitors and visitors, with many pledging to return in 2017. Koen Mortier from Belgian Escolys commented: “It has been a good show for us. We do a lot of business with UK companies and our UK customers are very important to us, so this is a good place for us to come and do business. We have seen many of our customers and also met new ones. We will return.” Benti Textile’s Nejla Oral said: “We are

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establishing ourselves in the UK market, and exhibiting at this show has meant that we have made some excellent contacts and had a great opportunity to demonstrate the quality of our fabrics. We look forward to returning next year.” Visitor to the show, Jo Moore from upholstery manufacturer Spink & Edgar, said: “There are some great exhibitors here and it has been very useful for us to attend. The venue is good too, and we’ve met some good friends from the industry.” MD of sponsor the BFM Jackie Bazeley comments: “We are delighted that the 2016 London Fabric Show has been such a success, and has been highly complemented by both exhibitors and visitors. “In our membership we have a great number of prestigious UK upholstery companies, and see it as important that we organise this show to give them, and other UK manufacturers, an unparalleled opportunity to see some of the best fabric producers in the world – in one venue. This highly individual show is growing – we already have a waiting list of companies wishing to exhibit next year.” The event will return to Chelsea FC on 27th and 28th February 2017. W

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24/03/2016 29/01/2016 13:05 14/04/2015 15:38 11:54



RESOURCES Building a brand – value


Jeremy Stein is MD of the British Contract Furnishing Association (BCFA), which boasts over 250 members including manufacturers, suppliers and designers. W

Building a brand – value Since it was established, the BCFA has observed the impact of multiple brand tactics on its members’ value. In the fourth of a series of articles exploring brand building, Jeremy Stein describes the ongoing importance of a brand’s value … Each of the aspects involved in building a brand explored in previous instalments – personality, identity and physique – are essential to a company’s success, yet are in no way finite or final. Brand value is something which has the potential to change, mutate and develop, therefore building brand value must be a continuous and constant progression. Each customer experience, and every new product, needs the same or improving quality to guarantee success. Leading brands know that building value is a continual process which never ends. Service with a smile Customer service is, and always has been, the backbone of a successful business and brand. If an interaction with a customer falls short of supporting and reflecting a company’s brand personality, identity and physique, it has the potential to cut short the client’s journey with that company, undermining all the good work that has gone before. The most successful brands know that every customer experience is as important as the last. Whether new or old, placing an order large or small, each individual should be treated equally and provided with the same quality of service. The best also know that providing excellent service relies on identifying the potential problems and concerns unique to each client. Asking questions and truly absorbing the answers, as well as intuiting concerns through cues such as body language and tone of voice, all help ensure the service provided is bespoke. It is no coincidence that the titles of the previous instalments in this series all contain words corresponding to human qualities – customers return to brands which recognise and treat them as unique individuals, and make them feel listened to and understood. It is also important that good customer

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service is consistent and of the same high level at every stage in the customer’s journey. It can be useful to have specific guidelines and procedures in place to ensure this. Apple is renowned for its effective customer service. Having stated “you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology,” the late Steve Jobs illustrates how the customer is the company’s top concern. As well as staffing Genius Bars at every store, employees are renowned for offering personalised solutions. Get social Of course, ‘word of mouth’ reviews these days do not always come via a face-to-face conversation, but rather via a screen. The introduction and rapid rise of social media channels and online forums has allowed more people to have their say about companies easily and publicly, and customer service is one of the areas people are quick to criticise. From this perspective, customer service has become more important than ever. On the other hand, social media has also made it easier for businesses to showcase positive customer interaction. Brands now regularly deal with queries and complaints in these arenas and, if handled well, this can have a positive impact both on the customer being dealt with and the handful, hundreds or even thousands witnessing it online. Online is undoubtedly an essential component of building brand value today. As well as responding to queries and concerns via social media, the most successful brands are using the medium to proactively build their brand personality, add value to consumers’ relations with them and engage and attract both new and existing clients. Coca-Cola, one of the most recognisable brands in the world and voted number three in Interbrand’s 2015 global brand ranking, is

known for its social media skills. Its strategy rests heavily on customer inclusion. As well as sharing content created by customers on its social channels, Coca-Cola replies to everyone who tweets to it – no mean feat when you have 3,200,000 followers. As in life, a personal approach which makes customers feel valued and listened to is essential to social media success. The place of product Although it has not been mentioned in this series until now, the actual product or service a company provides is another element crucial to its success. As well as providing the functions it promises perfectly, products must also take into account tastes and trends, and embrace the latest in technology and innovation. Like brand personality, identity and physique, this is something which must be a constant concern, and is all-important to brand success and perceived value. In order to create an effective product, it is essential to stay up to date with industry, consumer and societal trends, and to be able to translate these into designs. In addition to this, it is important to be able to stay ahead of the trend curve and predict what will be popular in the future, and to keep abreast of technological developments. Brand value has the potential to be in a permanent state of flux. As we have seen, there are some key elements which are essential to building brand value – consistently high quality customer service, which is truly bespoke and personalised to each customer, adding value through engaging, informative and personalised exchanges, through mediums such as social media, and maintaining an innovative, original and functional product offering, are vital to brand development. Get these values right, and your brand will grow

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RESOURCES EU Data Law – an update


Dene Walsh is the operations director of lead generation service Verso Group, and is responsible for data compliance at the company. He also plays a leading role in compliance in the data sector as a whole as a member of the Direct Marketing Association’s contact centre and telemarketing council. W

Be prepared for changes to data law After outlining the threat to retail marketing of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the September issue of Furniture News, Dene Walsh returns with news that some data marketers face a triple data regulation change on top of the finally agreed EU law – thankfully, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is stepping up the assistance it provides to aid compliance … Although Brussels has completed a U-turn on the terms of the new EU data law that was threatening to undermine the capability of marketers, it is now domestic regulators that are posing new challenges. A parliamentary Select Committee has announced it wants the Government to introduce much stricter data laws that go beyond the recently-announced EU GDPR law. The committee believe that current sanctions have not been an effective deterrence to rogue marketers, and a key part of its recommendation is introducing criminal sanctions with the aim of focusing the minds of business leaders to ensure data protection policy is treated with greater importance. At the same time, the ICO is introducing a policy of actively seeking out data offenders rather than investigating complaints, and is reviewing its guidelines with a view to introducing tougher regulation – plus it will double in size this year, and may move into bigger premises. In addition, Ofcom has completed the consultancy period of a review of rules as part of its initiative to introduce more control in the way businesses are allowed to communicate by telephone with customers and sales prospects. As yet there is no data for publication of regulation changes. Although some marketing departments will have to understand and adopt multiple rule changes, the ICO is providing practical support to assist in meeting new regulations. It has introduced an online self-assessment tool that enables users to identify all of the considerations necessary under the Data Protection Act, at In addition, the ICO has produced a 12-step guide to preparing for the new EU data law,

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and accompanying guidance on the overall context of the change to come. It highlights the fact that many of the principles in the new EU legislation are the same as those in the current Data Protection Act. It points out that if companies are currently data compliant then the foundations for meeting GDPR regulation will be in place already. Theguide issued by the ICO is as follows:

6. Legal basis for processing personal data You should look at the various types of data processing you carry out, identify your legal basis for carrying it out and document it.

1. Awareness You should make sure that decision makers and key people in your organisation are aware that the law is changing to GDPR. They need to appreciate the impact this is likely to have.

8. Children You should start thinking now about putting systems in place to verify individuals’ ages and to gather parental or guardian consent for the data processing activity.

2. Information you hold You should document what personal data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with. You may need to organise an information audit. 3. Communication privacy information You should review your current privacy notices and put a plan in place for making any necessary changes in time for GDPR implementation. 4. Individuals’ rights You should check procedures to ensure they cover all the rights individuals have, including how you would delete personal data or provide data electronically and in a commonly used format. 5. Subject access requests You should update your procedures and plan how you will handle requests within the new timescales and provide any additional information.

7. Consent You should review how you are seeking, obtaining and recording consent and whether you need to make any changes.

9. Data breaches You should make sure you have the right procedures in place to detect, report and investigate personal data breach. 10. Data protection by design and data protection impact assessments You should familiarise yourself now with the guidance the ICO has produced on Privacy Impact Assessments and work out how and when to implement them in your organisation. 11. Data protection officers You should designate a data protection officer, if required, or someone to take responsibility for data protection compliance, and assess where this role will sit within your organisation’s structure and governance arrangements. 12. International If your organisation operates internationally, you should determine which data protection supervisory authority you come under

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RESOURCES What the Trunki ruling has taught us


Gavin Llewellyn is an intellectual property lawyer at Stone King LLP in London specialising in design law. He is the president of the Intellectual Property Commission of the international lawyers’ association, the UIA, and a legal affiliate of ACID (Anti Copying in Design). W

Design registration – don’t get taken for a ride! A recent court ruling concerning a children’s suitcase sends a warning to the design industry to think carefully before registering designs, writes Gavin Llewellyn of the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the registered design infringement case brought by Trunki’s parent company Magmatic against PMS International …

Registered designs hit the press last month over the long-awaited Supreme Court decision in the Trunki litigation. The outcome is that designers should consider carefully how to represent designs when making registered design applications. It is also worth considering whether the designs they have registered are likely to be as effective as they once thought. Trunki is the name of an award-winning, child’s ride-on suitcase designed by Rob Law, various versions of which were registered as Community designs. Trunki accused PMS International Group plc of infringing its registered design when it imported and sold the Kiddee case, a child’s ride-on suitcase designed to look like an animal. There are certainly similarities with the Trunki – but were they enough to infringe the design? The High Court thought they were, saying that Trunki had registered the shape of a suitcase and that the Kiddee case, whilst having a number of obvious differences, shared its “sculpted, sophisticated, modern appearance” and its “prominent ridge and horn-like handles and clasps looking like the nose and tail of an animal”. It said that the animal decorations to the Kiddee cases could be ignored because the Trunki registration was for a shape. When PMS appealed, the Court of Appeal took the opposite view, saying that the Trunki registration was not just for the shape of a

suitcase, identifying other important features of the design. It was those additional features – with which the Supreme Court broadly agreed – which turned the tables in favour of PMS. So what was the registered design, and why did it matter? In any registered design claim, the court must firstly decide what the “overall impression” of the design is. This is because the infringement test for registered designs is whether the accused design “does not create a different overall impression on the informed user”. The “overall impression” is affected by the purpose of the design because it is the impression on the “informed user” which counts, not the impression on the judge. In the Trunki case, the informed user was primarily “the parent, carer or relative of a three- to six-year-old child”. The Court of Appeal said that the Trunki design: • Created an overall impression of a horned animal with a nose and tail, • Showed “a distinct contrast in colour between the wheels and the strap, on the one hand, and the rest of the suitcase on the other”, and • Showed that it was “not adorned with any other imagery which counteracts or interferes with the impression the shape creates”. The Kiddee cases, on the other hand, created the overall impression of a ladybird

“If Trunki had used line drawings rather than CAD, it was more likely that the Kiddee case would have infringed”

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and a tiger. Their decoration affected the informed user’s perception of the designs. Trunki questioned whether lack of decoration could be a feature of a design. Although it did not rule it out, the Supreme Court said that this was not in issue. The issue was how all the features of the design shown in the registration would be perceived by the informed user. The fact was that Trunki had chosen to register the Trunki design using CAD images which showed light and shade, colour contrast and the absence of ornamentation. The Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeal that these were design features which were deliberately chosen. The design was not merely a shape. Comparing the Kiddee case on a like-for-like basis, it was right to take into account its decoration and the overall impression which that helped to create. What lessons can be learned from this? If Trunki had used line drawings rather than CAD, it was more likely that the Kiddee case would have infringed. Line drawings have always been considered to provide the widest scope of protection. Of course, a balance has to be achieved since a broad design might not necessarily be novel enough to qualify for protection. Sometimes, it is necessary to register around a prior design. This is what makes the task of protecting designs so difficult for designers. Taking a sanguine view, along with the earlier Samsung versus Apple dispute over the design of the iPad, this case provides useful guidance for registering designs. Unfortunately, there will never be a yardstick which we can apply to all cases

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PROFILE Bluebone’s design defence

“Our Titanic retro chest is the best-selling item in our Titanic retro range, and most prone to copying. There are several cheap ranges on the market that use cheap timber painted to look like boatwood, and combine with cheap, thin steel. This of course make these copies much cheaper than our quality product, which employs real boatwood and quality steel”

When Bluebone discovered that a competitor was importing a range which looked virtually identical to one of its own, it employed the expertise of Anti Copying in Design (ACID) to safeguard its design IP. Eventually, the case was settled, netting Bluebone a settlement payment of £15,000 and broadcasting the message that its Titanic range was off limits to potential copycats. Furniture News contacted Bluebone’s business manager, Els Coolen, to find out more …

In defence of design How important is it that a supplier’s ranges stand out from the crowd these days? The market of traditional furniture ranges is highly price driven and competitive. Bluebone has grown into a strong position in the furniture market by offering unique designs that are different from anything else available on the market. We have put a lot of effort and investment into sourcing and developing these unique products. We ensure their quality is of a high standard, and that we have these designs exclusively for our market. In a pricecompetitive market standing out from the crowd is hugely important, as it means we can get a fair price for quality and design. Copyrights encourage people and organisations to create new things by guaranteeing protection for innovative ideas and designs. We as a company believe strongly in design and quality, and invest a

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lot in marketing and the promotion of unique designs. What lengths does Bluebone go to when designing and sourcing fresh collections? We spend months on product development, sourcing, quality and ensuring designs are unique. What inspires the buying team? We look at trends at foreign trade fairs and try to translate these to the specific requirements and taste of the UK market. How did ACID help the process when it came to protecting your Titanic collection? ACID put us in touch with Stone King solicitors who helped us in negotiating a halt to the import of the alleged copies and secured a level of compensation for lost sales. It has certainly spurred us on to

“Our signature Curves range, available in oak and mango, is prone to copying”

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Bluebone’s design defence PROFILE



continue defending against other perceived infringements, of which we have several currently pending. … and how else does your ACID membership help safeguard Bluebone from potential imitations? Even though a lot of copyright infringement cases can be – and are – based on unregistered design rights, ACID offer the opportunity to register your designs with them. They offer legal advice and support in taking the necessary steps against manufacturers or importers of copies of our designs. Which particular collection are you most proud of bringing to the UK? Our Titanic collection is our signature range. Even though the use of boatwood is now more commonplace in furniture design, the specific designs of our Titanic range, the combination of materials and the quality of the product, make this a highly recognisable product. It is therefore even more frustrating to see copies – sometimes even using our own imagery – being offered by foreign manufacturers, and subsequently being imported in the UK by competitors. The range was a laureate of Kevin McCloud’s Green Heroes at the Grand Designs show in October 2013, and has featured in many magazines, so it is hard to see how importers can claim innocence when importing copies of his range.

“Our Vintage multi-drawer chest uses neutral tones and different handles,” says Els. “The use of environmentally-friendly timbers and neutral colours make this a versatile chest. The look, however, is unique to us, and prone to copying”

What material and colour trends do you see coming through this year, and how are you responding to them? We see both a move toward more gloss and glass, and at the same time a more rustic, woody look. As our strength is in solid wood, we combine wood with metal, or faux concrete, to bring innovative designs. W

When Bluebone discovered competitor Baumhaus was importing a furniture range known as Urban Chic which looked virtually identical to its Titanic range of furniture, the company acted decisively. After legal exchanges a settlement was reached. Baumhaus claims to have made only a small profit on sales of its Urban Chic range, and, despite not acknowledging infringement, agreed to stop manufacturing or importing Urban Chic and to pay £15,000 compensation to Bluebone for its UK sales. Bluebone is the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor of the Titanic range, which was designed by Olivier Lalmand and which is protected by registered and unregistered design rights. The range is distinguished by

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“Our original Titanic range, boasting double barrel steel with boatwood”

its signature double-barrel steel frame, use of mosaic boatwood and steel drawer fronts. Bluebone’s Dale Boal says: “We are very pleased that by working together with Olivier, the original designer, and the services of Stone King solicitors, we were able to negotiate a halt to the import of these products and secured a level of compensation. It has certainly spurred us on to continue defending against other perceived infringements, of which we have several currently pending.” ACID affiliate lawyer Gavin Llewellyn of Stone King LLP says: “This case shows that even where there is arguably little or no profit in the sales of allegedly infringing products, the IP right owner can still claim

compensation for the losses which it has suffered. In this case, Bluebone were able to take action to protect their exclusivity with the benefit of legal advice and secure a settlement which meant that they did not suffer any additional loss to their own business. This is vital for micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses, who need to safeguard their IP assets.” Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO, adds: “The furniture sector, whilst global, is small in terms of key players. Bluebone are known for their originality and design-led capability. Who wants to be known for a lookalike challenge? What does it say about a major brand who appeared to take the fast track to market going so close to the bone?”

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Conley A charming, gently curved range of sofas and scaled matching chair with luxurious high back cushions and a supportive but soft seat. Smartly piped around the arm and cushions in either matching fabric or contrasted for a more tailored look.

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A deep lounger and sofa range designed for whiling away the evenings enveloped in extreme luxury. Stoop is fabulously soft and sprawling with gentle curving lines to enhance the serenity, whilst the solid wooden plinth adds a neat finishing touch. Stoop


Relentless Elegance View our fabulous range at our showroom in East Sussex, and at our trade showroom in Long Eaton, by appointment

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BEDS & BEDR0OM After a record-breaking start to the year in January, latest figures show that Mammoth’s ( sales show no signs of slowing. The brand’s strong performance during the winter sale period has been followed by equally impressive performance in February and early March. With a sales increase of 84% through its independent retail partners, Mammoth’s sales growth is over 100% on market average. According to early market research, independent mattress sales at the start of the year were up 40% compared with the same period last year, and Mammoth has far exceeded these results. Mammoth’s national accounts have also hit new heights in 2016, with double the sales in the first two months compared with the same period last year. A successful UK growth strategy and commitment to to its retailers is paving the way for a successful 2016. Mammoth’s founder and MD, John Tuton, says: “As Mammoth transitions from a newcomer to the market to become one of the established names in the furniture industry, it is crucial that we build on the momentum we have created over the last five years. “I was delighted to see us performing so

Mammoth has enjoyed a successful year so far

Capri, Core Products

strongly in January, but to find ourselves another six weeks down the line and clearly head and shoulders above the market is testament to how our retail partners have embraced the Mammoth concept. “We’ve worked extremely hard to bring something to market that is innovative and genuinely different to everything else on the shop floors. The feedback we are receiving is that we have provided shop floor sales staff a product which they love to sell. This is down to proven technologies, our dedication to the science of comfort, and training which goes beyond industry standard. “On a broader note, it is fantastic to see the industry performing so well as a whole. Such a marked improvement on sales compared to 2015 shows me that retailers are doing more

than ever to drive footfall to stores, educate customers and convert sales. It is a great time to be in the furniture industry. “We are now looking forward to the rest of 2016 and we have ambitious targets across both our bedroom lines and our new seating range.” With the coming of spring, Core Products (01738 630555) traditionally sees an increased demand for its well-established painted bedroom furniture ranges. Capri is a combination of mellow waxed pine and arctic white painted MDF. Its clean simple lines are complemented by a clean natural wood interior and real dovetail drawers. Jamestown combines natural oak veneer with a subtle shade of cream painted >>>

Danube Oak now available in painted finish supplying the UK and Ireland wholesale. Available in: Warm White, French Grey and Weathered Oak Contact us now for details FOB prices available for all our ranges…. Email: Call Andy: 00 353 876783899 or call 00 353 18078160

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Your average customer will spend a third of their life asleep. Only Mammoth Medical Grade Foam™ Mattresses are clinically proven to help make that sleep, the best it can be!

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Inspired by Mammoth’s best selling mattress, the Club SuperSoft Collection is simply the best in style, luxury and performance.

* Tested under the guidance of Prof. Jason Ellis at Northumbria University’s Centre for Sleep Research. ** Independently tested by SATRA. Results compared against 50kg Memory Foam.

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latex ad




Degas Jewel, Sweet Dreams

MDF. The wood panels are coated with an easy to clean lacquer finish and are completed with wooden handles. Quebec captures the essence of French styling in a fresh, modern way with elegant mouldings skirtings and cornice work finished with antiqued metal handles. Core’s most recent addition is the popular Corona in a white-washed finish. Unlike solid paint or melamine, by using solid wood and applying a wax coating, the natural characteristics of the wood can be seen to great effect. Since its launch last year, this range has established itself very quickly as a firm favourite with the furniture-buying public. All these ranges are well established and proven sellers from Core’s extensive

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Catania, Wiemann

collection of flat packed furniture. They are available from stock for trade or direct to home delivery with a next-day delivery option available. Sweet Dreams’ (01282 830033, sales@ latest collection of fabric-upholstered bedframes with optional integral drawers is performing well, reports the manufacturer. The frames can be selected with or without two large integral drawers, which is proving a popular move as the lack of storage in bedframes has long been an issue for space-deprived British bed buyers. In the case of several models, including Degas, the frame can be chosen with either diamante or self-covered buttons as an embellishment. All the upholstered bedframes are made in Lancashire.

Soft champagne and warm walnut finishes combine in Wiemann’s (07787 106225, Catania VIP range. As might be expected, the permutations of wardrobes, chests, bedside tables – even extras like underbed storage and a new dressing table with lift-up mirror – are numerous. It also features smart VIP grey striped interiors and plenty of useful chrome-finished internal storage trays, hooks and shelves. There are hinged door wardrobes in almost every configuration of doors and drawers up to 4m, plus four widths in sliding door robes, all in either 216 or 236cm heights. As well as chrome feet on the bed, there is an impressive floating-look option available too

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The new latex range from

Our revamped Latex mattresses are available in a 1000ct, 1500ct or 2150ct. Featured here with the Valentine headboard in wool grey.

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BEDS & BEDROOM Dunlopillo

The Dunlopillo brand has enjoyed great commercial success over the last 12 months following the total overhaul of the brand by new owner, Steinhoff.

Dunlopillo keeps the bar high

Millennium Coniston bedstead

The Dunlopillo brand is enjoying success following on from the preview of the Dunlopillo Signature Collection at the 2014 NBF Bed Show and its subsequent launch in March 2015. According to the brand, support for the new collection has been in high supply and continues to go from strength to strength, proving that the consumer desires a breathable alternative to the plethora of memory foam products in the marketplace. “By going back to basics and embracing the core values of the Dunlopillo brand we have been able to develop a very special range of mattresses, beds and pillows that cater for all our customers’ comfort needs,” says Paul Little, national accounts sales director for Steinhoff. Dunlopillo’s unique open cell structure is the key, as it not only creates impressive levels of comfort and support, but also delivers much needed airflow which is often not present in the premium memory foam brands. Memory foam is a great insulator and holds body heat efficiently, which in turn leads to complaints of beds being too hot. The unique open cell structure of Dunlopillo latex enables

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all of its mattresses to be self-ventilating. The microscopic air bubbles promote constant air circulation and natural movement during the night helps ventilate the mattress, keeping the bed at a constant and comfortable temperature. Dunlopillo’s durability is impressive, but it is not just the open cell airflow and durability of Dunlopillo latex that makes it a beneficial mattress material – it is also the naturally occurring anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties that are valued by the modern-day consumer. All Dunlopillo mattresses are made using pure natural latex, a material derived from the sap of rubber trees grown in managed sustainable plantations. Dunlopillo attests to being the only 100% latex mattress in the marketplace. “I joined the Steinhoff bedding business in the summer of 2015 and was amazed at the comfort levels Dunlopillo latex has to offer. Having been closely aligned to all manner of spring types during my career as CEO of Leggett and Platt Europe, I always looked at the mattress world through spring-tinted spectacles. However, I can now confirm that

I sleep very happily on a Celeste Dunlopillo Latex mattress and am delighted with my improved quality of sleep,” says Anthony Joyce, CEO of Steinhoff UK manufacturing. “I decided to try a Dunlopillo mattress when I was presented with numerous pressure map tests demonstrating that Dunlopillo latex outperformed all other materials including springs of every size and type. But don’t just take my word for it – our sales have grown substantially over the last 12 months because we are creating a new generation of Dunlopillo comfort fans and enthusiasts.” With nationwide distribution through independent retailers and national chains, the Dunlopillo brand has a firm hold on the premium comfort end of the market. The range of six mattresses is complemented by a host of base options from bed frames, pocketsprung divans and sophisticated electricallyadjustable bases. With over 30 premium fabrics, five leg designs and seven headboard styles from which to select, the Dunlopillo Signature Collection offers seemingly endless options. W

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Relyon and Dunlopillo Independent Show

Every bed is built using traditional handcrafted skills, combining the finest upholstery fillings and the most supportive pocket springs.

Dunlopillo oozes class and desirability, created from 100% natural latex providing unrivalled levels of comfort and support.

If you are looking for beautifully tailored beds, why not try the full array of our luxury Relyon and Dunlopillo bed collections at our exclusive independent show.

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BEDS & BEDROOM - CHILDREN’S Safe Night cot bed mattress, Silentnight

Dolly, Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams’ (01282 830033, sales@ latest children’s divans, Dolly and Striker, are aimed at parents looking for a good quality bed for their child. Both the new divans feature a fully sprung no-turn mattress with a 13.5 gauge bonnell framed unit, a patterned cover in a soft-touch knitted fabric and a damask 3D border for breathability, as found across the Burnley manufacturer’s range. The border matches the divan base. The beds come in 75 and 90cm and have the options of a slidestore or two drawers to the base. Dolly features a humorous stick-figure illustration to the cover and has a scarlet border and divan base, while Striker sports

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Healthy Growth, Silentnight

a football design and comes in dark blue. An optional matching headboard is available in both designs. Silentnight ( has a range of quality sleep solutions for the whole family, starting with innovative Safe Night cot bed mattresses, specially designed to help babies breathe easily while they sleep. The foam-free Airstream technology provides support and comfort, while the innovative 3D-mesh micro-quilted cover lets air flow freely for a safer night’s sleep. With a choice of three products, parents can choose to add mini-springs into the mattress and even Airstream memory wool which allows for natural temperature regulation to prevent overheating.

All products in the range provide a naturally hypoallergenic environment that prevents dust mites, allergies and skin irritations, and the cover is removable and washable which makes the mattresses easy to clean. The Healthy Growth mattress supports children and young teens in their growth and development. Using the unique Miracoil spring system for ideal spinal alignment, this product is foam free to offer a healthy sleeping environment. Healthy Growth mattresses are designed with breathable EcoComfort Fibre fillings to keep children cool at night and to give parents peace of mind that their child will get a comfortable night’s sleep

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Divine Sofa, Bloomingville

Hemsby medium sofa, Wood Bros

Crest JMT Leather’s warehouse Industrial living, Bluebone Alloa from Comfort Zone Sofas, with Lerwick, an ottoman stool with spring-loaded hinge

Industrial living is a trend that is going from strength to strength. Bluebone (www. offers a variety of industrial looks for all areas of the home. The X-leg Industrial tables have reclaimed timber tops, showing the striking aesthetics of of old wood. Combined with industrial accessories, or the popular apothecary chest, they create a statement in the home. Crest JMT Leather ( provides its customers with a wide range of high-quality finished leather hides, with first-class service and extensive knowledge of product, as well as next-day delivery within the UK. Crest JMT Leather is part of the Crest Leather group, a global producer of finished leather with tanneries in Italy, Brazil and Thailand. The company controls all stages of production so as to ensure high-quality finished product for its customers. The company also offers a bespoke service for its customers who wish to order leather outside of its permanent collections direct from its

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tannery in Italy. Crest JMT Leather offers its customers a large number of options when it comes to finished leather, both on European and Brazilian hides. Coupled with its bespoke service, there is a wide choice of combinations of colour and texture. The business is constantly expanding its range and its reach into new markets, and invests heavily in research and development to ensure it keeps up with the latest trends. The Nordic-style Divine Sofa from Bloomingville (0045 9626 4645, www. is available in rosecoloured recycled cotton with a smoked oak frame – alternatively, it can be specified in a light grey New Zealand wool with white oiled oak legs. A one-seater chair is also available. The Danish company is constantly developing a wide range of interior styles – two main collections, five express collections and one Christmas collection are unveiled each year – ensuring it stays abreast of developing home trends.

Wood Bros (01920 469241, www. launched the new Hug sofa collection this year, a modular group that fits together in a number of ways to create a contemporary seating area. A new fabric swatch has also been introduced for Hug and for the wider Wood Bros Sofa Collection, featuring new colourways and textures from dogtooth and herringbone to plaids and velvets. Comfort Zone Sofas (01282 452185, sales@, sister company to Sweet Dreams, recently launched Alloa, a generous corner sofa with a hardwood frame. Made with dowelled and glued joints, Alloa features high resilience, high density polyester PE foam to the seats and high density polyester fibre to the backs. It comes in a choice of three kinds of foot – light or dark coloured wood or tubular chrome finish – and around 50 fabrics. Delivered to home or store within 10 working days, all Comfort Zone Sofas products are made in Lancashire. >>>

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Wool Squares, Flair Rugs

Azalea, from Flair Rugs’ Sommer range

Wool Squares is the latest design to join the Simplicity collection at Flair Rugs (01457 850660,, offering understated style that plays on the attractiveness of wool fibre and its authentic lustre, in five classic colours and four sizes. Value-driven yet impressive in its contemporary square design, Wool Squares boasts beige, light grey and chocolate hues suited to an array of interior schemes, while red and teal act as vibrant alternatives.

Gareth Davies, UK sales and marketing director, says: “We are delighted to expand our Simplicity offering with Wool Squares, rugs that prove there’s a place for sumptuous wool and all its benefits even at entry level.” Flair Rugs also presents Sommer, a unique painterly trio featuring contemporary florals and organic watercolour marks. In Azalea, Freesia and Aster, Flair has introduced three strong looks to its premium polyester portfolio.

These oversize florals, available in two sizes, employ state-of-the-art printing technology to produce underfoot inspiration for every room of the house. Buying manager Nicola Fenton says: “In Sommer we have met demand for the popular watercolour effect in fabrics and rugs. “Sommer is one of our most intricate designs, yet precise in its detailing and brings heaps of colour to the home through a balance of bright and neutral hues.”





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Alpha D


ALPHA DESIGNS UPHOLSTERY LIMITED T: 01902 492937 F: 01902 493700 E: Unit 1, Stag Industrial Estate, Oxford Street, Bilston, Wolverhampton WV14 7HZ FN_325 V18.indd 45 Alpha Design 325 v2.indd 1

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LIVING ROOM Collins and Hayes

Sometimes, risks need to be taken. When Matt O’Flynn took the reins of venerable upholsterer Collins and Hayes in late 2014, he saw the need for significant changes across the brand, and set about making it fit for today’s market. As the new 2016 models hit shop floors across the country, Paul Farley discovers how the trade has responded to the transition …

Dare to be different

Conley has proved one of the new collection’s most popular

“There’s a lot of people that have a personal connection to the Collins and Hayes brand, and the ultimate endorsement is when they buy into what we’ve done,” says Matt of the reception encountered at this year’s January Furniture Show. “We were delighted with the uptake of new models, and the number of new customers we met.” Whereas the brand’s 2015 revival urged the trade to fall in love with its new direction, this year’s theme signified the start of a prolonged honeymoon period, and saw Collins and Hayes present a more considered collection of comfort-driven sofas and chairs. The 2016 offer is certainly not lacking

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in variety, Collins and Hayes confidently deploying a range of classic and contemporary shapes in both fabric and leather. Striving for even greater comfort, the manufacturer now utilises exclusively nonback-coated natural fibres – a small detail which yields pleasing results. “We’re forging our own direction,” says Matt. “We’re flexible, and our collection reflects that strength. Independents have their own demographic and geographical requirements, and the variety we offer means we can deal with anyone trading within a certain price bracket. “A traditional independent in a country

town might opt for a compact, loose-cover corner model, while an urban retailer in Manchester might choose a more modern piece, that is architectural in design. The main thing we’ve achieved is giving Collins and Hayes a recognisable position in the marketplace.” As well as optimising its manufacturing approach to better suit a more bespoke, customer-centric model, Collins and Hayes has refocused its attentions on the independent market, pulling its remaining House of Fraser concessions to free up even more of its range. “Our direction is far more driven towards supporting the independents

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Collins and Hayes LIVING ROOM



Conley armchair


with higher value, higher quality products,” says Matt. The collection itself is making good progress, benefiting from the addition of several new models in January, with two more to come – together with new fabrics – at next month’s Long Point and Minerva exhibitions. When quizzed on specifics, Matt admits that the Conley, introduced last year, has proved the most popular of the new batch, while recognition of the new Brooke model, in the form of a judges’ commendation award in The Furniture Awards 2016, has been warmly welcomed. “Brooke is a very solid version of its type,

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The NEC stand

and eminently comfortable,” says Matt. “It’s the first time we’ve entered this award, and the recognition we’ve had so early on is a great endorsement to the team that’s worked so hard putting it together.” As well as offering training to sales teams, Collins and Hayes is currently strengthening its stockist support by updating its online presence. The website now boasts new product photography – from numerous angles – which is available for use as in-store PoS if required. A product selector tool is in development, alongside a ‘find my product’ function that will allow the user to locate the nearest store stocking a particular model.


There is also a growing emphasis on social media and sharable content – a more consumer-driven thrust to the brand that will help Collins and Hayes aid retailer promotions and drive customer demand. “The show was later this year, and Easter was earlier, but we managed to get all our new display models out in time for the Easter Bank Holiday,” Matt proudly concludes. “There may be more changes along the way, but I’m confident that we’re going in the right direction – and every month sees more retailers in agreement.” T 01424 720027 W

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DINING ROOM The new traditional-style oak LG collection from Kettle Interiors (01536 444960, sales@ is already proving popular, says the supplier. “The classic lines of the LG range have been exceptionally well received and we are already seeing strong sales from this range,” says sales director Simon Ainge. “With touches such as soft-close drawers, this is a collection that stands out not only for its unique style, but also its combination of quality and value.” Finished in a durable and natural style, the LG collection is also capable, with over 35 items for dining and occasional use. Highlights include a display cabinet and highboard – both with internal lights – and the centrepiece refectory table, available in 2 and 3m lengths. Next is the conetmporary AB range, which sets out a markedly different direction for Kettle. Developed to bring a more Eurocentric appeal to the company’s portfolio, with design cues taken from modern German looks, AB certainly has a niche appeal – but, as Simon explains, this was always the intention. “We wanted to develop a range

LG, Kettle Interiors that widened our appeal and allowed contemporary interior retailers to enjoy the service, quality and value benefits of Kettle Interiors with furniture perfect for their customer base,” he says. Offering 17 items for dining and occasional use, AB’s highlights include the highboard with internal LED lights, the two-door, threedrawer sideboard and the sleek large TV unit. With soft-close drawers and doors >>>

AB, Kettle Interiors


Looking for something different? Unique and Exclusive Designs, Industrial, Retro & Vintage Furniture and Accessories, Bestselling Painted Provence with bespoke options, Retro Oak

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Northern Ireland 3 Main St, Ballynahinch, Co.Down BT24 8DN TEL.: 028 9756 1812, FAX.: 028 9756 4435 E-mail:

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throughout, this is a quality range, the aged solid oak top, front and sides adding to the collection’s imposing feel. Wood Bros’ (01920 469241, www. latest offerings, introduced at the January Furniture Show, comprised three new collections – Frame, Hint and Hug – and demonstrated a new direction and

The Wicker Merchant from Kettle Interiors offers a broad range of wicker goods

Frame, Wood Bros

Wood Bros’ Frame collection was created around a living kitchen concept additional breadth to the company’s offer. Frame is a farmhouse kitchen-style collection designed for both formal dining and living kitchen spaces, constructed in character oak and in a new waxed finish. Frame is made up of a dining group with bench and chair option, and includes an island unit and floating shelves. There is also a variety of occasional designs which further supports the living kitchen concept. “We’ve been blown away with the success of The Wicker Merchant (01536 444960, since we

launched it at the January Furniture Show,” says Simon Ainge, sales director, Kettle Interiors. “In fact, we’ve been working hard to keep up with the demand and are delighted that so many furniture stores across the country are already enjoying the great diversity and value of the brand.” Everything in the high-value 90 item-plus portfolio – a huge choice comprising baskets, laundry and log baskets, pet baskets, trunks and benches, storage and furniture – is available for dispatch from Kettle Interiors’ Northamptonshire warehouse


Call: 07802 648383 or Paul Hodgson –

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Most ranges available in upholstered fabric or large range of leathers Rockers and grandfathers available in beech and colonial hardwood All Farmhouse chairs are available in standard and wide seat and Carver design Chairs, tables, cabinets and occasional furniture available in Oak, Beech and Pine

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Creativity is the seat of all inspiration Inspiration takes many forms – but when it comes to furniture, what better place to start than with the vision of an expert who is determined to challenge the very way the industry operates? Island Oak ( is the next big thing when it comes to furniture wholesaling, and their approach sets them apart from their competitors thanks to the dynamic and refreshing way they do business.

The company already has an international reputation for beautiful affordable quality furniture ranges at fantastic prices, and it is an established global manufacturer. But now, thanks to the passion and creativity of its founder, Harry Huang, Island Oak is set to grow even further thanks to its partnership with retailers and e-commerce sites across the UK and beyond. Everything the company does is designed to ensure suppliers receive the quality products and services they need to grow their businesses – but without the hassle and red-tape of dealing with overseas manufacturers directly. Their aim is to bridge the gap between their factories in Vietnam and their customers initially in the UK by bringing quality furniture to their doorstep. And thanks to their impressive stock levels, with more than £1 million worth

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of items available here in the UK at any one time from their East Midlands base, customers can place an online order any time. It’s the innovative online system using the very latest software packages that backs up their operations that makes all the difference too. Currently supplying the Lalona solid oak range and the Dove grey painted selection, the systems have been developed to give customers unprecedented access to Island Oak’s services. It means they can check an order history online at any time, and see live and up-to-date stock levels, as well as receiving automatic order status updates at key stages too. Professional photographs and accurate price lists all add to the experience, and e-commerce customers will appreciate the attention to detail that has gone

into developing a brand and an online presence that really stands out from the crowd. And when it comes to the all-important price, there is no minimum order, so smaller customers can also benefit from the savings that Island Oak can offer, not just those who can afford to buy in large quantities. With top-flight designers and experienced craftsmen on board, Island Oak is constantly introducing new and exciting ranges – and if you’ve got an idea of your own, they’d be delighted to work with you from prototype right through to production. So whether you’re a High Street retailer or an online business, now’s your opportunity to become part of the Island Oak story – call 0330 043 2021 or email to take the first step.

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Lightspeed POS has launched a cloud system for independent retailers

Lightspeed POS (, a commerce platform for retailers and restaurateurs, has launched Lightspeed Retail, a powerful cloud PoS system for independent retailers, in the UK. Lightspeed POS is already used by more than 26,000 businesses around the world, and processes £7b in transactions annually. Lightspeed Retail is available in the UK to a limited number of customers. The PoS combines the power of inventory management, customer relationship management and analytics,with an engaging

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mobile sales application that enables retailers to sell anywhere, any time, and on any platform. According to the provider, on average, Lightspeed retailers grow their revenue by 20% after the first year of using the product, with the system proving popular among retailers with high-value stock to manage. The company has set an ambitious aim to sign up thousands of retail businesses in the UK over the year, and intends to triple its London presence to manage this growth, and provide 24/7 technical support to customers.

Although the US market remains an important focus for the company, Lightspeed has even bigger ambitions for Europe: “Since the start of 2015, we have grown 745% yearon-year in Europe, and we’re targeting even greater growth,” says Jean-Paul. “UK independent retail is thriving, and at the same time new payment technologies from contactless to mobile are exploding. Add to that a nation of tech-savvy customers and retailers alike, and the opportunity is ripe for disrupting the old rules of retail across the UK.” >>>

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The world’s leading publications united The International Alliance of Furnishing Publications (IAFP) was established in 1997 to encourage communication between the world’s furniture markets. It currently comprises 18 magazines, each a leader in their own country. The IAFP opens doors to international markets – visit the website to find out more … IAFP 1/4 Advert.indd 1 FN_325 V18.indd 55

23/09/2013 15:02 24/03/2016 15:40




Maxi Mover’s low-loaders offer plentiful volume for furniture deliveries

Change can be exhilarating or frightening, but there is no getting away from the fact that the pace of change in modern retailing is accelerating. A Lynch Sales Company (07975 209761, sale can help retailers embrace these challenges by generating cash flow to re-invest in their business, clearing old stock and communicating an agenda to the public. According to the sales specialist, a Lynch promotional sale will produce between 2030% of a retailer’s annual turnover in just one month, enabling them to enhance the presentation of their store and create space for new ranges. In addition, thousands of

A Lynch Sales Company sale drove huge footfall last year at G Rutherford & Co of Morpeth, Northumberland

previous and potential customers will be informed about their products, plans, values and commitment to the local retail landscape, at an average marketing cost of five and a half percent of net sales. Sales staff benefit from busily working alongside one of Lynch’s co-ordinators, sent to manage the event. Lynch sales plans are designed to leave a retailer in better shape, with improved cash flow, cleaner inventory, less cluttered presentation, re-energised staff and more customers. Maxi Mover (01673 863300, www. specialises in new – and

Growing Business?

Finger On The Pulse? Now over 470 Furniture Retailers, turning over £420,000,000 annually, enjoy the benefits of the Retailsystem Call us to discuss how we can help run your stores & ecommerce websites more efficiently and profitably - a complete Multi Channel solution

quality used – low-loading Luton vans. Over 25 years’ experience in every aspect of commercial vehicles means the company can deliver quality vehicles, knowledge, service and after-sales support, from its purpose-built facilities in the East Midlands. The Maxi Mover low floor furniture van is suitable for use by a spectrum of drivers, from multi-drop couriers to low-quantity, high-value product deliveries. The company offers a full range of load-securing systems to ensure goods arrive safely – from traditional hardwood lashing rails, to padded cushion panels and galvanised load lock tracking. >>>

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TRADE SERVICES Stroolmount offers furniture and floor protection products

Lectra’s Versalis cutting solution

Lectra ( is a partner of many furniture manufacturers across the UK, providing support and innovative technology to enable companies to continue designing and manufacturing inspirational upholstered furniture whilst preserving traditional craftsmanship and quality. Lectra works with furniture manufacturers to add value and improve efficiency at every stage of the process – from design and product development to fabric and leather cutting. Lectra’s team of experts has extensive knowledge of industrial best practices in the upholstered furniture market, and the

Lectra’s research centre in Bordeaux

company’s solutions deliver the benefits of the cutting room of tomorrow. With its comprehensive range of professional services, Lectra ensures that companies get the optimum results from their operations, proposing a set of proven diagnostics, methodologies and best practices to help them improve processes, achieve operational excellence and deliver superior value to their customers. Lectra is hosting an event in Central London on Thursday 21st April to discuss the latest trends and drivers in the furniture market. Anyone interested in learning more about Lectra’s innovative technology and expertise should email Victoria Fothergill at for further details. Stroolmount’s ( new trade-only website is user-friendly and directs customers straight to its stockists. It presents the company’s full range of furniture and floor protection – including self-adhesive pads, accessories, repair kits, wood, carpet and tile glides and castor cups – plus videos of its items in action. Online ordering is also available. Stroolmount stockists enjoy a free company listing on the Stroolmount website, more traffic directed back to their site and a boost in Google ranking, plus a free Google Maps pin point, so customers can find them and contact them directly

DSV Solutions Home Delivery Services The team that delivers

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Personal Call Centres and SMS Messaging Bespoke Packages Safe and Secure Service Customer Satisfaction

DSV provide us with security and peace of mind of a job well done. Whether for storage or white glove delivery, DSV is always willing to help and has the strong structure in place to do it professionally

Freemans Grattan Holdings’ Head of Imports, Logistics and QA compliance Roz Walmsley

Whatever your requirement, DSV is the company for you.

Please call: +44 (0) 1908 512215 or email:

Global Transport and Logistics. DSV is a global supplier of transport and logistics services. DSV has offices in more than 70 countries all over the world and an international network of partners and agents, which makes DSV a truly global player offering services worldwide. By our professional and advantageous overall solutions, the approx. 22,000 DSV employees recorded worldwide annual revenue of 6 billion euro for 2011.

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• ADVERTISING – Most advertising does not work, so if

yours isn’t, stop wasting your money now and re-design your advertising campaigns using a benefits-orientated-style. Call Greenwood for effective copywriting know-how.


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Year’s Takings in Five Days!…

If a product or collection is not pulling its weight after being given a fair chance to shine, then clear it and replace it with a better performing line. Test and measure the selling potential of all your products in a Greenwood Sale.

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… when first saw queue outside, I The don’t bother with aIproper salesthe process or sales training. successful ones do! time and money in quality sales wanted to Invest run away! This Greenwood know-how. Sale Call Greenwood to arrange an effective has produced returns I could sales training course. only dream of!”

• COMPETITION – Check your competition to find out what

Parry, Director, Parry’s they areStephen offering. Avoid all-out priceFurniture, wars. BeWrexham sure to out-do January 2016 your competition on the most relevant beneficial USP’s including choice, quality, value and service. Call Greenwood to mystery shop your competitors.

DISCOVER THE POWER OF • PROMOTION – Promote your business effectively. Every GREENWOOD SALES…

good retailer from Tesco to Harrod’s does. Consider using a ‘Greenwood’ sales promotion to increase sales, turn stock into As literally hundreds of quality independent retailers, based all cash and win future market share, while protecting your profit over the UK and Ireland know very well, the benefits of holding at the same time. Call Greenwood! a ‘Greenwood Sale’ are many. Firstly, your sales event will be financially successful. Plus, you’ll generate instant cash flow, fill your order book and clear your redundant stock – with good margin maintained. And, longer term benefits include increased market share due to the positive publicity created by the event. Also you and your a look team at our website or call us now on 01625 521010, will enjoy seeing the business doing so well.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT GREENWOOD SALES... Take or, send an e mail enquiry, and we’ll gladly call you to discuss theMore exciting weTake cana offer Find Out About possibilities Greenwood Sales. look at you, our obligation. website or call uswithout now on 01565 650101, or, send an e mail We are

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Man Men, Louis de Poortere

Model boats, Febland

For the Spring/Summer 2016 season, Louis de Poortere ( has introduced Mad Men, a collection packed with design inspired by characters responsible for some of America’s most recognisable brand images. Woven in cotton chenille and high gloss polyester, Mad Men is a modern departure from Louis de Poortere’s largely vintage stable, presented in three bold looks – Skyscraper, Jacob’s Ladder and Griff. In sister collection Mosaiq, Louis de Poortere’s new-found contemporary edge is played upon once more with tribal geometrics

fashioned in five vibrant colourways. From Red Max to Blue Jeans, Mosaiq is a statement choice for a spectrum of residential settings, this time produced in 100% cotton chenille. Completing this trio of introductions, Haute Couture represents Louis de Poortere’s latest in wall-to-wall carpet, a collection boasting wool and wool-blends for use across sectors. In Haute Couture, guests will be treated to a unique touch and feel at this year’s Buying Groups National Flooring Show, the like of which is only possible through use of Jacquard Wilton looms. In line with its policy of offering new

lines frequently, Febland (01253 600600) has sourced a supplier of marine objects. These consist of fully rigged ships and cutters, which fit well into the company’s range of gifts. In addition to the model ships, Febland offers wall plaques with comprehensive displays of knots and accoutrements. As usual, the prices are very keen and the range was selected by many visitors to the company’s stand at Spring Fair in February. The latest catalogue is due for distribution imminently, which features over 150 pages of impressive selling lines

Exclusive 4 Piece Bedroom Package only £289 includes; 1 x Sliding Door Wardrobe • 1 x Chest mirrored • 2 x Bedsides mirrored - other colours available

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Montana Oak £289/set

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Lucia £289/set Set £199


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DESIGNER In Design – Chris Hughes

Since 1993, furniture designer Chris Hughes has produced contemporary commissions for private and corporate clients. His Tallboy product won a Design Guild Mark from the Furniture Makers’ Company in 2014.

In Design: Tallboy, Chris Hughes “I strive to make beautiful, useful and well-made objects that enrich our lives”

Training: Chris studied three-dimensional design at Bournemouth University, before deciding to specialise in designing and making one-off pieces of furniture. Achievements: Chris has received Guild Mark Awards from the Furniture Makers’ Company for his Ink Blot writing desk, Backgammon set and Tallboy. E “The story of the Tallboy, which was to stand in an entrance hall, started as a brief for something much lower, with storage and a seat for tying shoelaces”

“Over time, the client decided against the seat, in favour of greater storage, after which it grew taller and narrower by degrees”

“The choice of materials stemmed directly from the colours of the floor, with the walnut and ebony reflecting the terracotta and black tiles”

“I think the Tallboy’s appeal lies in how the handle detail became the defining character of the piece”

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LAST WORD Peter Spinks

Peter Spinks Chairman, Harrison Spinks Harrison Spinks is one of the UK’s most established and innovative bedmakers. The fifth generation family business won the NBF’s Bed Manufacturer of the Year award at last year’s Bed Show, and has developed a reputation as a leader within the bed industry.

How did you enter the trade? Making beds has been in the family for quite some time now but I wanted to do my own thing before joining the family business. After completing a Furniture Design course at Leeds College of Art, I joined Wilkinson and Warburton, which had just started selling beds and furniture. I absolutely loved it. I was a natural salesman but was always getting into trouble for only selling Harrison beds! Some three years later my uncle offered me the opportunity to buy his share of the family business. I pulled in all my resources and worked hard over the next 10 years to finally pay him back. I spent the first six months working in every department to truly understand how the business worked from the bottom up, something which my son Simon did and my grandson Daniel is doing. Almost 50 years on and I’m extremely proud to have seen how the company has changed and evolved. Who is your inspiration? Tom Clarke, the founder of Silentnight. He learnt his trade from his wife who used to work for Harrison in the 1940s and taught him the art of making a quality bed. Tom started Silentnight from nothing and built an incredible empire and brand – a true inspiration to our industry. What has been your career high point so far? My career high point was definitely when Simon and I developed our patented Revolution spring. The spring-within-a-spring system meant we could not only create the most comfortable beds available but we

absolutely blew the competition out of the water with our high spring counts. ... and low point? I do wish that I delegated sooner to my son Simon. For such a long time I tried to do everything and certainly burnt the candle at both ends. ... and the turning point? When Simon took over the main day-to-day running of the business, he quite rightly wanted to put his mark on the business too – he instigated the relationship with one of our partners, John Lewis. The partnership really elevated our business and took us to the next level. This then inspired us to develop and grow our other mattress brands and as a result we have seen consistent growth yearon-year. Describe a typical working day I work full time on Tuesdays and Thursdays – after leaving home at 10.30am, I arrive at the office for about 11am. I check my emails, pay the electricity bill and chair the monthly board meetings before heading to The Greyhound on the way home for last orders at 3pm! I’m in a really fortunate position that after years of hard work I can still be involved in the business but not have the pressure of the day-to-day running of it. If you had to start over, you’d probably pursue which career? Beds have always been in my family so I haven’t really known anything else. I think, being a Spinks, I was always destined to work

“It is the responsibility of the bed industry to encourage young people through apprenticeships and training schemes”

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“I think, being a Spinks, I was always destined to work within the bed industry” within the bed industry. What date on the business calendar do you most look forward to? I always look forward to the National Bed Federation Show in September. It’s a good opportunity to catch up with clients as well as having a beer and a chat with your peers in the industry. We also won the NBF’s Bed Manufacturer of the Year award for 2015-16 so we had extra celebrating to do this time around! What is the most important issue affecting your business right now? While we’re really fortunate to have fantastic and very loyal staff, as we grow, the need for new staff continues to increase. The industry as a whole is struggling with finding good people. This is possibly as a result of manufacturing and craftsmanship not being as appealing to young people so there is a lack of new blood coming into the industry. It is the responsibility of the bed industry

Career digest 1962 – Salesman, Wilkinson and Warburton 1964 – Joined Harrison Spinks 1977 – MD, Harrison Spinks 1997 – Chairman, Harrison Spinks

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Peter Spinks LAST WORD

to keep this time-honoured practice going and encourage young people through apprenticeships and training schemes. What company do you most look up to? Completely unrelated to beds but I really admire Morgan Cars. I had the pleasure of visiting its factory a few years ago and was really inspired by the tradition and craftsmanship that still goes into making each and every car bespoke. There are a lot of similarities between Morgan Cars and Harrison Spinks – we both have a strong heritage and use timehonoured techniques to create innovative, bespoke products.

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What would you most like to change about yourself? I’m not sure what I would change but I know what I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t want any more hair – I get an extra 10 minutes in bed nowadays! What do you enjoy most about working in the trade? For me it’s getting to meet and get to know some really interesting people. The NBF show in September in particular provides a great opportunity to network and understand where other people are coming from, which gives a whole new perspective on the industry



Quickfire Winter or summer? Summer. I really enjoy the summer weather in England – it’s not too hot but it’s always pleasant. City or countryside? Countryside. I love the countryside, and it has always inspired me and the company. Coffee or tea? Both. I enjoy a cup of Yorkshire Tea in the morning and a cup of coffee in the afternoon.

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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 content, or sign up to the twice-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 read issues of the magazine on your mobile device, you can download the updated Furniture News app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

News: Furniture Village relaunches Tunbridge Wells store

Keep up to date You can also sign up to receive free access to the digital edition each month, as well as the twice-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: Land of Beds opens second Cheshire showroom

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









Design | FEATU Guest room RES design | Surfaci ng Ham Yard pRojEcTS Hotel | Perfecti Grigio | onists' The Blues Cafe Kitchen Shored itch


B3 Designe


rs | Bamo

Issue 54

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News: BHS creditors vote in favour of CVA to cut rental costs


Octob ts / Produc s W14 Preview News / tions / Trade Service t / Installa Lighting ureproduct

Explore the



c Collect

ion by ege

| 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:

The Morris brands’ new owners discuss direction | Building a brand concludes Rob Scarlett Meets … Ian Archer | Far East events in review | Common leadership traps

FN_325 V18.inddApr6616.indd 1 Further Reading

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-19 July 7 1 L A R T N E C R E NCHEST

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Profile for Gearing Media Group Ltd

Furniture News #325  

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade

Furniture News #325  

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade