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This month: Cookes’ family values The big Manchester preview Behind the designs at Corndell

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade

July 2016

Gallery Direct – the complete home furnishings supplier

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“I am expecting a shifting climate of sorts, as the ramifications of last month’s decision to Brexit become clearer – but, whatever the weather, Manchester’s appeal endures”

Comment July 2006 was the hottest month on record. As a nation, we’re known for carping on about the weather, hot or cold – but that month was a real scorcher. Roads melted, railway lines buckled and zoo animals were fed ice lollies. Power cuts were commonplace, fuelled by frequent lightning storms and overstretched air conditioning systems. Against this sweltering backdrop, the trade came together in the G-Mex to share their wares at that year’s Manchester Furniture Show. Long established as a key industry fixture, the event was already known for its genial setting – and that edition extended visitors a particularly warm (pun intended) welcome. It wasn’t the first exhibition I’d covered on behalf of Furniture News – that honour goes to the second London Interiors event, another victim of the summer heat, albeit one which expired soon after – but it was my first taste of the convivial atmosphere that can surround a trade fair, and an early lesson that people are as important as price when it comes to business. A decade later, and I’m busy preparing for another edition. A glance at the exhibitor roster reveals a representative sample of today’s suppliers. It’s a markedly different line-up to that which braved the conditions in 2006, but it includes plenty of old friends (if you know where to look).

While I’m not certain of another heatwave, I am expecting a shifting climate of sorts, as the ramifications of last month’s decision to Brexit become clearer – but, whatever the weather, Manchester’s appeal endures. This month’s issue (and the catalogue accompanying it) offers a detailed look at the summer show, and a sample of the hot products you’ll find there. In addition, we’ve interviews with Corndell’s product designer and Cookes Furniture’s marketing director, a study of the positives and pitfalls of furniture photography, and Showtime, which rounds up the key exhibitions landing over the next six months. I’ll be back in Manchester again this month (you’ll find Furniture News on stand A16). I’ll try to dress accordingly.

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


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7 Partner Comment

INFORMATION This month: Cookes’ family values The big Manchester preview Behind the designs at Corndell

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade

July 2016

Vanessa Hoe (30)

The NBF’s Jessica Alexander explains what makes the Bed Show so special

18 News 30 Interviews Gallery Direct – the complete home furnishings supplier

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Gallery Direct (www. brings its complete home furnishing solution to Manchester 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 Deputy production manager Katie Bate Production assistant Stephanie Reading Copy administrator Steve Merrick 01424 776108 Proofreader Keith Fitz-Hugh Editorial director John Legg 01424 776104

Cookes Furniture’s Vanessa Hoe explains how the 70-yearold retailer is tackling today’s challenges, and Harp Kaur, founder of, responds to our questions in Clickthrough

38 Events

Philipp Ferger explains what makes German home and gift fair Tendence an appealing prospect for UK buyers

42 Resources

Business strategist William Buist looks at how to create a sustainable sales process, and Ben Whitaker urges independent retailers to pay more attention to overstock auctions

46 Profiles

Victoria Noakes visits Gallery Direct’s newly-expanded warehouse, while Flexiload Asia unveils a raft of structural developments

52 Manchester Furniture Show Preview

The summer’s big show returns this month, and our exhaustive preview takes an in-depth look at what visitors can expect to find

Gallery Direct (46)

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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Tendence (38)

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Ben Whitaker In his column, Ben, the director EMEA of B-Stock Solutions, a technology company powering a large network of B2B liquidation marketplaces, explains why retailers should take more notice of overstock auctions


Kettle Interiors (86)

91 Beds & Bedroom

New products from mattresses to cabinet, including a Q&A with Kaymed’s Terry Bridger exploring the rise of temperature-controlling technology

110 Dining Room

William Buist William is a business strategist, speaker, and founder of the xTen Club, a programme for small groups of business owners. This month, he describes the path to powerful, sustainable sales


119 Living Room 126 Furnisher 128 Trade Services Melanie Mills (168)

Our quarterly round-up features an interview with 2020 Perfect Vision’s Mark Richardson, who explains the science behind furniture photography, and suggests how to achieve the best results

142 Showtime

Jessica Alexander The executive director of the NBF, organiser of the Bed Show, exhorts anyone with any interest in the UK bed industry to visit Telford this September in this month’s Partner Comment


Outlining the key exhibitions taking place over the next six months, both national and international

168 Designer

Rob Scarlett meets Corndell’s Melanie Mills this month, who talks training, timing, and the importance of a good cup of coffee. We also explore the thinking behind the novel design of Sarah Christensen’s Foya cabinet

Mark Richardson Mark is the business relationship manager at 2020 Perfect Vision, a photographic studio that specialises in product marketing

176 Last Word Fara Butt (176)

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Marketing director of The Shire Bed Company and member of the NBF and Furniture Makers committees, Fara Butt, reveals the high and low points of her career to date, and how business should factor more highly in schools

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Media Partners

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



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



Bed and butter “If you’ve any interest, at any level, in what’s what in the UK bed industry, the Bed Show is a no-brainer” It’s hard to believe this year will be the seventh time the bed industry has come together in Telford. What makes it special? It’s a trade exhibition, but it’s not like other trade exhibitions. Because only NBF members can exhibit, it’s not a commercial event in the ordinary sense of the word. Obviously, NBF members come in all shapes and sizes, but by placing certain restrictions on stand size and design, we try to ensure the right balance between a good standard of display and equality among members. Why visit? Well, if you’re a bed retailer, chances are that you will source most of your products from UK manufacturers (this is still a sector where made in Britain dominates) and nowhere else will you see so many companies, brands and products under one roof. The Bed Show is where companies unveil their new product ranges, new concepts, new marketing materials and support for the months ahead. Because they are all members of the NBF, you can also be confident that all the companies you see at the show are reputable businesses. The NBF’s Code of Practice was introduced in 2014 to give retailers and consumers peace of mind, by ensuring all members know and adhere to relevant product regulations, in particular flammability and trade descriptions. The rigorous, third-party auditing system that underpins the code is recognised and approved by Trading Standards nationally. In addition to complying with the Code of Practice and undergoing regular audits, members are increasingly thoroughly screened before acceptance into membership and during their membership tenure. The Bed Show is where the bed industry gathers in numbers every year – nowhere else will you get to see so many bed people from across the supply chain in one place. In the evening there’s a chance to relax and have a drink and a less formal chat with colleagues at the Gala Dinner, attended by around 500 people every year. This year’s host is the comedian and broadcaster Marcus Brigstocke. Then there’s the Bed Industry Awards. Why enter? What’s to be gained? Well, ask Furniture Village or Newbridge Street Bedding Centre, Harrison Spinks or John Cotton (winners in 2015) why they all choose to promote their awards so heavily? “It is something we are very proud of and something which gives us real authority as bed retailers,” said Furniture Village’s bed buyer Rebecca Maloy in a recent interview. Winning an award – or even being a runner up – is a great PR opportunity. More than that, though, the Bed Industry Awards have earned respect for being fairly and impartially judged – by the trade’s four main industry publications. This year, there are just two retail awards on offer in place of the previous three – one for retailers with a bed-related turnover of less than £5m, and another for those that exceed this. The Bed E-tailer of the Year category has been removed, as it is was felt that most retailers have an online presence nowadays. At their discretion, the judges may also make an award for an entry they particularly like – the Judges’ Choice Award. So what more can I say? If you’re an NBF member, you should be exhibiting. If you sell beds, you should be visiting. If you’re supplying bed manufacturers, you should be sussing it out. In fact, if you’ve any interest, at any level, in what’s what in the UK bed industry, the Bed Show is a no-brainer. See you in September in Telford!

Jessica Alexander is the executive director of the National Bed Federation (, the UK’s trade association for bed manufacturers and their suppliers, and organiser of the annual Bed Show (, taking place at Telford’s International Centre on 20th and 21st September.

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NEWS Retail

Loaf to open Notting Hill store this month

Natuzzi opens at Brent Cross Natuzzi has opened its 30th point of sale in the UK, in the form of a new 645m2 store on Brent Cross Retail Park. This year has seen Natuzzi open another dedicated brand store in Thurrock, refurbish its store in Croydon, and open a new Natuzzi Italia gallery store in Leeds, as well as 160m2 at the Fenwick department store. Jan Mentens, vice-president of sales, Natuzzi

Western Europe, says: “We are delighted with the success of the Natuzzi brand in the UK. The British public have embraced the values and DNA of this style-led yet family-centred business. “The Italian authenticity is at the heart of what makes Natuzzi work – the company breaths harmony, elegance and beauty – all qualities synonymous with Italy which resonate with consumers in the UK.”

Aspace announces comeback After opening its first physical store in Battersea last October, e-tailer Loaf is set to launch its second Loaf Shack – in Notting Hill this month. The 5500ft2 store replaces the brand’s original home on Exmoor Street, London, and boasts eight rooms plus a New York-style loft space. Founder Charlie Marshall comments: “I grew up just around the corner from our new shack and I used to spend my summer holidays earning a bit of pocket money painting my dad’s office which was slap-bang opposite. It’s my favourite building in the area and I’ve had my eye on the space for a very long time. We’ve created a special somewhere for people to come and put their feet up and be happy. I always hoped that one day I’d earn my living through chilling!” The Art Deco building is based on Lancaster Road, near to Ladbroke Grove station and Portobello Road, and opens on 15th July, with more stores to follow. Loaf has also collaborated with John Lewis to introduce three exclusive sofas and two footstools to the latter’s range. “This exclusive collaboration with Loaf is a really exciting development for John Lewis. Its relaxed style fits perfectly into our upholstered product range, offering our customers even more choice and underlining John Lewis’ position as the first destination for design-led furniture in the UK,” says Jo Unsworth, upholstery buyer, John Lewis.

Debenhams appoints new CEO Debenhams has announced the appointment of Sergio Bucher as its CEO. Sergio will join the group in October from Inc, where he has served as vice-president, Amazon Fashion Europe, since 2013, leading Amazon Fashion’s growth to become one of the largest fashion retailers in Europe. Previously he was general manager, retail and e-commerce worldwide, at Puma, and prior to that held retail roles at Nike and Inditex, where he led the start-up of its lingerie retail brand Oysho. Sir Ian Cheshire, chairman, comments: “Following a rigorous recruitment process with some exceptional quality candidates, Sergio’s wealth of ecommerce expertise, international experience and clear leadership qualities stood out. I am confident we have the best possible person to realise the potential of ‘new Debenhams’ as a leading international multichannel retailer with a bright future.”

Having entered a CVA in January, children’s furniture and accessories manufacturer and retailer Aspace has announced a planned comeback as Aspace Holdings Ltd. Ongoing chairman Caspar Williams comments: “Our ranges will be smaller, the team is smaller, in fact the whole operation is smaller, but we have retained all of our passion and expertise for creating top quality products and a special space for your children.”

Previous head of operations Severine Thirion will lead the company, with Lisa Conduit in charge of the customer services team and Andy Collier coordinating product check-in and dispatch. Aspace says it is currently working with key suppliers to reintroduce its most popular products over the coming months. All the items currently available are remaining clearance lines from previous stock – new stock is set to arrive later in the summer.

Sainsbury’s appoints HRG CEO J Sainsbury plc plans to promote its CFO John Rogers to the role of chief executive of Home Retail Group (HRG) upon completion of its acquisition of the business. John will replace HRG’s current chief executive John Walden. Reporting to Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe, John will be responsible for combining Sainsbury’s non-food business with Argos, and for the delivery of the ongoing digital transformation and performance of HRG. John has been the CFO of J Sainsbury since 2010 and currently has responsibility for group

strategy, Sainsbury’s online, business development, procurement, property, and Sainsbury’s Bank. Mike Coupe says: “John is a highly talented member of the team and has played a major role in delivering our performance and strategy at Sainsbury’s. John’s expertise goes beyond his finance role – his leadership expertise in strategy, digital, online and property make John the ideal candidate to lead HRG and ensure we deliver our ambition to be the leading multichannel, multiproduct retailer of choice for customers.”

M&S to turn around underperforming areas Marks & Spencer’s Home sales have “underperformed” over the last year, yet steps are being taken to rectify the retailer’s direction, according to its final year results statement. These include re-establishing style authority, with a focus on product, quality and fit, restoring the brand’s price position, lowering prices and a reduced promotional stance, and offering an enhanced customer experience, with better availability and investment in store staffing. New chief executive Steve Rowe comments: “M&S is a great business with a strong customer base and loyal employees and we have much to be proud of. We also know that we have lots of opportunities to improve and be better for our

customers, our employees and our shareholders. We are putting customers right at the heart of our business. “Our results last year were mixed. We continued to outperform on Food but we underperformed on Clothing & Home sales. This is not satisfactory and today we are outlining our initial plans to address the issues and to position Marks & Spencer to deliver profitable sales growth. “We are investing to re-establish our price position by sharpening prices and to enhance service by putting more employees into our stores. These actions, combined with the difficult trading conditions, will have an adverse effect on profit in the short term.”

Moooi opens showroom in Fitzrovia Interior design brand Moooi has opened a new showroom and brand store in London’s Fitzrovia, at 23 Great Titchfield Street. The store occupies the ground floor space of the Moray House building. “A complete Moooi world in the heart of London,” comments Moooi CEO Robin Bevers. “This Moooi showroom and brand store represents a very important step in the international growth and evolution of the brand.”

Dreams launches M Line in UK Dreams is set to launch an exclusive mattress and pillow range, M Line, which offers pressure-relieving properties. M Line is already a well-established brand in Germany, Holland, Belgium, France and Spain. It will be sold exclusively at Dreams in the UK in-store and online. There are four models in M Line’s Slow Motion mattress collection. Each is a pocket spring, no turn, memory foam mattress and is available in medium/firm or firm.

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New Dining...



Continuing the popular country style of the original DG Bedroom collection, this Autumn/Winter 16 launch features a contrasting oak top for a range with countryside appeal. A choice of metal or wood handles supplied with every piece. Launching at Manchester Furniture Show!

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NEWS Events

Back in Shanghai Taking place from 8-11th September at Shanghai’s SMIEC and SWEECC venues, Shanghai’s Furniture China is one of the world’s principal platforms for higher-end product and international exchange – the approaching edition will offer design-oriented export goods from some 3000 exhibitors. Last year saw the show fend off rival event CIFF Shanghai to attract record-breaking attendance. This year sees the incorporation

Future of January show cemented

of Maison Shanghai, a designorientated interior homewares event, which will be held concurrently and will feature home furnishings, decor and accessories at SWEECC. W

Group show’s record attendance Buying group Minerva enjoyed a good private members’ exhibition in May. The event took place at a new venue, the National Agriculture & Exhibition Centre at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire. Group business manager Roy Beagant says: “We were very pleased indeed by what was, in effect, a one-off trial at this new venue for Minerva. This was a private member show, and we

The organiser of the January Furniture Show has signed a long-term deal with the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) venue, a seven-year commitment which underlines its confidence in the future of the show. Laraine Janes, co-director, says: “After a turbulent few years, the industry is firmly back on track, and signing the long-term deal shows everyone the unrivalled commitment we have to producing the best trade furniture show in the UK. “There’s been a trade furniture exhibition in January at the NEC for

the past 26 years, and it continues to be the right venue at the right time for exhibitors to meet retail customers from across the UK. Its transport links, countrywide connectivity, suitability and scale of the halls and the accessibility for exhibitors are why almost all the UK’s important trade events take place there. “And, adding another layer of nationwide connectivity will be the HS2 terminal opening at the NEC in 2023.” The show will take place from 22nd-25th January 2017.

were fortunate enough to achieve a record attendance from our member retailers. “A reasonable amount of business was written during the event, and the majority of our exhibitors gave positive comments. With regard to the venue itself we were more than pleased with the facilities and support from Stoneleigh Events, and have committed to the May 2017 members’ show at this location.”

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Buying big? Economic uncertainty appears to be having less impact on big ticket purchases than might be expected. According to GfK’s ( UK Consumer Confidence Survey, people’s willingness to invest in major purchases such as furniture and electrical goods over the last year has proved consistent despite fluctuating feelings overall. But does this mood translate into actual spend?

GfK’s head of market dynamics, Joe Staten, comments: “The story behind the overall index is really telling. Whilst Brits remain relatively upbeat about their personal finances, we continue to remain far less happy about the state of the economy as a whole. So, even though we report that we’re ready to go out and make a major purchase, this lack of economic certainty and weak confidence in the wider financial future suppresses any desire to go out and spend.”

FN_328v21.indd 20

Infographic created by wholesaler Manchester Furniture Supplies (

29/06/2016 12:55

Also showing... Alongside two hot new collections exclusively launched at Manchester, we’ll be bringing along our Spring Summer 2016 launches just in case you missed them at the January Furniture Show.

The AB Collection

The LG Collection

Striking industrial looks make this contemporary furniture

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NEWS Industry

Shire director appointed charity’s new chairman

Big Shots set to raise £28,500 Big Shots, The Furniture Makers’ Company’s annual clay pigeon shoot fundraiser, is set to raise £28,500 for the industry’s charity. Big Shots was held at EJ Churchill Shooting Ground in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire last month. A record equalling 38 teams took part in this year’s fundraiser. Steve Jones from Clarenco was crowned Top Male Gun, while Claudia Cooper of Furniture Village claimed Top Female Gun. The

Top Team Prize was awarded to the Haskins Hot Shots, while Headlam were named winners of the Four Man Flurry. Ben Burbidge, master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, says: “Big Shots continues to be a highlight in the furnishing industry calendar and we are incredibly grateful for the support of major sponsor and organiser Furniture Village and all of the other companies for their generosity.”

Britain braced for Brexit Fara Butt, marketing director of the Shire Bed Company, has been appointed the first chairman of The Furniture Makers’ Company’s new Yorkshire and Central region fundraising committee. The official launch event, held at the Aakash restaurant in West Yorkshire, raised £1500 for the industry’s charity. More than 80 attended the drinks reception, followed by a three-course meal at Britain’s biggest Indian restaurant. The evening was also supported by master of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, Ben Burbidge, and guest speaker baroness Sayeeda Warsi. Fara says: “This is one of many events that we have planned for the future to support our industry’s charity.”

Call for entries for charity golf day

On 23rd June, a majority of Britons (51.9%, of a turnout comprising an impressive 72.2% of the electorate) voted to leave the European Union in a landmark referendum. The unexpected result caused the pound to plummet, and saw billions wiped off the stock market. The PM announced his resignation as Government divisions threatened to alter the face of British politics. Social divides became clearer as the populace struggled to comprehend the reality of the result. Chancellor George Osborne attempted to calm the markets, describing the UK as ready to face the future “from a position of strength”. However, in the short term, uncertainty remains the watchword. Retailers face cost price inflation and a consumer confidence hit – the British Retail Consortium commented that their immediate priority is to ensure the continued ease and minimal costs of bringing EU goods into the UK. The industry is steeling itself to weather dramatic currency fluctuations, and many businesses will be forced to appraise the future of their workforces.

In the wider context, there are even bigger questions. Will the EU survive the blow, and what does it mean for the British union itself? How will the Government ensure a painless divorce from the EU? How will it help mend the deep social divisions the referendum has brought to light in the UK, and appease a populace that is evenly divided in its jubilation and disappointment at the result? As the dust settles, Furniture News would like to hear readers’ hopes and concerns – please get in touch through the usual channels.

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The Furniture Makers’ Company is looking for golfers of all levels to compete in its National Charity Golf Day this September. The event, first held more than 60 years ago, will take place on 28th September at Oxfordshire Golf Club. An array of trophies and prizes are on offer, including awards for the longest drive and nearest the pin. Peter Mallinson, merchandise director (home) at AIS, who is helping to organise the event, says: “As well as raising money for the industry’s only dedicated charity, the golf day has always been a terrific event and first-class networking opportunity for people working right across the furnishings sector.” The National Charity Golf Day is the culmination of the Regional Charity Golf Days, the winners of which are given free entry to compete in the national event. The Regional Charity Golf Days will take place on the following dates: Northern Charity Golf Day, Preston Golf Club, 20th July; Scottish Golf Day, Deer Park Golf and Country Club, 4th August; and Teesside Golf Day, Catterick Golf Club, 10th August.

Sustainability Award now open


Heico receives FIRA Gold certification Heico Fasteners UK is the first distributor in the UK to be awarded the FIRA Gold Product Certification for its new non-rust range of Blacquer Zig-Zag Springs. Dave Read, general manager at Heico, says: “This new product is unique and offers superior corrosion resistance that cannot be matched by any other springs available in the UK furniture industry, and we believe it is a real game-changer in the market.”

The Furniture Makers’ Company has announced that it is now accepting entries for its Sustainability Award from all UK furnishings manufacturers. Now in its fourth year, the Sustainability Award recognises improvements in sustainability in relation to manufacturing of furniture and furnishings. Previously restricted to Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme (FISP) members, The charity is inviting entries from all UK manufacturers, including furnishing companies such as fabrics and flooring as well as furniture. The annual award considers all aspects


of how a business is operated – waste and energy management, design process, product improvements, packaging, transportation, procurement, end of life management, client relationships, supplier management, employee engagement and corporate social responsibility. Paul von der Heyde, chairman of the Manufacturing Guild Mark Committee, says: “The goal of the Sustainability Award is to recognise and champion companies determined to leave a fine legacy to future generations. We believe that by extending entries to all UK manufacturers we will be achieving our ambition.”

Simon Pengelly awarded Jonathan Hindle Prize The Furniture Makers’ Company has named Simon Pengelly the winner of the Jonathan Hindle Prize for Excellence for his Unnia chair range. Created in 2015 by Design Guild Mark founder Jonathan Hindle, the prize is presented to the most outstanding design that year. One of 19 products awarded a Design Guild Mark in 2016, the Unnia range, a collection of versatile stacking chairs that allows the user to customise their own design by mixing and combining different colour and

material variations of the seat, back and frame, was designed for Spanish manufacturer Inclass. Jonathan Hindle and Clerkenwell Design Week show director William Knight presented the award – which includes a £1000 cash prize – to Simon during the Design Guild Mark award ceremony. DGM chairman Alex Gifford says: “After much deliberation, the judges agreed that the Unnia range was an exceptionally good seating solution as well as a fantastic use of material.”

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NEWS Supplier

Matza show van completes tour

Heritage appoints sales rep Blackburn-based cabinet furniture supplier Heritage Furniture UK has appointed Ian Gooderham as its sales representative to manage accounts across central England. A long-term industry stalwart with experience across both beds and cabinets, Ian has been appointed to support Heritage’s ongoing growth, better manage the company’s key accounts, and expose its products and services to a wider audience. “Now that Heritage has a solid customer base and we have key accounts on board, we need to ensure these accounts are managed well,” says MD Saeed Mohmed. “We’re confident that Ian brings a great wealth of contacts and knowledge to support the continued growth of Heritage.”

Investment at Serene Bedmaker Matza is planning to recruit new sales agents following the success of its first show van tour. MD Asif Ayub says: “The van travelled around Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Avon and Wiltshire over three weeks, showing off our own-brand collection, and came home with a bulging order book. We are delighted to welcome around 20 new accounts – all independents, some with more than one store – with some buying multiple products. “The feedback has been really positive on the delivered product, as well as on the show stock. This tour has been so successful we are now planning to increase our sales agent staff ahead of going out to the rest of the country.”

As part of Serene’s expansion into new areas of the market, the company has invested heavily in new logistics software, increased warehousing and stock, and people. “Ahead of our new dining, recliner and occasional chair collections launching, it was vital that we underpinned their future success with the necessary infrastructure,” says Serene’s founder and MD, Tasleem Tasab. “We know what is required to become a leading bed supplier, so those skillsets were thoughtfully built upon in readiness for our planned expansion into the wider home.” A new Serene show van is now touring the UK, full of new designs.

New agents for The Furniture Company (GB) The British manufacturer of Tru-Rest Upholstery has appointed the following agents: Bruce Sneddon, covering Scotland; Terry Haynes, covering East Anglia and North London; and Peter Tunstall, covering the North-west. The supplier’s show van recently returned from a successful tour of Northern Ireland, where the company is represented by Robert Moore. Following a successful first exhibition at this year’s January Furniture Show, the company exhibited at the Northpoint Furniture Exhibition three days later, where it opened a number of accounts, AIS members among them. T 01282 697769

Slumberland’s climb Last month, the Slumberland team took on Mount Snowdon to raise money for the Woodland Centre Cancer Unit at Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdon, reaching the top with a mini Slumberland bed. John Cornhill, health and safety adviser at brand owner Steinhoff UK Beds, says: “It was a tough day, a great sense of achievement, lots of fun and satisfying knowing we have raised lots of money for a good cause. We are already thinking about what to do next year to raise money, but I am sure it will most likely involve a bed.” The Slumberland team has raised over £1200 for the Woodland Centre Cancer Unit this year.

£1.5m factory extension for van manufacturer Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish formally opened a new 20,000ft2 factory unit at Devonbased transport manufacturer Trucksmith in May, expanding its production facility to more than 64,000ft2 to meet the demand for its vehicles. The new facilities will accommodate the production of up to 25 low-floored Luton vans per week, and allow Trucksmith to invest further in research and development into manufacturing technologies. Neil says: “It is fantastic to celebrate such a huge regional success story with this family-run business now at the forefront of its sector. The business has built a national reputation for designing and building premium commercial vehicle bodies and should be applauded for its success. Trucksmith is a company of which Devon can be very proud.”

RIP Mike Davies Rugby stars attend Sealy show Bed manufacturer Sealy reports a successful Spring Show, held in May at Brooklands Museum, Surrey for the fifth year running. The best-attended show to date, the event also featured Harlequin rugby stars, Sam Twomey and Matt Hopper. The players trialled the mattresses on display with the aim of finding one suited to their individual sleeping needs. Sealy is gifting both a new bed as part of its World of Sport campaign, which promotes the intrinsic link between sleep and sporting success. Sealy also displayed its full collection of products, with buyers able to trial a selection of new mattresses three months ahead of the Bed Show. Sam and Matt are the latest stars to support the World of Sport campaign – others include weightlifter Zoe Smith, snowboarder Zoe GillingsBrier, Ironman veteran Andrew Holgate and champion bodybuilder Kim Wilson.

Mike Davies passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday 25th May at the age of 65. He will be remembered for being one of the most professional agents in the industry, and was still an active agent for German recliner brand himolla at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, Petra, and children, Tori and Rob. Should anyone wish to make a donation on his behalf, his family have nominated his preferred charity as The Society of St Vincent de Paul.

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INTERVIEW Vanessa Hoe, Cookes Furniture

70 years of family values Cookes Furniture has been a stalwart of Sutton Coldfield since 1946 – the popular furniture retailer has furnished homes across the Midlands for seven decades now. Victoria Noakes spoke to marketing director Vanessa Hoe, daughter of chairman Graham Cooke, to uncover more about the business …

ercol Romana upholstered armchair and highboard

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Vanessa Hoe, Cookes Furniture INTERVIEW | 31 Stressless Wave corner sofa in vanilla

After being demobbed from the Navy at the end of the Second World War, Cookes Furniture founder Edward Cooke established a lending library in the heart of Birmingham, which soon expanded into supplying soft furnishings and carpets, due to post-war demand. This demand, coupled with a loyal customer following, led to Edward and his son Graham buying an old Post Office in Sutton Coldfield in 1971 and converting it into a fitted showroom, where Cooke & Son Furniture was born. Edward expanded his range to include a wealth of brand name furniture, and before long, the company was known for its personal service. By the start of the 1980s, the business had outgrown the premises and purchased a three-acre sire on Goosemoor Lane – the current home of Cookes Furniture. The company now has a store in Dorset in addition to its Birmingham base, and employs over 100 members of staff. The Birmingham store features over 85,000ft² of furniture, and is also home to Edward’s Restaurant – a premium British dining experience seating up

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to 80 – creating an all-round home shopping experience. Cookes’ Christchurch store offers a similar range of high-quality branded furniture set over 25,000ft² of floor space. “The business is now in its third generation – me and my sisters Michelle and Jennifer joined the company after completing business degrees. It’s quite a family affair, with Michelle’s husband James Pike in the role of managing director, and Jennifer’s husband Andrew Davies as logistics director!” says Vanessa. “Across our two stores and online, Cookes stocks thousands of classic and contemporary products for the home, including sofas, beds, tables, chairs and dining sets, plus a wide range of lighting and accessories like rugs, mirrors, clocks, pictures and decorative items. The most recent large addition to the Cookes product offer is a range of children’s furniture. Our buyers travel the world to bring our customers a huge choice of styles from trusted brands.” G Plan, Stressless, Natuzzi and Tempur are just a few of the world-class names

Vanessa Hoe

visitors will recognise in store. Others include Duresta, Alexander & James, G Plan Upholstery, Himolla, ercol, Hypnos, Vispring and Sealy, plus many more. Cookes’ aim is to be ahead of the marketplace, and as it is a three-generation family company, its goal is to offer furniture suitable for three generations within families. Larger, quality pieces of furniture that >>>

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INTERVIEW Vanessa Hoe, Cookes Furniture

Cookes celebrates its 70th anniversary this year

make a statement in the home have always been popular with Cookes customers, but recently the retailer has seen an increase in consumer interest in smaller, more everyday products for the home such as decorative accessories, clocks, lights and mirrors. Cookes is a company driven and inspired by the customer – the business has been developed over the years in line with changing consumer behaviours and evolving customer needs. The retailer works constantly to provide its customers with a great in-store experience, to deliver a high level of customer service and offer quality craftsmanship, impressive value and striking, stylish furniture. This service stretches right through to delivery and aftercare. “In recent years we’ve also invested in our online presence, launching an online shop

Somnus Hertford

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that allows our customers to browse our ranges from their own homes, purchasing online if they want to. We’re addressing the expanded choice consumers have as more and more furniture retail businesses compete for their business online,” states Vanessa. “A lot of our customers enter our stores having already done some research online, but they continue to visit the store as they like to see the products in person and enjoy their interactions with our in-store team. We find there’s still a big value in creating a variety of roomsets as the online experience just doesn’t compare to a physical visit, where you can explore new trends, discover new styles and find the perfect furniture and accesories to suit your home.” The past year has been a positive and successful one for Cookes. With this year

Edwards in-store restaurant marking the retailer’s 70th anniversary, Cookes has been involved in a series of fundraising events including the entry of a team of 70 in the Great Midlands Fun Run, plus it has launched initiatives such as its first customer loyalty scheme and a TV advert. The retailer aims to continue this momentum moving forward. Vanessa concludes: “We will carry on adapting to our customers’ needs as well as developing new ways to enhance our instore experience in the future – after all, our customers are our primary focus. We’re also continuing to expand the storage service of the business which is thriving, and extending the offering to house removals too. The exceptional choice and experience we are able to offer will always set us apart.” W

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INTERVIEW Clickthrough > Style Our Home This month, the homewares website in the spotlight is – Furniture News explores the practices and philosophies behind the enterprise …

Clickthrough > Style Our Home Harp Kaur, MD and founder

Why visit your website? With a vision of being unique and approachable, Style Our Home combines an extensive range of brands and products, personal customer service and expert tailored advice. With entrepreneurial skills and professional backgrounds, the owner managers bring a powerful mix of expertise, creativity and enthusiasm for design, furniture and accessories. Our aim is to ensure our customers can source the best products, tailored to their requirements by utilising our multi-faceted room, style and colour search functionality.

end products, knowledgeable, professional, personal customer service and a multinavigational e-commerce website. Recognising the potential for growth in the online retail home furniture and furnishings market, the team expanded to form a strategic alliance between three company owners. Having strong drive, creativity, ambition and passion, we have combined our respective industry expertise and professional experience to realise our vision of creating a brand which provides our browsers and customers with the best possible shopping experience.

How did you enter the industry? In 2007, I set up a website selling home accessories and soft furnishings. After attending many exhibitions and working closely with furniture e-tailers, I soon noticed there was a gap in the market for an online furniture retailer which provided a choice of competitively-priced mid- to high-

Who is your e-commerce hero? Amazon. From buying books to now absolutely anything – what’s next with them? Nothing will surprise me! Another one is – great products, service and delivered within days! Initially, I worked closely with my brother, one of the very first furniture e-tailers – I

“Get your hands dirty and invest your time to truly understand your business – the only way to grow is to know”

Piccadilly sofa bed, Gallery Direct

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guess he would be my e-commerce hero – his guidance and expertise augmented my knowledge and helped me take a big step in the right direction. Describe a typical working day There is no such thing as typical day at Style Our Home, that’s why it’s so exciting. Being heavily involved in all aspects of the business, from development to administration, I feel it’s important to know the dynamics of each and every role to truly understand what is involved to achieve success for the business as a whole. All of the senior management team share the same view and will assist with taking calls, after sales, social media, marketing and brand development – it really helps us to stay close to the needs of our customers and suppliers. What part of your job would you prefer to avoid? As an online-only retailer, I have always been keen to spend time within our logistics and warehouse operations to see the construction of the products we sell,

Crystal Vienna, Greenapple

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Clickthrough > Style Our Home INTERVIEW



Snapshot: Style Our Home is a very different online retailer, combining an extensive range of brands and products with personal customer service and expert tailored advice. Style Our Home was a finalist in the Online Retail Awards 2016 Launched: 2007 Average monthly unique visitors: 20,000 SKUs: 7000 Growth: Revenue increased by 25% from 2014 to 2015, projected increase from 2015 to 2016 is 30%

materials used and to understand why our customers occasionally choose to return items. However, warehouse visits can be tedious and extremely cold during the winter! Having said that, I don’t particularly dislike any task and believe if you apply your mind, every challenge culminates with an element of enlightenment. What has been your greatest challenge? To overcome the reservations of suppliers in the early days to explore the potential of online retail and recognise the diverse outreach and target audience of e-commerce marketing. So, I guess the big challenge was having faith in our brand and concept. Due to the reputation we have built in supporting brand profiles as a trusted online retailer, our product portfolio continues to diversify to reflect unique and exciting trends. How much do you invest in making your site more visible? Investment and exploration of new sales channels is paramount and certainly not an area to compromise your aspirations. The

beauty of modern analytics is that it enables quantification and valuable insights to guide further investment. If something works, we keep on investing to fuel the formula further. What’s your take on how the relationship between online and physical retail might develop? I see online and physical retail as complementary. It is essential to preserve the bricks and mortar industry to ensure customers can see products and capitalise on in- store expertise to facilitate their choice. The online experience introduces a plethora of products, targeting a global audience and addressing wider consumer requirements searching the internet for something different, unique and immediately accessible. More and more frequently, online lead generation is contributing to a synergistic balance with physical retail, acting as a catalyst for subsequent store visits by the consumer. I believe that independent e-commerce companies should have a retail presence at

some point. Finding a niche and providing a digital shopping experience in-store is ultimately the way forward. What are your growth plans for the business? Growing is what we are constantly working towards, investing in our staff development and building on the commitment, passion and excitement we have created. Style Our Home still has so much to offer. It has gone from strength to strength – we continue to improve and invest heavily in our website and are currently working towards exciting new projects to enhance our online presence. What advice would you offer an aspiring e-tailer? Get your hands dirty and invest your time to truly understand your business – the only way to grow is to know. Stay focused and set your goals, invest in people who are equally passionate and endeavour to share your aspirations. Anything is possible with the internet if you promote in the correct way in the correct places

Apex, Temahome

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EVENTS Fair Comment – Tendence

Fair Comment: Tendence 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, German home and gift fair Tendence is in the spotlight, as group show director Philipp Ferger elaborates …

Identity: Tendence is the largest, most international ordering platform in Germany for trends and new products in the second half of the year. You will find buyers of new products for the home, for furnishings and decoration, as well as gift, jewellery and fashion items. International trade visitors value it highly as the perfect time to place orders for the autumn, winter and Christmas trade. Moreover, it gives a preview of the coming spring and summer seasons. Attendance: Last year, 27,466 visitors from 83 countries travelled to Frankfurt to visit Tendence. We are not currently in a position to estimate the number of visitors we expect this year, but we can, nevertheless, reveal that we shall be offering a diverse and varied programme. It will definitely be worth a visit! In terms of exhibitors, 1100 companies from 47 countries presented the latest trends at Tendence 2015. For visitors, that represents a unique range of products from which to select both their own core and supplementary product lines. Again, we cannot yet say how many will be there in 2016, since some exhibitors tend to decide whether they are going to take advantage of the opportunity it affords just a few weeks in advance of the show. But I can say this – from Great Britain, we already have 38 exhibitors signed up. They include companies such as Enesco, Get Fresh Cosmetics/Bomb and the Jellycat Toy Company.

“Naturally, as a buyer, one tends to focus on one’s core product lines, but it is nevertheless hugely important to have a look round for potential impulse buys for one’s shop”

What’s new? There’s a load of new things at the upcoming Tendence to bring plenty of fresh air. Firstly, the product groups are being restructured. As a result we shall be offering our buyers even greater help in finding their way around the exhibition centre, as well as a host of new incentives for buying things. For example, the high-value product area, Pure & Elegant, is to be found in Hall 9.0. In Hall 8.0, in the Lovely Home and Seasonal Decoration sections, the entire range of the latest decoration and furnishing trends for inside and out are on display. We are concentrating the Accessories & Jewellery section in Hall 9.2. Hall 11.1 is divided between the Young Gifts and Culinary Gifts areas. Here you can find the latest ideas for incidental gifts and some original ideas for presents. It is immediately next door to the Culinary Gifts area, always a segment with lots of new trends. On display here, too, is food

and drink that lends itself to being given as a gift, such as vinegar, oil, premium spices and jams. In the Culinary Gifts area in particular, we offer retailers the opportunity to take a look at the new Liquid Gifts area both left and right. Naturally, as a buyer, one tends to focus on one’s core product lines, but it is nevertheless hugely important to have a look round for potential impulse buys for one’s shop. Gin Tonic has been all the rage for some time, and continues to be a contender. It is not only a delicious drink – in its exclusive, unusual bottles it also makes a wonderful present on the shelves of a gift or lifestyle shop, where it can be a real highlight, providing a partly regional, partly international point of reference. Rum in numerous varieties and guises is already marking itself out as the next trend in cocktails. These trend ideas mean new opportunities for the retail trade to encourage impulse buys and thus generate additional sales in high street shops. The Village, too, which will be launched at Tendence this year, also promises to generate new impulses and purchasing incentives. Ten leading companies will demonstrate ways of arranging and displaying products at the point of sale. As well as presenting the products of individual companies, the Village offers an ideal stage on

Date: 27-30th August, 2016 | Location: Messe Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main | Contact:

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Fair Comment – Tendence EVENTS

which to display different brands and collections skilfully combined with one another and to present them in bold scenarios, thus encouraging customers to buy. Another issue that is very much on trend at the moment is sustainability. So, for the first time at Tendence, the Ethical Style Guide will form part of the main catalogue. This is a guide for sustainably- and/or ethicallyproduced goods, which provides help and information to assist buyers to find their bearings in a highly complex product segment and provide information about widely diverse aspects of sustainability. It is one of the social issues of our time – particularly in the media and in public discussions. So, you can see that the next Tendence has plenty to offer, and that it continues to keep its finger on the pulse of the times. Direction? To begin with, Tendence has an unmistakable profile. Its unique selling point lies in its character as a multi-sector exhibition and, specifically, in the combination of the two areas, Giving and Living. Visitors can look forward to a host of new products. And, for the first time, we are conflating the lecture and workshop formats in the Tendence Academy, thus providing pragmatic support for the retail trade with an extensive programme of events. Here you will find just the right kind of ideas and tricks to distinguish your shop from the competition – from unusual shop window decorations to retail design trends and practical tips for online sales, retailers will find a richly diverse programme spread over two arenas in halls 9.2 and 11.1. At Tendence, we are seeking to do more than just offer the wholesale and retail trade a platform for ordering and networking – we aim also to strengthen their competitiveness in the long term. And the key to this is knowledge that is firmly oriented towards practical issues. Tendence is, therefore, a huge source of inspiration for its visitors in all sorts of ways.

What are the main factors that distinguish Tendence from its spring counterpart, Ambiente? In the first place, they are two quite separate events. Ambiente has always been, and continues to be, the key show – the major consumer-goods fair for the international market. It is a venue at which to discover all the latest trends and a platform for innovations in an entirely global sector. Tendence is the high point for new products for the Christmas trade and the upcoming spring and summer seasons. Traditionally, the show focuses first and foremost on orders, particularly with a view to meeting the needs of the very important winter and Christmas business in the short term. Tendence has some of the most limited coverage in terms of product groups – but it is one that is nonetheless important. This is because the companies in the Dining group no longer demand a second ordering venue, but concentrate heavily on, for instance, Ambiente instead. Things are different for Living and Giving. Rather like the fashion sector, consumer goods in this area need a second venue for placing orders because of their particular cyclic rhythms – but it needs to have a different focus. At the end of the day, Easter needs to feel different from Christmas.



“Furniture shops and interior design boutiques will find a very large selection of supplementary lines at Tendence, which they can use to perfectly distinguish themselves from the competition”

Gift and furnishings shows take place in the UK throughout the summer and into autumn – what might UK buyers find that is different at Tendence? The most important difference is that visitors will discover a vast array of new products and hot trends here, from the modern to the avant-garde. Tendence is the high point for new products and the biggest, most international of Germany’s ordering platforms in the second half of the year. As a partner for the retail trade, it offers attractive special events and special formats, which directly reflect the concerns of the trade. As a result, as well as promoting the placing of orders, it also creates genuine added value for retailers. By changing its structure, Tendence now has an unequivocal high-quality area in Hall 9.0. At the >>>

Date: 27-30th August, 2016 | Location: Messe Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main | Contact:

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EVENTS Fair Comment – Tendence

same time, visitors can also, however, find here some (so-called) rapid sellers in the middle and lower segments of the market, which represent very good value for money, coming as they do through the strong presence of fashionable exhibitors from The Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia. It is becoming clearer and clearer that the trend for individual and stylish furnishings can be seen in all price segments, and it is precisely this that Tendence offers in terms of its exhibitors, with significant numbers of suppliers very much oriented towards lifestyle. How significant is the furniture and furnishings component of the show? In the high-end segment in Hall 9.0, exhibitors such as Lambert, Eichholtz, Fink and Serax will present some of the latest popular fashions for the home. Housedoctor, PT Groep, Raeder Wohnzubehör and Wohnmanufaktur Grünberger will exhibit the latest trends in accessories for the home, as well as seasonal decoration ideas, in Hall 8.0. Furniture shops and interior design boutiques will find a very large selection of supplementary lines at Tendence, which they can use to perfectly distinguish themselves from the competition.

“Tendence is the most important national and European venue for ordering goods in the autumn, specifically with an eye to the Christmas trade”

Can you suggest a few cross-buying opportunities a furniture retailer visiting from the UK might encounter at Tendence? When we talk of supplementary ranges of products, we cannot avoid mention of arts and crafts, which represent one of our highlights. At Tendence, the whole area of arts and crafts, and hand-made items in general, once again offers a special opportunity to order one-off products that no competitor will be able to provide. And, as a result, the Form competition, for example, has proved to be an audience magnet for many years. It is unique in forging a bridge between individual craft work and industrial design. Visitors will find both individual handicraft pieces as well as designer products that have been manufactured industrially – either way, something

completely individual for your shop. In addition, for the 66th time at Tendence, the three winners of the Hessian State Award for German Arts & Crafts will be announced. This award carries the largest amount of prize money of all Germany’s awards for arts and crafts work. Is there any other news you feel our UK readers might like to know about? Tendence has a host of highlights to offer, which many shows simply cannot provide. Our Next promotional areas for the new up-and-coming generation are a fixed element of Tendence. Here, young companies, who have already had some initial experience of the market, have an opportunity to showcase their product ideas for an audience of international trade visitors. As well as the Modern Crafts area in Hall 9.0, and Accessories & Jewellery in Hall 9.2, there are also two new areas this year – Young Gifts and Culinary Gifts in Hall 11.1. The Talents areas are always worth a visit. Altogether, 35 young talents from 13 countries will present themselves and their products at Tendence. Of these, 19 participants will be showcasing their work in the Modern Crafts section. In Accessories & Jewellery there are 16 selected jewellery designers who will be presenting their highly imaginative products that are a little out of the ordinary. I look forward with considerable anticipation to the creations that await us in these various formats. In your opinion, what makes your show better than any other similar furniture event? It is not our opinion that matters here, it is what our visitors think that counts. And they confirm for us every year – with satisfaction levels of 90% – that Tendence is the most important national and European venue for ordering goods in the autumn, specifically with an eye to the Christmas trade that is so very crucial for retailers. Not forgetting that our mission statement claims that buyers will find Fresh.New.Ideas, that they just cannot be without. Just check it out for yourself!

Date: 27-30th August, 2016 | Location: Messe Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main | Contact:

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DU: 01.05.2016



27 – 30. 8. 2016

means for me innovative and exciting ideas that enable me to make the shopping experience more enticing for my customers.

62834-001_TE_Allgemein_Furniture_news_216x297_GB • FOGRA 39 • CMYK • mr: 13.05.2016

” Dirk Bieler, Branch Manager, Retail

Innovations, trends and insights. International and inspiring. Tendence 2016. Be there! Tel. +44 (0) 14 83 48 39 83

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RESOURCES Sustainable sales


William Buist is a business strategist, speaker, and founder of the exclusive xTen Club, an annual programme of strategic activities for small groups of business owners. William is also the author of two books, At Your Fingertips and The Little Book of Mentoring. W

The path to powerful, sustainable sales Successful business leaders understand that the sales process is the lifeblood of their company. Without an efficient, productive means of making sales, even brilliant ideas will fail. Each brand has to find the sales process that work bests for it – William Buist suggests how to create a successful, sustainable sales process …

Look where the brand needs to go Don’t develop a sales process backwards by setting goals based on current performance. True progress is seen when visionaries look towards the end goal and map a clear path to get there. Leaders don’t waste time with small changes when big adjustments are needed. Business model clarity The key here is clarity: about the core purpose of the business; who you seek to work with; how you reach them; and the problems that you solve. Sales success correlates with the level of clarity within the business. Pinpoint exact prospects and build personas Know exactly who is buying the product and what motivates them to purchase. Sales professionals should be intimately familiar with the pain points of different personas, and they should be able to give a detailed pitch that explains precisely how the product, or service, meets those needs. Sales are made when the sales team can form a relationship with the prospect and present the product as the answer to their problems. Understand where a particular prospect

falls and tailor the approach Once the sales professional knows the persona of their prospect, they will be able to customise their selling approach. For example, a security software company should have a different approach for a company that recently experienced a devastating security breach versus a start-up looking for basic security for their equipment. Take precise measurements of the process The sales process should be measured regularly in order to gauge sales team success. Do so in three ways: 1. Measures Measures are the things you record and analyse in order to judge progress. For example, the number of calls, the number of appointments, etc. Track these to see how well sales representatives are reaching their goals. Helping under-performing representatives can boost the bottom line for the entire company. 2. Conversion rates at each stage of the funnel The sales funnel process includes all of the key phases you require to move customers from first contact to delivery of the product

“Taking the time to perfect this system can increase sales, boost the bottom line and even reduce costs”

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or service, and sometimes even beyond that. By looking at the rates of conversion from one stage of the sales funnel to the next, companies can find even more opportunities for improvement. 3. Time spent on core selling versus time spent in aggregate Monitor how much time is spent on core selling. This will tell you where the priorities of the sales team lie. It can help eliminate sales waste and improve efficiency. Consider carefully the balance between core sales and admin, and look at whether the tasks that are blocking success could be done by others. Clarity – the key to sustainable sales Linking the brand to customers, through the right channels, and in the right way, makes sure that the customer buys with clarity, as well as ensuring that you sell with clarity. When that’s done, the sale is powerfully sustainable – customers get what they bought, delivered properly, on time and at a cost that they value, whilst the brand can make long-term profits. That’s why sales processes have the power to make or break a brand. Taking the time to perfect this system can increase sales, boost the bottom line and even reduce costs. The steps described above can help companies improve their sales systems from the top down, to help them reach goals and grow the brand

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see us at

THE MANCHESTER FURNITURE SHOW 17th - 19th July Manchester Central Stand B35

Comprehensive bedroom and dining range available View the full collection on our newly updated website 01795 439159

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RESOURCES Overstock auctions


Ben Whitaker is the director EMEA of B-Stock Solutions, a technology company powering a large network of privatelabel B2B liquidation marketplaces. Hundreds of retailers – including six of the top 10 in the US – have leveraged B-Stock’s technology and service offerings to sell billions of dollars in consumer returned and excess inventory. W

The potential of overstock auctions While furniture retail sales may be on an upward trend, there remains significant amounts of excess inventory in stockrooms across the UK, writes Ben Whitaker, who describes how technology has transformed the sale of excess stock … In the past, manufacturers and retailers depended on a handful of local liquidators to deal with their unsold stock, but a shift has occurred in recent times – many businesses are eliminating traditional liquidation methods in favour of technology-based programmes for the sale of overstock. This includes launching customised B2B overstock auction marketplaces that connect returned and excess merchandise directly to business buyers. The result is a level playing field for all buyers, big and small, to compete for the inventory, and no more back door deals that prevent independent retailers from getting a fair shot at it. The well-known eBay format makes a good example – a universal, web-based platform that is easily accessible to everyone, where people around the world can buy and sell goods directly. Like eBay, a B2B overstock auction platform allows the retailer to sell bulk quantities of goods directly to buyers while buyers have easy access to the goods via a transparent and trusted marketplace setting. It’s a win-win for both parties. If you are an independent retailer who purchases customer returns and other excess inventory from a third party liquidator (or perhaps you are thinking about it), there has never been a better opportunity for you to remove the middleman and purchase directly from the source via a B2B overstock auction platform. Consider the following benefits: No mark ups In order to make a profit, liquidators buy their merchandise at a low price and sell it high to you. Because of this, retailers often

end up paying a lot more for their goods than they would buying directly from the other businesses. By cutting out the middleman you are buying directly from someone that wants to move the inventory as quickly as possible for fair market value. Furthermore, the merchandise is shipped only once – directly to you – eliminating the retailer to liquidator shipment. That is a direct cost saving that no longer needs to be recouped. No product poaching Often, liquidators will comb through the inventory they purchase directly from retailers, pull out the best products for themselves, and then sell the rest to you. Those liquidators then sell those products at retail, capturing margin that would otherwise go to you. Bypassing the middleman means that you’ll have fair access to non-pilfered bulk quantities of merchandise, across all condition codes, including new. You’ll also be able to capture margin that may have been unavailable to you. Building direct business relationships Purchasing directly from a retailer or manufacturer’s overstock auction marketplace allows you to build a working relationship with them, something that has historically been difficult for independent retailers. Transparent transactions The liquidator method of sourcing stock presents problems – buyers are stuck in

“The result is a level playing field for all buyers, big and small, to compete for the inventory, and no more back door deals that prevent independent retailers from getting a fair shot at it”

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restrictive relationships with selected liquidators, limiting the range of stock available to buy, and the flexibility of the price they end up paying. Often, these sorts of business relationships burn a lot of time and effort with back-andforth communications, and keep buyers in the dark about what kind of competition they face for the stock. Purchasing from a retailer’s B2B overstock auction marketplace provides a transparent and accessible platform, where buyers can see exactly what they’re bidding on, and who else is competing for it. This format allows buyers to make informed decisions about purchasing and budgeting. Keep in mind there are some best practices associated with sourcing from a B2B overstock auction marketplace. The following tips will ensure success on every purchase. Understand what you are purchasing. It always pays to be detail oriented, especially when sourcing on the secondary market. The key is to make sure you have as much available detail on the products as possible before you buy. Next, know your condition codes. Because the merchandise is typically sold as is, be sure to familiarise yourself with condition categories which can range from brand new, to light use to salvage. Make sure the marketplace has a consistent supply of product. It’s important to have enough product to satisfy the needs of your customers. Make sure you are continuously increasing your sources of inventory. Finally, understand the terms of purchase. Know exactly what you are buying and what the retailer’s specific policies are. Look for thorough product descriptions, images, accurate condition codes, quality customer service and visibility regarding what the terms of purchase are

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PROFILE Gallery Direct

A comprehensive offer from start to finish Working continuously to improve and enhance its offer, Gallery Direct has seen many developments this year which will ensure that it can provide an all-round solution for its customers. Victoria Noakes paid MD Peter Delaney a visit to uncover more about the business’ most recent activity ...

Originally established as a small, family-run business supplying mirrors and frames in 1973, Gallery Direct’s growth over the years to become a leading designer, manufacturer and global distributor of furniture, home decor and accessories, has been impressive. Having acquired the furniture brand Frank Hudson in 2014, then bed and mattress specialist Dreamworks Beds last year, Gallery has expanded its offering exponentially to provide an all-round home furnishings solution, incorporating living, dining, bedroom and occasional furniture, beds and mattresses, soft furnishings, lighting, mirrors and accessories. This year, Gallery’s focus has been on ensuring that all aspects of the business are able to meet the same high quality and comprehensive nature of its product portfolio. One way the business aims to do this is by extending its dedicated furniture warehouse storage space by 40,000ft². “The warehouse will be 14m high and will give us about another 11,000 pallet spaces of product storage. We’re also having a mezzanine floor put in. It will take us to around 120,000ft² of storage capability. Really this is about the company investing in the future – being able to carry stock for in-time deliveries and to expand our ranges,” says Peter. “We have external warehousing at the moment which isn’t great – we need to have better control and efficiency all under one roof. The extension will make us the largest trading company on the Eurolink Commercial Park, which is the largest one in the Southeast. We hope to be operational here in the autumn.”

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Gallery has its own UK manufacturing base in Dreamworks in Westbury, allowing the business to offer more choice and a high level of craftsmanship. The sharing of resources between Gallery’s Dreamworks and Frank Hudson brands has ensured a close and ever-growing working relationship between the two, says Peter. “We’ve invested in the Westbury base by purchasing the buildings, putting in new mezzanine floors in the factory units down there and expanding the development team. The businesses are becoming really joined up which is nice because it normally takes a while for that to happen,” he says. On top of this, Gallery has now rolled out its own transport fleet to add a further aspect of professionalism to its offering. Its delivery team has undertaken new training to become fully versed in the company’s product portfolio and has fresh, updated toolkits which will act as an additional customer care arm for the company. “We want to have a world-class transport solution. We’ve been a bit frustrated with some of the delivery companies we’ve been using, and I think our brand and customer service has been affected because of this. So, again, we wanted to take control of that ourselves, and make sure that the high standards we have everywhere else in the business follow through right to the doorstep,” Peter states. “We’re always looking at the continual improvement process, and some issues like space and transport are larger than others. Finding a solution to these issues helps us to future-proof the business and gives us room to grow.” >>>

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Gallery Direct PROFILE



Carved Louis gold leaner mirror and Larissa mustard chair

An example of Gallery’s striking upholstery offer

Tremoy bombe chest

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Wycombe dining table and chairs

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PROFILE Gallery Direct Gallery provides an extensive choice of mirrors

Gallery has also refreshed its website recently which makes products easier to view, has simpler navigation and the ability to shop by look and style. The whole of the company’s range with accompanying prices is able to view by creating an account or signing in, where users are then able to place orders effortlessly. Visual merchandising is something that Gallery is becoming increasingly involved in this year, with the business putting together themed looks and concept areas within home retail stores Aldiss – located in Norwich – and Great Yarmouth-based Palmers. “A number of progressive clients who saw us at the January Furniture Show said they really liked what we did with our display and asked us to help them get across the complete Gallery story. So far we’ve offered a fair amount of help to both Aldiss and Palmers and we’re really chuffed with the results,” says Peter. “We’ve got some huge talent here within our studio and they’re excellent at visual merchandising. Because they begin their process with the original design and concept and know exactly what they want to get across in terms of the product, I think it’s natural for them to offer suggestions on how it could look. I can really see this side of the business growing.” Another recent development for Gallery has been the expansion of its QC teams in all regions, including its in-house team. The company has also invested heavily in EUTR compliance and is engaging with specialist consultants in order to ensure it can offer a full service, back-up, reassurance and confidence to its customers.

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As well as the significant growth happening in all other aspects of the business, Gallery’s team of six experienced area sales managers – which complement its national sales team and London and South-east-based van sale service – continue to work with independent retailers to make sure they are displaying the right ranges. Passionate about helping customers understand Gallery’s message, the sales team takes the time to aid them in creating displays and proactively suggesting items specifically for their store. With product development teams in France, Italy, Eastern Europe and the Far East, Gallery is currently working on new and innovative products for this autumn season and next spring and summer. With accessories and textiles becoming an increasingly profitable area for the business, Gallery’s product portfolio continues to evolve and expand, creating a progressively compelling offer. “The vertical integration through Gallery’s design, procurement, sales and logistic processes are pretty seamless – all the teams work as one. They’re all listening to what the marketplace wants and feeding that right back to the top,” Peter states. “If we’re not doing something today that fits our world-class offer, we’ll be constantly working to make sure these areas are fixed. It’s all about continuous improvement, and maintenance and discipline are what it takes to achieve this.” W

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COME AND SEE US ON STAND A61 FOR INFO CALL 01253 730 693 OR 07794 966 536 OR EMAIL

K U K A H O M E U K LT D ( U K O F F I C E )

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4 - 5 LY T H A M T R A D E P A R K



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PROFILE Flexiload Asia

Furniture sourcing specialist Flexiload Asia has been making good progress of recent. New products, appointments and a fast-approaching at-home show reflect an increasingly flexible supplier that is striving to be the best in its field.

Flexiload Asia’s rapid evolution Paris

Flexiload Asia is looking to the future with a raft of developments to maximise the company’s appeal and efficiency. The business has successfully consolidated its team at its Beijing office, improving efficiency, streamlining costs and enabling new ranges to be brought to the market more quickly. The sourcing team has been enlarged, and an innovative, dedicated designer has been employed, enabling the company to supply the right ranges, at the right quality and at the right price. The business has also appointed Michael Sadiq as its national sales manager. Michael boasts a wealth of experience from over 30 years in the furniture trade. Flexiload has taken time to evolve and strengthen its current best-selling collections, whilst developing new ranges with which to offer its customers additional business. The benefits of this strategy are already visible, with sales from Flexiload’s main customers up significantly on last year. Flexiload Asia will launch new collections at its show house in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, during an At Home Show taking place from 7-14th August. Michael Sadiq comments: “This is a significant investment for the company, but an essential part of our development and strategy for the future. The management team have adapted the business to react to a market which is very diverse. With our sourcing expertise and close working relationship with our selected factories, we are able to bring to market commercial ranges, offering excellent value to our customers.” The Paris Elegant French-style bedroom collection, crafted in solid oak and boasting subtle design and smooth curves, exemplifies this

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new development strategy. In addition, a number of new initiatives has been undertaken to support retailers. The company has launched a new website, Flexiload. com, and the business will soon be offering a DHD service. This is all part of the commitment Flexiload Asia has made to its customers to help them maximise their business potential, now and in the future. T 01788 553987 E

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COME AND SEE US ON STAND A61 FOR INFO CALL 01253 730 693 OR 07725 054 654 OR EMAIL

B M D I R E C T/ L A N D B O N D U K

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4 - 5 LY T H A M T R A D E P A R K



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Manchester Central hosts the 18th Manchester Furniture Show from 17-19th this month, bringing the trade the latest in furniture and furnishings from over 130 exhibitors.

Summer sourcing Summer is here, together with the industry’s key seasonal buying platform, Manchester Furniture Show. Renowned for its casual atmosphere and setting as much as the pre-autumn trading opportunities it offers, the show presents a representative sample of the UK’s industry, bringing established names together with new faces. Returning UK upholstery giants Westbridge, Lebus, Buoyant, Wade, Ashley Manor, Whitemeadow, and Mark Webster Designs will all show new collections, whilst in living and dining returning exhibitors include Baker, Bluebone, Furniture Origins, Exclusive UK, Morris, Rowico, Wood Brothers, Value Mark, Kettle Interiors and Vida Living. In beds and bedroom, returning exhibitors Furmanac, Gallery Direct, Kingstown, Seconique, Nolte, Slumbernights, Rauch, Welcome and Corndell will display a selection of new and best sellers, while Flair Rugs, Wilde Java, Wire Lamps and Keen Classics return with an array of decorative furnishings and accessories. Several major brands and young companies from the UK, Europe and the Far East have joined the line-up for this year’s show. They include Classic Furniture, Devonshire Pine & Oak, Fortune Woods, CIMC, Global Home, Camel Group, Panacea, Hookes Interiors, Ancient Mariner, Heritage Furniture, Arthauss, Derry’s and Indian Hub. This year, experts from the British Furniture Manufacturers’ Association (BFM) will offer free one-to-one advice on a range of industry topics including employment law, timber regulations and health and safety at this year’s show, from stand D2. Show director Laraine Janes says: “The BFM is a source of invaluable information and assistance, and their expert forums will not only give the Manchester Furniture Show another dimension but also give the

Indian Hub


Wood Bros

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show’s participants a great opportunity to get practical advice on vital industry topics.” Don’t forget that Furniture News will be present, too, offering subscriber deals from stand A16. “We know the exhibitors are here for one reason only – to show new products and connect with buyers from across the UK in good time to get product delivered for the run-up to Christmas,” says Laraine. “The fact that this core business activity is carried out in a venue and a city that lends itself to creating a wonderful positive ambiance is a bonus.” Read on to discover more about the models promised by a host of leading exhibitors … T 020 8387 1270 W

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“This core business activity is carried out in a venue and a city that lends itself to creating a wonderful positive ambiance”

Ashley Manor

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Established in 1988, CIMC Ltd has a proven track record as one of the leading providers of furniture, lighting and accessories. Our new premium furniture collections launched for 2016, have been a huge success with our current stockists.

For further information or to visit our showroom in Leicester phone 0116 287 5288 or email 1 Foxholes Road Leicester LE3 1TH

17-19 July 2016 STAND E65

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MANCHESTER FURNITURE SHOW PREVIEW Retailers are increasingly looking to Bluebone (stand D71, 0161 330 8959) for individual, creative pieces that enable them to stand out from their competition, yet remain commercial. At the Manchester Furniture Show, Bluebone will show additions to the popular Storm Grey Farmhouse pieces, and a full range of Cottonwood painted dining, bedroom and living room furniture. A new Mango bedroom set will be on display with a look that will impress. Bluebone’s key bestsellers won’t be missing either, with Mango Lounge and re-engineered occasional furniture an ideal choice to combine with different looks, or to complement Bluebone’s bedroom and dining packages. Bluebone offers a comprehensive selection of marketing tools, and inspired floor display packages, mixing bestsellers with statement pieces and accessories, to create the best possible impact. Shankar (stand C48, containersales@,, one of the UK’s leading designers, importers and distributors of quality chairs and furniture, has announced the recent appointment of Julie Reynolds as its MD. Julie will be responsible for implementing continuous improvement plans in all areas of the business, focusing on driving sales growth with existing customers as well as



Bluebone seeking out new sales opportunities. Julie has over 24 years’ experience in the furniture industry, working in many areas including import and wholesale, high street and online retail, and more recently as a service provider to manufacturers and retailers. She has a wealth of experience and is just as passionate about the industry now

as she was when her career began. Julie says: “I’m thrilled to be working with Shankar and I feel the opportunities for the business going forward are limitless. Already I have seen that the team at Shankar have a real can-do attitude which will be instrumental in the continuing success of the business. >>>

Established in 1999 and based in Nottingham, Carlton Furniture is a family run business who pride themselves on quality and excellent design. Not only do they offer a fantastic range of bespoke dining chairs but beautifully handcrafted dining furniture. Their solid oak collections, run from the traditional Rustic Manor which boasts a rich rustic oak and is hand finished for that extra touch of quality, to the new and more modern Portland collection. The Portland uses a combination of raised grain wood, metal and stone. These elements combined with geometric designs give an industrial, vintage look without compromising on comfort and usability.

All their solid oak ranges can be expertly painted using a selection of the prestigious Farrow & Ball paint, along with their extensive collection of British wools and fine Italian leathers to choose from, each piece really will be uniquely yours. • T: 0115 9422 700 Carlton Furniture Ltd, Nottingham NG7 2GA

Carlton Advert V3.indd 1

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D esi D gne esi d gn for ed L for ivi Yo ng. u ..

Always looking for new and innovative items, this year Carlton will also be launching their new Barkington dining table. The table has a choice of two table top sizes, which by keeping the natural edge of the wood, enhances the natural feel and utilises the natural grain. The Barkington is available with 3 versions of legs; forged steel cross leg, solid oak trestle leg and a solid oak cross leg. All of which can be purchased separately to the table top allowing you to show your customers the full choice available.

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“The outstanding standard of design and quality of Shankar product is exciting and I’m particularly looking forward to the official launch of our luxurious premium Grande Designs range at the Manchester Furniture Show. I extend a warm invitation to all of our existing customers, and those new to Shankar, to come and see us on stand C48.” Visitors will be able to feel the luxury of 100% linen, Shabby Chic fabric lounge chair ranges such as Chadley, with its handhammered nail head trim, or Regal with its striking wing back curves and sumptuous seat cushion. Then there is Malvern, which also features nail trims on the roll top arms and back. All have spring and belted seat cushions and with a neutral colour palette they will blend with any decor. Shankar is able to offer direct containers with as few as 120 chairs in mixed colours and designs at factory direct prices, and can even create own-label branding for its customers. Visitors to the Shankar West Midlands showroom can see the extensive UKstocked range and enjoy a coffee with the knowledgeable sales team. Flair Rugs (stand A67, 01457 850660, enhances its reputation as a trend-focused producer of rug design with its new collections, Persia and Venice, which will make their debut at the show. The popularity of the Persian rug look led to Flair introducing the Middle East-inspired Persia collection to its stable. Alongside is Venice, a range boasting high-low pile to coincide with renewed interest in the shaggy look. Gareth Davies, UK sales and marketing director, comments: “At Flair Rugs, we strive to be the first to deliver retailers the very latest in rug design, providing them with an opportunity to pass on cutting-edge looks to their customers. Traditionally, if homeowners have desired a current look, they have known to turn to Flair’s newest releases for the design season ahead. I’m delighted to say that this is no different for autumn/winter 2016, with the latest from the Flair think-tank, Persia and Venice.” Persia offers a choice of three Eastern designs with six colour variations. This polypropylene produces a super-soft sensation without the use of jute in the backing. With its strong colour clarity and intricate patterning, Flair believes there is no better way to gain such authentic design underfoot. Likewise, Venice uses polypropylene to present two patterned shaggy designs, Imperial and Plazzo, this time in four colourways. These rugs bring enhanced texture through pile height variation, thanks to the contrast of high shaggy and low loop pile. Read on to discover more new products …

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Malvern, Shankar

Persia, Flair Rugs

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Project1_MFS A4 New 14/06/2016 13:11 Page 1

‐ Visit us on Stand B11

The new Arabella bedframe featured here in Velvet Grape

Your One‐Stop Shop for Bri�sh Manufactured Products Tel: 01384 408844

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Visit us at:

Combining classic mid-century style with contemporary charm, this elegant living and dining range will bring a touch of class to any home. Bearing a Scandinavian influence in its cool, streamlined appearance, this oak furniture collection has been given a hand wax finish resulting in a subtle sheen that brings the one-of-a-kind natural markings of the timber to the fore to add warmth and character. Its design simplicity gives it a timeless appeal that will blend beautifully into both modern and more traditional interiors. Cut-out handles add understated sophistication, while the tapered legs and rounded-off corners soften its clean lines.

£96 TV Unit

Plasma TV Unit

£73 Coffee Table with Shelf


£55 Lamp Table

£113 Standard Sideboard with Doors

£60 Nest of 2 Tables

£144 Standard Sideboard with Drawers

£195 Large Sideboard

£100 Console Table

£161 Dining Table

*Volume priced stated above.

Heritage Furniture UK Ltd. Prospect Mill, Walter Street, Blackburn BB1 1TJ T 01254 660777 F 01254 694611 E W W W.HERITAGEFURNITUREUK .COM

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Visit us at:

Pared down to only what is necessary, with no fussy detail to detract from its clean lines, this elegant collection of retro-style, Shaker inspired furniture will suit both traditional and contemporary settings. With pieces for the living room, hallway and the dining room, we’ve made it easy to put together a look that will bring timeless sophistication to your home. Expertly crafted from solid oak and premium oak veneers, the range features tapered legs with rounded edges, rounded corners and small wooden handles on the doors and drawers, with antique brass coloured handles available too, if you prefer.

£52 Bedside Cabinet + 1 Drawer

£103 Hallway Cupboard

£43 Small Coffee Table

£121 Wine Rack Sideboard

£161 Dining Table

£96 Low Bookcase

£90 Petite Console Table

£213 Large Sideboard 2 Door/3 Drawer

£61 3 Drawer Bedside Cabinet

£108 Corner TV Unit

*Volume priced stated above.

Heritage Furniture UK Ltd. Prospect Mill, Walter Street, Blackburn BB1 1TJ T 01254 660777 F 01254 694611 E W W W.HERITAGEFURNITUREUK .COM

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BFM to offer advice at this year’s show The British Furniture Manufacturers Association (BFM) makes its first appearance at the Manchester Furniture Show this year, on stand D2, offering visitors a chance to meet the experts. The BFM’s consultant experts will be on hand between 10am – 3pm on each day of the exhibition, on a drop-in basis, to advise on issues that are currently affecting UK furniture manufacturers. These include EU timber regulations, health and safety advice and employment law. The BFM will also be offering special access to the members area of the website for a limited time of 48 hours. On Sunday, the BFM’s employment and membership affairs director Mike Dimond, who has been with the association for 15 years, will provide guidance on all subjects in his area of expertise – national and regional negotiations with trade unions, statistics and trade data, survey work and analysis, plus employment advice. Mike’s wealth of experience comes from a background that includes working in the health and safety department of a British steel plant to time spent at the Institute of Management specialising in employment law and remuneration. He has also worked

in the printing industry, in employment and personnel management. He is followed Steve Moore on Monday, the BFM’s director consultant services of three years, who will offer advice on EUTR, flammability regulations, and export. Steve’s experience within the furniture industry now spans 28 years, having held a wide range of responsibilities, in both the domestic and contract markets. It includes operations, manufacturing, engineering, quality, supply change and human resources management through group, general manager and director roles. On Tuesday, the last slot is taken by Alistair Bromhead. Alistair is the BFM’s health, safety and environment consultant, and is responsible for helping member companies to understand and comply with legal requirements as well as promote best practice. During his time with the BFM, Alistair has developed great knowledge of sectoral practices through the conduct of many site visits and has been involved in identifying forthcoming legislation that may affect furniture manufacturing sites. In addition, he also provides health and safety monitoring

Alistair Bromhead, the BFM’s health, safety and environment consultant services such as noise and dust exposure, audiometry and spirometry. W

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On the back of ongoing staff and infrastructure developments, cabinet supremo Classic Furniture makes its Manchester debut this month, bringing new ranges to stand C35.

Show debut reflects upward trajectory

Classic’s new European oak modular collection

There is a great deal going on behind the scenes at Binbrook’s Classic Furniture. The company’s decision to exhibit at Manchester Furniture Show – and Dublin’s IFHS in August, plus another at-home show in September – is indicative of a company on the brink of something significant. Director Andy Rippin is tight-lipped about the “exciting developments” the company’s stockists will benefit from later this year, but says that there is good reason behind the company’s unprecedented flurry of exhibition activity, and that all will be made clear around September. “While I expect a somewhat volatile market over the coming months, we’re ready with plenty of stock to weather whatever the economy throws at us,” says Andy. A look at Classic’s growing workforce reveals a company steeling itself for growth. From a team of just two, the company now boasts five experienced salespeople covering the entire UK, including one based in Ireland. The experienced team, supervised by company MD Dave Rippin, been freshly trained in the company’s product portfolio and future developments. As well as these staffers, Classic employs agents covering the North, the South-east, the South-west and Scotland. Having developed its warehousing and distribution operations over the last few years, Classic is now placing similar emphasis on its customer support team, increasing sales office and customer service staff to meet demand. “We’ll soon have the strongest sales team in the UK,” says Andy, “many of which are permanently on the road.” In terms of product, Manchester will see Classic introduce a clean,

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modern modular range from Europe, made in a Scandinavian style from European oak. “Lots of people are interested in this one,” says Andy, “particularly the multiples.” There will also be evidence of tweaks to Classic’s industrial offer, bringing a new line of products to an already-strong collection of chairs. Everything will be supported by the usual offers on new ranges and shopfloor displays. “We’re working on the overall package,” concludes Andy. “Watch this space!” T 01472 398280 W

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When it comes to innovation in the furniture sector, TCS is renowned for developing new product lines, delivery methods and choices that continually challenge and ultimately lead in the market, allowing its customers to gain maximum margins with repeat sales from stocking TCS products. Visitors to Manchester will be able to find out more firsthand …

Witness TCS in motion

The Oscar, from the TCS Motion Collection

Last year saw the launch of TCS’ new Motion Collection, and the range was extended at the January Furniture Show, bringing the collection to 10 sofas. MD Thomas Small sees this new range becoming another marketleading collection. With all 10 sofas available for express delivery – either to the retailer’s showroom or warehouse, or directly to their customer’s home – the process could not be simpler for the furniture retailer. As well as each model being available from stock in a specific leather and fabric choice for express delivery, each sofa is also available in multiple leather and fabric choices on an eight- to 10week lead time. The models come as standard in three-seater, two-seater and singleseater chairs in manual or electric recliners, and are also available as corner units. All electric mechanisms come with a USB port at standard. Over the years TCS has noticed a trend of the public wanting their

The Parker, from the TCS Motion Collection

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new purchases delivered to their homes increasingly quickly, and with the new Motion Collection that has now become a viable option for the independent retailer. This year at the Manchester Furniture Show TCS will display a number of models from the new collection at its stand in the Charter Hall – CH10 – alongside the myriad of market-leading products that the company is renowned for. These include UK top seller, the Royal Coil mattress range, including the new redesigned Contemporary Sleep collection, which sits alongside the Royal Coil premium collection. Also joining TCS in Manchester will be TCS The Carpet Specialists, with its new collection of carpets, now all available in 4m and 5m widths with new PoS displays, allowing retailers the option of displaying everything from full wall samples to small carousels, depending on the space they want to allocate to these ranges. T 00353 429 351351 W

Giana, from the TCS Motion Collection

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Westbridge Furniture is exhibiting at the Manchester Furniture Show again this year, on stand C73, where it will present its newest models.

Westbridge to present fresh offering


Ahead of the Manchester Furniture Show, Westbridge has been working on developing many new products, from its entry-level Elements range to its mid-point Westbridge Range. With the show being the first opportunity for Westbridge’s customers to see its ranges after the January Furniture Show, the company will display its newest models in their freshest looks. On Westbridge’s newly-designed contemporary stand in the main hall, its customers will be able to view 11 full ranges of furniture, comprising its striking fabric leather Heritage ranges, the classic Arlington first seen in January and the buttoned Hudson. As a relatively new supplier to the independent retailer, Westbridge is


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Explorer leather continuously working hard to provide strong opportunities for its customers, and although the company has experienced great success over recent years, it is conscious of the competitive nature of the industry. So, along with seeing some of Westbridge’s favourites, the company believes that its customers deserve to see brand new designs and trends. From listening to store feedback, Westbridge has concentrated on some interesting compact designs. As the UK has some of the smallest homes in Europe,

and with the recent swell of city living, the company has designed three new shapes with clean lines and contemporary styling, all with dimensions to fit the smaller space. This interesting look has been complemented with a new fabric offer. Westbridge has introduced some vibrant on-trend colours and textures giving a fun and fresh feel. With over 60 fabrics to choose from, there is sure to be something for everyone. W

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Ashley Manor is a manufacturer of strikingly-designed collections with a modern, luxury edge.

Ashley Manor’s fresh updates Bentley

Hand-crafted in the heart of England, Ashley Manor’s latest collections bring together classics with pure, minimal design. Heritage fabrics in high-quality damasks meet modern natural weaves to create an impressive blend of styles and looks to suit a variety of homes. Bentley is a sophisticated, elegant and timeless collection which looks fresh and modern in a rustic setting and decadent in a traditional home. Italian fabric combinations are available in pastel hues through to rich earthy tones. The new Moda is sleek with no plumping necessary. This intelligently designed sofa system creates a modern modular solution for the home. It is generously proportioned for relaxation and styled in textural monochromes combined with natural fabrics and tones. Ashley Manor will be exhibiting on stand B75 at the show. W


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Gallery Direct is renowned for its constant development and introduction of striking, on-trend collections, pushing the boundaries of design, and paying close attention to detail. Providing an extensive range of products to suit a range of interiors and homes, Gallery is enjoying ongoing success within the home furnishing industry.

A busy year for Gallery

Kielder bed and bedside table

Making a bold start to the year, Gallery introduced its spring/summer 2016 collection, featuring over 160 new products that bring a touch of Scandinavian influence to interiors. The design-led collection encapsulated the Nordic aesthetic, giving any home a touch of cool calm. At the forefront of design, Gallery’s spring/ summer catalogue focused on three bold new furniture collections. With the subtle contrast of natural woods and cool tones, Gallery Direct’s Kielder, Wycombe and Marlow offer practicality and style. James Hudson, business development director of furniture, says: “Our three new ranges offer co-ordinated looks for both upstairs and downstairs living. With attention to detail, quality materials and craftsmanship, combined with competitive pricing and universal appeal, these collections offer commercial designs that are made to last.” At the upcoming Manchester Furniture Show, Gallery Direct will be presenting the three furniture collections with a focus on the different and contrasting bedroom ranges. Combining the well-crafted furniture with its extensive range of mirrors, accessories, lighting and soft furnishings, Gallery will demonstrate different room set-ups offering

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influences for on-trend product selections and groupings. Alongside its existing range of soft furnishings and mirrors, Gallery will preview a selection of products from the forthcoming autumn/winter collection. Adding a touch of individual boldness, Gallery Direct’s new range of mirrors demonstrates attention to detail and craftsmanship with design flair. One of the new collections and a key trend for the future is antique brass, bronze and metallic finishes. Mat Penney, design director, comments: “There is now a more sophisticated evolution of the industrial look which has a warmer colour palette and refined shapes. Our new collection of mirrors aims to embrace this, to offer aesthetically pleasing and on-trend products that can suit a range of interiors.” Gallery Direct is also introducing a collection of feature and accent mirror frames using hand-crafted mosaic and crackle glass. This on-trend collection is ideal for a range of interiors and brings a touch of sophistication and texture. Adding to the extensive Parisian House soft furnishings brand, six new designs will be presented as part of Gallery Direct’s Musée key trend. Featuring traditional style artwork, the cushions act as statement pieces.

Marlow dining table

Gallery stays ahead of seasonal trends, ensuring it has a dynamic collection of products. At the exhibition, it will display new flannel throws that are available in 10 autumn colours. There will also be a new Gallery Home Christmas range featuring premium hand-embellished linen blend and metallic foil printed cushions alongside a range of throws and bold typographic cushions. Gallery will exhibit on stand B35. T 01795 439159 W

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Alpha Designs Upholstery returns to Manchester Central for a third year to present its new Twist range, along with several other contemporary models, on stand D18.

First for fine upholstery Alpha Designs Upholstery is one of the UK’s most understated furniture manufacturers. Creating comfortable yet fashionable contemporary upholstery at its factory in Bilston, Wolverhampton, the family-run company is taking an increasingly active approach to exhibitions, and is looking forward to returning to Manchester ahead of making an even bigger splash at next year’s January Furniture Show. The company was formed in 2008 by Constantino Xydhias, who started his working life in fish and chip shops, but, having worked with his family in the trade from a very young age, held an ambition to create his own business. After spending a number of years buying and selling everything from cutlery to bicycles, Constantino settled on upholstery, and the company began to wholesale. A short time later, whilst reflecting on the products he was selling, Constantino, having an entrepreneurial spirit, made the decision to begin manufacturing his own products. Roslin


“He quickly learned that although the actual process of manufacturing upholstery is not rocket science, all of the other factors of running a manufacturing business were far from easy,” says his partner Charlotte, a former accountant who joined the business in 2009 to help ease that burden, and who now oversees its fabric selection and marketing operation. The ethos of the business is definitely one of family – from creating a good working environment with very low staff turnover, to a focus on manufacturing products that its principals would like to see in their own home. “Even when our daughter was born in Halley

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2014, within two weeks of her birth she was in work with us,” says Charlotte. “We want our products to stand out and speak for themselves, so we strive to use new fabrics, and create shapes that have that bit of added something and are built to a high standard. Our emphasis is therefore on controlling standards, which we achieve by having everything under one roof – from our in-house frame shop to the dispatch – and paying attention to the details of design and styling.” Charlotte also believes that customers now want choice, and that flexibility is key to making Alpha stand out from the competition. Consequently, the company continues to offer interchangeable fabrics on all of its models, as well as utilising customers’ own fabrics. “The business is constantly evolving, and we are always looking at how we can improve it,” concludes Charlotte. “In the last three months alone, we have renovated our development department and employed a further three people there. “Alongside this we have reformatted our swatch books to improve their presentation, making them an easier reference for the end consumer and a better selling tool for the retailer. We have also invested in automatic laying and cutting machinery to ensure consistency and provide additional production capacity.” The Alpha team is looking forward to introducing its offer to customers old and new in Manchester this month. T 01902 492937

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The Manchester Furniture Show, Main Hall, Stand D18

ALPHA DESIGNS UPHOLSTERY LIMITED T: 01902 492937 F: 01902 493700 E: Unit 1, Stag Industrial Estate, Oxford Street, Bilston, Wolverhampton WV14 7HZ FN_328v21.indd Alpha.indd 1 77

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This year’s show marks the fifth anniversary of the first presence of the Rowico name in the UK. Throughout this time the company has of course grown, by specifically concentrating its product offer around a distinctive reclaimed and shabby chic product look.

Fifth year in Manchester for Rowico

Lulworth collection

Rowico established itself in the UK five years ago with reclaimed 150-year-old Chinese pine with a distressed paint finish – which proved enough to get the company noticed in a risk-averse market where oak was at its most popular. In the early days, Rowico’s hit rate with new products was sufficient, but the past two years has seen a steep incline in growth – product hit rates are now more immediate and broader. With oak becoming more of a commodity product, the Rowico look is seen as desirable and innovative. The company is determined not to be outdone by the success of last year’s

product introductions, and it is launching another striking range, Lowry, which echoes its namesake’s industrial heritage. This collection uses rough-sawn grey-washed timbers melded to powder-coated steel sections with rivet-like exposed fixings. Coupled with this will be faux skinupholstered metal chairs and bar stools which will team with the whole variety of collections on offer. Distressed white paint finishes are no longer niche, and the Purbeck range launched in January which has been a great success for the business will see the addition of a bedroom offer.

Rowico’s UK headquarters

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Nick Tuck

Five years on, Rowico is stronger and is recognised for service, innovation value and style. Director Nick Tuck retires from Rowico in August and the show will be the last industry event he attends. The company will be exhibiting in Foyer 1 at the show. Director Caroline Henchcliffe says: “On behalf of everyone at Rowico Sweden, Rowico China, Rowico Italy and of course Rowico UK, Nick’s colleagues and friends in the industry wish him well. I would personally like to thank him for his help and support this year since I joined Rowico UK – long may our growth and success continue.” W

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Building on its strong appearance at the NEC earlier this year, oak and pine cabinet specialist Heritage Furniture UK will bring an expanded selection of its key ranges to Manchester Central.

Second outing for a revitalised Heritage

Arvind sheesham

Blackburn’s Heritage Furniture returned to the market refreshed and rebranded last year, promising a strong, design-led collection incorporating the UK’s most commercial cabinet styles. Coinciding with the company’s 10th anniversary, January Furniture Show gave Heritage the perfect platform from which to make contact with the trade in person. Driven by the positive feedback its ranges received, the company is ready for a second major outing – Manchester will see Heritage’s popular Wardley Oak living and dining range expanded into the bedroom, bolstered by unique show offers. “January’s show proved a great success,” says MD Saeed Mohmed, who explains that the event saw Heritage recognised and joined by a good number of key retailers, full of praise for the new ranges – in particular the unique Osby and the high-value Wardley, the latter of which benefits from the addition of a complete bedroom range this month, consisting of various cabinets, a low foot end bed, and full hanging wardrobes, including a triple-sectioned model with mirrored doors. “Retailers like the fact we’re offering a product that’s different from

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the norm,” says Saeed, “is well designed, and represents great value for money. Those who’ve taken on our new ranges have reiterated their confidence in the products’ appeal to all customer types, and say that the floor space dedicated to the ranges is creating sales. “Retailers have also been impressed with our policy of de-branding the new ranges, so that online retailers are unable to take advantage of the brand and range names to have an unfair advantage over the traditional retailers.” Heritage’s ongoing offer has been influenced by stockists’ feedback, whilst improvements to the company’s product and service is continual. This month, a fully-integrated online ordering and stock system will be launched, whilst a new in-house sales representative, Ian Gooderham, has been appointed to handle sales across central England. Find Heritage Furniture on stand D77 at the Manchester Furniture Show. “Think of us as your alternative, design-led cabinet supplier, with great products and prices,” concludes Saeed. T 01254 660777 W

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Seconique promises new launches including a selection of stylish yet practical dining sets and bedroom additions.

Seconique builds dining and bedroom offer

Lisbon in black woodgrain with Regal bed

In dining, the Rimini, with features such as a white top with an oakcoloured frame, comes complete with four modern grey-upholstered chairs. The Boston round table, with its attractive star-configuration legs, plus the Julian and grey Oxford, enhance Seconique’s dining collection to provide varied options for customers. The Julian is a modern square dining table with a white top and beech legs, and is available with black, white or grey chairs which stack neatly if space is required. Seconique’s bedroom collection sees the addition of a dressing table set and sliding wardrobe to the newly-launched Lisbon range, as well as a black woodgrain-effect finish. Corona bedroom sees the introduction of a range of grey items with distressed waxed pine tops, with the Monaco bed available in a matching shade. The Felix low sleeper and Panama grey, white and antique pine mid-sleeper will be welcome additions to the company’s children’s bed offer, whilst the stylish new Georgia wooden sleigh bed is available in grey or white, and – as one might expect from Seconique – represents value for money as well as high quality. These are just a few of the products that will be available from Seconique to visitors attending stand C11. T 0121 506 4888 W

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Oxford in grey

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New range of mirrored bedroom furniture See us at the Manchester Furniture Show stand A12

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With the launch of the DG Dining Collection and the new Bed Collection from stand A58, Kettle Interiors is set to underline its status as one of the UK’s most prolific furniture suppliers.

Kettle to launch latest ranges

DG Dining Collection

Across its oak, pine and painted furniture, and along with The Wicker Merchant brand of storage goods, Kettle Interiors has a collection of 502 items, all readily available from UK stocks for fast delivery. “The Manchester show launches demonstrate our commitment to making sure that we are delivering on market trends, but the story goes much deeper than this, as we are continually working to improve our service levels to stores of all sizes,” explains Simon Ainge, sales director. One of the biggest changes over the past 18 months has been the commitment to sizeable UK stock levels so that wholesale orders can be fulfilled without delay. Requiring significant and ongoing investment in warehousing and goods, this has had a huge impact on speed and efficiency, helping

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the new Manchester Furniture Show launches to be available without delay. Fulfilment has also been improved. “Many smaller retailers simply struggle to offer competitive DHD services due to regularity of need and the natural complexity of multi-drop, but we’ve made it possible for them to provide furniture direct to door, and to a really high standard,” reveals Simon. “Our logistics are already in place, making it a simple added bolt-on that can be easily accessed by our retailers.” Kettle account holders can use the supplier’s new website to place DHD orders, as well as access a host of other account management functionality. “While there are many retailers reluctant to hang up the phone just yet, our website really does make it easier to keep customer

satisfaction high,” says Simon. “Stock is updated in real time and can be checked immediately, allowing decisions to be made on the spot, while orders are completely managed through the system. This makes migrating to our new website ideal for retailers offering longer operating hours and extended weekend trading.” The new product ranges comprise: DG Dining, a 21-piece collection which shares the same grey truffle painted finish and contrasting oak top as its sister collection, and features wood and metal knobs; and the Bed Collection, Kettle’s first itemspecific range, which brings five designs in natural oak or painted looks, matched to the Wansford Oak or Banbury Elegance range. T 01536 444960 E

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Core Products’ flatpacked furniture collection

Summer, Sweet Dreams

Core Products’ (01738 630555) flatpacked furniture collection now encompasses ranges with more vibrant styling, fusing wood and painted finishes into their design. Developed especially to meet the demand for compact bedrooms at affordable prices, Colorado meets this criteria and stands out from the crowd. Natural American white oak veneer is combined with a rich white semi-matt paint and natural wood handles. The practical mix of bedsides, chests, wardrobes and beds is aesthetically pleasing as well as reasonably priced. Assembly is simple and straightforward, with all the fittings needed supplied in one kit. Like all of Core’s ranges, Colorado is available for store or direct to home delivery

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Smoked mirrored furniture, Febland

Olivia, Sweet Dreams

with no minimum order requirement. An express next-day service is also available, full details can be found in the Core Products 2016 product portfolio. Febland ( will be attending the Home & Gift Fair in Harrogate from 17-20th July, where it will introduce new lines which it hopes will prove popular with new and existing customers. Febland exports all around Europe and has an impressive range of furniture, lighting, arts and gifts. The aim of the company is to stay unique and distinctive without buying growth through lowering its standards. Sweet Dreams (01282 830033, sales@ offers a popular range of metal bedframes that appeal to all tastes and budgets.

Those looking for a statement bed might look at three models, including Olivia – baroque style, in black or cream, with a contrast brass-effect rail to the headboard and footend. Those after something simpler also have a wide choice, with elegant frames with sprung slatted bases, such as Arianne in white or Shelley in black. At the budget end, and suitable for a child, is Summer. In single size only and with a tubular base, Summer comes in four colours – pink, silver, black and white. There is a central leg for support – as is the case with all the metal bedframes – and the headboard is available separately. Summer is currently on special offer and comes complete with a single mattress. >>>

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Burnham Oak bedroom, Heritage

Imola, one of the latest ranges from bedroom specialist Wiemann (01482 635283,, is a stylish entry-level collection that is proving popular with retailers. Despite its budget price tag, Imola offers a comprehensive choice of pieces suitable for bedrooms of many sizes and shapes, including the option of hinged and sliding door wardrobes in widths up to 3m, plus two bed styles in four double sizes.

Imola in champagne and nocce, Wiemann

It also offers a varied compilation of headboards, storage drawers, combination chests, night cabinets and wall mirrors. Accessories include wardrobe frames incorporating overhead LED and side lighting. Imola is available in the new 2016 champagne finish with nocce – a soft grained walnut look – highlights. Heritage Furniture’s (www. Burnham Oak bedroom range is extensive, ranging from

luxurious beds to expansive wardrobes. With details such as antique-style brass coloured handles, chunky tops and subtle pegging, it creates a warm, country-style character highlighted by the wax lacquer finish. Heritage keeps a large stock-holding at its UK warehouse and the company is adept at turning around orders within two weeks. The company operates a home-delivery service if required, to help its customers have a problem-free service. >>>

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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Asteria 4000

The new Diamond collection from Silentnight Introducing a new range of beds and mattresses with our luxurious zoned Mirapocket spring system for superior comfort and exceptional support. Developed exclusively for independent bed specialists.

Awarded for the Silentnight Mirapocket 1200

Cornelia 1200

To find out more call 01282 851111 or visit

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ecoComfy, The Shire Bed Company Hybrid, Sealy

Stamford Bedroom, Kettle Interiors Milford, Steens

Sandringham, Steens

A recent study by Sealy UK (www.sealy. revealed that only 17% of Brits wake up feeling refreshed in a morning. The bed manufacturer is dedicated to boosting this figure, with the help of some of the most innovative and technologically-advanced materials and processes which actively improve the quality of sleep. The Hybrid collection is just one example of this innovation. The collection has an advanced sleep system, containing Sealy’s unique gel-infused foam, Geltex. With all the pressure-relieving properties of traditional memory foam, Geltex also provides a level of push back which is soft yet supportive. The innovative property delivers breathability and allows body temperature to regulate itself, meaning the sleeper has a consistent temperature throughout the night – ideal whatever the season. It’s not just the Geltex which makes Hybrid great for deep sleep – the collection also features smart fibres. These help to keep mattresses fresh, hygienic and dust mite-free and hold the Allergy UK Seal of Approval. They also reduce moisture, making for a cool

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and dry sleeping environment. Since launching its ecoShire bedbugbanishing mattresses with EcoShield technology, The Shire Bed Company (www. has made its comfiest ecoShire bed yet. The ecoComfy hand-made mattress has 2000 pocket springs allowing comfortable sleep across the entire surface of the mattress providing the support and pressure relief the body needs. With natural fillings and Tencel in the finish as well as air vents and flag-stitched handles as standard, the top of the range ecoShire mattress will be easy on the body as well as the pocket. The range also includes the ecoGrand, ecoChampion, ecoCosy and the ecoRest. The Shire Bed Company produces high quality beds, mattresses and divan bases and supplies nationally and internationally to major retailers and the contract sector including education, care and hospitality. Steens ( is an established supplier renowned for its bedroom and office furniture. Constantly developing furniture that meets and satisfies

the needs and expectations for today’s consumer, the company has unveiled new ranges. Stylish new ranges include French-style Baroque, available in bright white and anthracite, and Sandringham – a classic painted style with oak available in soft white and grey. In addition, the Norfolk range is a contemporary shaker style in two tone design and Milford is a traditional bedroom range available in solid stained lacquered pine and painted white MDF. Featuring the same oak and oak veneer construction in a rustic finish as the popular living and dining collection, Stamford Bedroom from Kettle Interiors (01536 444960) delivers the same mix of value, style and quality across a range of items for bedrooms. With two bedsides, various chests, three different wardrobes and bed sizes, a blanket box, cheval mirror and dressing table set, the Stamford collection has something for every size of home. With 17 items to choose from and display discounts available, Stamford Bedroom is in stock and ready to order. >>>

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BEDS & BEDROOM Grace, Slumberland

Independent, Hestia Motion

The Independent from Furmanac brand Hestia Motion (stand B11, www.furmanac. com) combines advanced technology with impressive levels of comfort. Featuring a five-panel wall hugger action, the Independent offers a unique anti-snore position that raises the head to an angle that can open the airways and aid with the prevention of snoring, whilst the Zero Gravity position ensures less pressure is exerted on the body to offer an optimal night’s sleep. This bed comes with in-built massage, a

wireless handset with a torch, under-bed lighting and USB ports as standard. Taking the technology of adjustable beds one step further, it can also be controlled via a mobile device on the Hestia Motion app. This app lets the user control the bed, store their favourite positions and sync with an alarm so that they will be physically risen out of the bed in the morning. The Independent is considered to be one of the most innovative total-sleeping solutions available on the market, with a choice of

seven different mattresses and all the features listed as standard. Slumberland ( is proud to report that it has been awarded Mumsnet Best awards for its Serene and Grace mattresses. The bed brand has received impressive praise from the website’s reviewers, who are renowned for their honest, direct and trustworthy appraisal of products – both the Serene and Grace mattresses have received many five-star reviews

WANTED! FURNITURE WHOLESALERS AND IMPORTERS Family owned and managed Chinese Furniture Factory in Qingdao seeks close co-operation with UK Wholesalers and Importers. We are not a Chinese sales company and wish to work directly with Buyers in the UK.


Comfort should be savoured. Straight from the heart of Yorkshire, the Pennine Bed Company is home to a number of specially-crafted designer beds, mattresses, headboards and bases. The collection covers a wide range of fabrics and styles, making them suitable for an everyday lifestyle.

The factory has been established for more than 20 years and our main production is in solid oak. We are experienced at container shipments to the UK. With our competitive pricing let us help you to create better profit and a close co-operation with a hands on company.

For more information about the Pennine Bed Company, please contact or call 01484 427 373.

In the first instance please contact: Susan Gao, Overseas Sales Manager email: QINGDAO MURONG JINXIU HOME FURNISHING CO.,LTD

Shown above: Hawes bed, 1000 luxury pocket springs, memory & reflex foam

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F O A M ?

Like all great ideas, Sealy Hybrid is both simple and effective. It combines Sealy Posturepedic springs with Geltex, a unique, patented, gel infused foam that is quite simply the most advanced sleeping material available.

It has all the pressure relieving properties of traditional memory foam but also provides a level of "push back" body support. Which means you get all the pressure relief you would find in a "spring free" mattress, combined with all the support you would expect from a Sealy Posturepedic.

Quite simply, it’s the best of both worlds. For more information about this revolutionary range of beds, contact our Sales Hotline on 016973 20342.

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Although Breasley will not be exhibiting at this year’s Manchester Furniture Show, its showroom in Hyde, Manchester, will be open by appointment from 18-20th July for anyone wishing to take advantage of maximising their opportunities whilst attending the show.

Breasley’s broad offering

Salus Contempo LV4000 on ash divan base

Visitors to the Breasley showroom will have the opportunity to view the new Salus Contempo collection, the Bionix Mattress collection and the Naked Beds range. The Contempo collection encompasses the company’s exclusive medi-foam and Viscoool technologies, and also features Latexco latex in three of the models plus Tencel throughout the range, bringing everything together within one, brand new collection. From the Contempo Ortho 1000 to the Contempo LV5000, all of the models offer a unique look and feel combined with contemporary, stylish design which is synonymous with the Salus brand. The two pocket ortho models feature medifoam, whilst the V1000, V1200, V1500 and V2000 all have Viscoool technology, and for those wanting a high level of comfort, the V3000, V4000 and V5000 have both Viscoool and latex. All models have individual pocket spring support. The springs are also foam encased around the perimeter of the mattress to give edge-to-edge support and to maximise the sleeping area. The luxury covers all feature

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Salus Contempo V1000 Classic oan Kingfisher divan base Tencel fibres, which are renowned for their softness and excellent moisture management properties. With the launch of the Contempo collection, more divan and headboard colour

choices have also been added to complement the existing Salus palette of fresh and natural tones. These include Kingfisher, Ash, Raven and Barley. T 07917 415274

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Leading UK mattress and upholstery brand, Mammoth, is celebrating YOY growth of 40%, office expansion and two new appointments.

The future’s bright for Mammoth

Pocket 2000, Mammoth

With only a couple of months until the bed industry’s biggest exhibition, the National Bed Federation’s (NBF) Bed Show, to be held at Telford International Centre on the 20th and 21st September, Mammoth is looking forward to boosting business even further. According to Mammoth’s marketing manager, Kris Wood, the Bed Show has contributed massively to the ongoing success of the business. He says: “We’ve had a stand at the show for the last five years and 2015 was our best show to date. For the mattress side of the business, it’s an essential date in the diary and, this year, we’ve expanded our show space to maximise sales even more.” To support its year-on-year business growth, Mammoth has recently appointed two new staff and expanded its offices. Anthony Finegan is the new commercial director having been a financial consultant for the business since it started. He is responsible for sales and finance. Emma Forster has joined the team as office co-ordinator. She will be responsible for managing the

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day-to-day running of the office, offer sales team support, account management, assist accounts and finance and she will act as a PA to MD John Tuton. The company has expanded its offices at Cobalt Business Park in Newcastle – its second office expansion in two years – doubling its space to accommodate the growing team. The company originally started as a sports mattress specialist. Known for using its unique medical grade foam in its products, it has recently rolled out a seating range – another step in its goal to offer 24/7 comfort. The business continues to develop products focusing on comfort, health and wellbeing. Mammoth founder John Tuton says: “We’ve seen a rise in consumer confidence over the past couple of years and, as the public is very aware of the importance of good sleep and pressure relief on health, people are willing to spend more on a mattress or seating range. “Our mattresses are proven to aid sleep and because of that, we always see a great

Emma Forster and Anthony Finegan, response from retailers at the Bed Show. We can give them the research and facts to back up our story which offers a very strong selling point. “We’re looking forward to the Bed Show this year to meet our existing and new contacts and to see what success it will bring for 2017.” All Mammoth’s manufacturing facilities are based in the UK. W

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Take a look at our stunning new ranges... AVAILABLE IN

Norfolk Contemporary two tone shaker style available in cream and grey.




Baroque Provence styling available in white and coffee.



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Take advantage of our incredible offers... AVAILABLE IN

Milford Fresh contemporary styling available in pine and white.




Sandringham Classic styling available in white and grey.



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BEDS & BEDROOM Kaymed on temperature control

With over a century of mattress manufacturing expertise, Kaymed is a leading innovator in gel and visco-elastic technologies, and its Therma~Phase material, which contains patented phasechange gel crystal technology, has become one of market’s most popular temperature control solutions – UK sales manager Terry Bridger explains …

Kaymed’s responsive bedding solution Why is temperature control the hot topic? Thermally-regulating mattresses have taken the US market by storm, and have clearly captured the imagination of UK consumers – and some manufacturers alike – since we advertised Therma~Phase in our 2015 winter sale TV consumer campaign. However, there are actually several different types of materials in the market that either have no actual thermal properties or are designed to cool rather than being thermally regulating. We have noticed a massive increase in manufacturers claiming that they are using foams that have “highly breathable” open cell constructions. The fact is that no actual claims of temperature regulation are being made. In short, they will simply claim that their existing, long-established Foam A is cooler than a certain generic Foam B, and are therefore attempting to align their product to the bigger – and frankly infinitely more remarkable – story by association. Foams with actual cooling properties can be latex, polyurethane or memory foam based, and will generally fall into the following categories: foams infused with good conductors of heat; those washed through with a gel solution; foams with a gel layer attached to the surface; and Kaymed’s iKool and Response Gel, which are infused with our proprietary gel crystals. Irrespective of how well these materials may work, this is in essence a one-way cooling process, in that the additives to the foam are there to conduct heat away from the mattress surface. Therefore, the reality is that these all have a ‘cooling technology’ story, rather than a temperature regulating one. Therma~Phase contains phase change gel crystals that are designed to store and release heat at predetermined levels, and is thus able to regulate the mattress surface temperature. Temperature is maintained via the infinitely reversible phase change abilities of the material, as it absorbs or releases heat when it is in contact with a body and the surface temperature is higher or lower than the target temperature range. Kaymed are the exclusive partner in the UK of the US inventor of these technologies, and, without these phase change materials, true temperature regulation is, quite simply, unachievable. Consequently, we are

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Crown, part of Kaymed’s Therma~Phase collection comfortable in claiming that only Kaymed can offer truly temperature-regulating foam materials. We have recently been informed by some of our stockists that certain “budget manufacturers” are inferring that we supply them with either gel-infused or phase change gel-infused materials. Clearly, these manufacturers have realised how far ahead we are of the market and are attempting to gain credibility by claiming such an association to our business. My advice to all retailers would be to give any mattress manufacturer claiming that we supply them with gel foams a very wide berth, on the basis that if it sounds too good to be true, then it clearly is. How has fresh demand helped the business? In the last 12 months alone our workforce has grown by 50%, and we have added almost 100,000ft2 of extra space, as well as new machinery, so that we have sufficient capacity in place to meet our current growth rates and be able to guarantee lead times of three to four weeks. How is Kaymed helping its stockists deliver such a technical concept? In addition to a suite of PoS material and an interactive website, our in-store touch tray allows the consumer to actually see how Therma~Phase works to remove surface heat

almost immediately. It’s incredibly impressive to witness, and makes Therma~Phase the only technology used in beds that you can physically demonstrate in store. We also train our retail partners to explain our – reasonably technical – story in the simplest way possible. How is Kaymed approaching this issue differently to its competitors? By working with the original US inventor, who not only conceived of this technology but continually brings us new ideas to tap into. Being vertically integrated and owning one of only four foam-manufacturing facilities in the British Isles is obviously a massive advantage, as we could move from concept to market in a matter of weeks if we ever desired. We are not dependent on third party suppliers to bring ideas to us and, as a consequence, we will always be several steps ahead of any competitor as this technology continues to grow and dominate the market. We firmly believe that within five years all premium foams will incorporate both cooling and temperature-regulating technologies. We sincerely believe this will be the biggest revolution in our industry since the introduction of memory foams in the late 1990s, and we are honoured to be pioneering these new technologies here in the UK. W

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DG Dining, Kettle Interiors

Stools and Carvers, Woodman Chairs

Stools and Carvers, Woodman Chairs

Mellow One

Sharing the same grey truffle painted finish and contrasting oak top as its sister collection, DG Dining from Kettle Interiors (01536 444960) captures effortless country style and is a result of the success of the bedroom range launched late 2015. Featuring wood and metal knobs with every piece, DG Dining gives a richer customer experience than similar collections, allowing a little touch of individuality across its 21-strong breadth. Including three extending dining tables, three different styles of sideboards and a range of occasional items, DG Dining is in stock and ready to order.

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Woodman Chairs (www.woodmanchairs. is a dedicated chair manufacturer which offers a wide choice of chair styles, finishes and seat options. It also offers bespoke production to customers’ own design in both oak and beech, raw or finished. Always keen to innovate, Woodman Chairs has recently added Carver dining chairs to its collection and has expanded its range of bar stools to include rush seated and fabric pad options. Woodman Chairs offers honest quality, affordable prices, quick lead times and no minimum order.

Mellow One Furniture (0800 061 4394) is a new wholesaler selling living, dining and bedroom ranges in wood and painted wood. At the Manchester Furniture Show, the company will be providing opening show offers for all customers visiting its stand, D78. Mellow One’s main purpose for the show is the launch of its new ranges Lilybrook and Cognac Oak. Lilybrook is a competitivelypriced painted living, dining and bedroom range in cream and grey, with a light oak top. Cognac Oak is a lacquered rustic oak range with deeper tones, again competitively priced. >>>

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M&P Chairs holds extensive stocks ready for delivery

Howlambs produces furniture made from reclaimed timbers

M&P Chairs (M&P, www.mandpchairs., established by Mike and Paul Hodgson, has been trading for two years in the import and wholesale distribution of quality European beech and oak chairs. Mike has been involved in the furniture industry for approximately 40 years – he was the founder of the Country Pine Furniture Group (CPW) based in Rye, East Sussex. Mike’s brother Paul joined the new business

following a career in the international finance sector. M&P offers a wide range of products including traditional farmhouse chairs, shaker chairs, restaurant chairs, bar stools and kitchen stools. The majority of the range of products offered are held in stock. M&P also offers finishing services, with a large choice of wax, lacquer and paint finishes. Howlambs (0115 953 2106) started building

furniture for the trade around 15 years ago. Its knowledge and experience comes from an array of different surroundings – along with the UK, the team has spent a lot of time in Sydney, Australia. The company offers something new and fresh, using some of the latest technology in hardware from Austria to coincide with the striking materials it uses – over 100-year-old reclaimed timbers. >>>

Beautiful Armchairs - Current Best Sellers

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Fiddle Back Rocking Chair Ref. 127

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Hammersmith chair in a tartan fabric alongside Bromley dining table, Serene Living

The Dining Collection by Serene Living (0121 505 0270, has been considerably extended in a new brochure recently published by the Midlands-based firm. The Dining Collection launched to a good reception at last year’s Manchester Furniture Show. Along with the launch of the Recliner Collection, it represented long-established bedstead supplier Serene’s move into new areas of the home furnishing market. Serene’s founder Tasleem Tasab says: “I am very proud of the new Dining Collection brochure, which stands as one of our largest and most diverse brochures to date – there really is something for every taste, budget and home, and provides retailers with every opportunity of making a sale.” The extended collection comprises a range of dining tables and chairs in an eclectic mix of styles, complemented by a palette of fabric colours in plains, tartans, stripes and florals. Table finishes remain in oak and walnut, with customers able to create their own unique look by choosing chair legs to match and chairs upholstered in one or several fabric colourways, including supple faux leather. A number of occasional pieces is also available, including sideboards, coffee and lamp tables

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Manufacturing sofas in the UK

Extensive furniture at competitive rates! UK LONDON manufacturer of fabric sofas, leather sofas, corner sofas and sofa beds ideal for the modern home, hotel and boutique guesthouses. • Contract furniture and offers for the discerning hotel and contract market • Beds - Bunk Beds, divan, leather, metal frame and pine frame beds. Extensive collection • Living Room furniture and sofas made in the UK • Italian leather living and dining sets

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212 Pedestal Extender

Upholstered Oxford X Back

Pine Extending Table Sizes 208 Legged Oval / 110 x 80cm / Open 146 x 80

Cottage Low

209 Legged D End / 140 x 90cm / 180 x 90 212 Pedestal / 107cm round / 147cm 214 Farmhouse / 140 x 90cm / 180 x 90 218 Double Pedestal / 153 x 106cm / 194 x 106 all available ITW

Clarke Stool & Amish

High Kitchen Table & Clarke Stool

Amish Solid Seat

x-back Bistro Rush

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X-back Bistro Solid

Bretton Rush Seat

Amish Upholstered Seat

Bretton Solid Seat

Liége Solid

Farmhouse Slats

Liége Upholstered Seat

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Rustica Rush Seat


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Harrington Upholstered

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Howard Upholstered



This chair is due for a September launch Contact us for further information

This chair is due for a September launch Contact us for further information

Dijon 1220 x 750 4/6/8 Seater Extends to 2220 x 750 Also available in 1400 x 900 4/8/12 seater Extends to 2500

Provence Solid

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Dijon 90 4/6 Seater 90 x90 closed Extends to 160 x 90 Provence Upholstered

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Provence Rush

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Claridge armchair, Collins and Hayes

Wardley Oak, Heritage

Heritage Furniture (01254 660777) focuses on quality and keen prices. This is why the company designs all its ranges in-house and it only deals with specifically-chosen manufacturers that share its commitment to offering fine furniture crafted with skill and care. Wardley Oak is a Shaker-inspired style that mixes waxed oak in a simple form, enhancing the natural look of the grain. With furniture for the whole house, from coffee tables to bedside tables, bookcases and console tables, this elegant range is typified by its rounded corners, tapered legs and small wooden and brass antique handles giving an on-trend retro look. Heritage knows that in the furniture industry it is important to maintain a relevant offer. The company likes to be at the forefront of design so that it has the most upto-date offering for its customers. Using the results from extensive research, Heritage analyses trends and customer results before embarking on a new design with ideas sketched out and prototypes made. Only

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Osby Oak, Heritage

Carmen, Sweet Dreams

then, when the company is finally happy, will these be made available. Inspired by Scandinavian design, Heritage’s Osby Oak teams rounded-off corners, tapered legs and smart recessed handles in a hand wax finish across living and dining ranges. Contemporary designs with a degree of retro styling characterise four sofas from Sweet Dreams (01282 830033, www. that are selling well – Carmen, Etro, Vantage and Penny Lane. The glamorous Carmen, boasting wide curvy arms and an angled back, comes in a three-seater, two-seater, chair and footstool. With a hardwood frame, it uses Duratech carded fibre in the seat cushions for longlasting resilience and support. Formerly sold under their Comfort Zone Sofas name, the modern range of Britishmade upholstery is now part of the Sweet Dreams collection. Carmen, along with the other retro models, is made in Lancashire and is available for delivery to home or store within seven to 10 days. At the outset of 2015, upholstery brand

Collins and Hayes (01424 720027, www. urged the trade to fall in love with its new direction, as the hithertotraditional upholstery manufacturer took a brave step into the contemporary market. This year’s January show saw the company present a refinement of that new concept, in the form of a more considered collection of comfort-driven sofas and chairs, and Collins and Hayes has built upon it since, introducing new models most recently at Long Point in May. Brand stockists are now offered classic and contemporary shapes in both fabric and leather. Striving for even greater comfort, the manufacturer utilises exclusively non-backcoated natural fibres – a small detail which yields pleasing results. “Our direction is far more driven towards supporting the independents with higher value, higher quality products,” says MD Matt O’Flynn of the company’s evolution. “The main thing we’ve achieved is giving Collins and Hayes a recognisable position in the marketplace.” >>>

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Oasis in silver, Lano

Dresser, Qingdao Murong Jinxiu

Qingdao Murong Jinxiu ( is a family-run furniture manufacturer in China. It is far from new to the market, with over 20 years of experience making high quality solid oak furniture, exporting mostly to the UK. As well as providing its own ranges, the company can produce to clients’ specifications. This business has no Chinese sales operations, and is looking to expand its reach and welcomes enquiries from wholesalers and importers. The Touch of Luxury collection from Lano (00800 5266 5266, celebrates the diversity of the manufacturer’s premium residential styles with elegant

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Metro, Casa Bella Upholstery

SmartStrand, polyamide, bamboo and wool carpets. Including Lano’s 100% pure new wool qualities in Mayfair Velvet and Mayfair Velvet Supreme, Oasis and Mirage, Touch of Luxury proves that wool has a place alongside the current fashion for super-soft yarns and contemporary silk effects. “Wool is undoubtedly still the consumer’s favoured pick with industry campaigns refocusing the attention on this natural fibre,” comments Birger Karlsson, sales director UK, Lano. “That’s why it forms a mainstay in the Touch of Luxury collection, a desirable and sought-after classic carpeting choice that endures through fads and fashion and always remains timelessly elegant.”

The collection features a dense velvet with Mayfair Velvet (1365g/m2) and Mayfair Velvet Supreme (1890g/m2), as well as two stylish loop piles in Oasis and Mirage – in all, 58 different pure wool options are available. The Touch of Luxury collection is available in a high-impact wall unit. All Touch of Luxury carpets are also available as a bespoke rug with two edging options. Casa Bella Upholstery, (01254 661661) based in Blackburn, Lancashire, is a dynamic manufacturer of fabric, sofas and chairs with over three decades of specialising in bespoke and made-to-measure sofas, chairs and corner units supplying retailers throughout the UK and Ireland. >>>

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For everything you need to know about


Find out how membership of the Furniture Industry Research Association can benefit your business T: 01438 777 700 E:

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The company’s commitment is to provide an excellent service to its clients and end user with a philosophy that each individual piece of furniture is bench made with pride and care by its skilled in-house upholsterers and staff. Many of Casa Bella’s designs are well established commercially and use the latest trend fabrics without the brand name price tag. If customers should need their sofa a few inches bigger or smaller, the seats firmer or softer, it is not a problem – the company will make it to specific requirements. Casa Bella offers fabrics from various suppliers including Warwick Fabrics, J Brown

Everyday Country

Danube, Everyday Country

Fabrics, Covertex and Ross Fabrics. Everyday Country (00353 876 783899, is now supplying its popular Danube range in two painted finishes – French grey and white – and it is now available wholesale from its

Dublin warehouse. Over 40 ranges are available FOB Vietnam in mixed containers with no minimum order quantities. Everyday Country also supplies wholesale product to the whole of the UK and Ireland

Jacobs International British Suppliers of Furniture Containers

iture a Furn Coron Specialist t Impor

We offer direct container furniture deliveries to the customer’s warehouse!

Executive ranges of large volume clients

Product and development services

• •

Testing and quality assurance A step by step Quality Control Procedures, from production to shipment

ebsite New W oon S g n i m Co

Handling, Shipping, and scheduling

Compliance with special packaging requirements

Product delivered direct to customer warehouse

20’ or 40’ Containers Available

Product mixing container capabilities

Competitive pricing and volume

Quality, Innovation and Reliable

Extensive global network, Jacobs International is able to source products from certified supply base from many different countries

Soothill Business Park, Soothill Lane, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 6LJ, United Kingdom Tel: + 44 (0) 1924 420 727 E-Mail: Jacobs International v2.indd 1

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Casa B

CASA BELLA FURNISHINGS Bespoke upholstery manufacturers Retail stockist wanted in UK & Ireland

A Little bit about us.... Casa Bella upholstery based in Blackburn Lancashire is a dynamic fabric sofas and chairs manufacturer with over three decades of specialising in bespoke and made to measure sofas chairs and corner units supplying retailers throughout UK & Ireland.

- Suites from £449-£999 - New designs and fabrics for 2016 - Made to measure and bespoke service

Our commitment is to provide an excellent service to our clients and end user with a philosophy that each individual piece of furniture is bench made with pride and care by our skilled in house upholsterers and staff. Many of our designs are well established commercially and ongoing with latest trend fabrics without the brand name price tag. Need your sofa a few inches bigger or smaller, Seats firmer or softer or even like a park bench is not a problem. We will make it to your requirements and lifestyle. We offer fabrics from various suppliers including Warwick Fabrics, J Brown Fabrics, Cover-Tex, Ross Fabrics, J S Singletons, Lynn Bowman , Talbot Textiles, Tabatex, Rosemount Fabrics, Phoenix Fabrics, Cristina Marrone and Balmoral Textiles. So we pretty much got it covered when it comes to choosing that fabric for all budgets.

Tel: 01254 661661 | 07720 073043 | Fax: 01254 661802 | Email: Well connected Representative wanted.

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What’s New?


After 3 years of rapid growth and careful expansion Signature Sofas is celebrating its success by launching its brand new concept “Container Share”. This is the only way to buy 100% leather upholstery in the future to stay ahead of your competition. We have thought long and hard about what a Retailer would want from a Wholesaler. After long discussions and calculations, we have decided to give a selected number of retailers in the UK the opportunity to buy at container prices without having to buy a complete container and without having to pay for and store a complete container. We are still offering all our current models of our “Tried and Tested” range but at heavily discounted prices, up to 33% off our list price on certain models and combinations.


Never before has this been done. You the retailer can benefit from our ability to source and supply genuine, quality leather upholstery at low prices. You can take advantage of our experience and expertise, and be safe in the knowledge you are in good hands. We have spent the last 36 months evaluating our models to give you our bestselling models, leather categories, colours and accessories. Furthermore, we’ve simplified our pricelist, showing all comparisons and savings. Our “Tried and Tested” Range means no more experiments, just guaranteed performance.

RADFORD 3+2 £862*


* Prices may change due to USD($) exchange fluctuatuion

* Prices may change due to USD($) exchange fluctuatuion


Our Findings and Experience As a retailer we know that space is at a premium and that models that don’t repeat block floor space and ultimately cost you money. This is the reason why we have researched long and hard to produce this catalogue of our bestselling models. During our experimental phase we have found that retailers who placed 3-6 of our models on their sales floor did particularly well and much better than those with just 1or 2 models, however retailers that placed more than 6 models did exceptionally well as this gave their customers a much bigger range to select from. Customers who placed more than 10 models on their floor have enjoyed phenomenal sales and Profits as they have been paying “Container Prices” by ordering direct containers at up to 25% discount, however you can now buy at even lower prices than our previous Container Prices through “Container Share”.




* Prices may change due to USD($) exchange fluctuatuion


It is like buying direct from the factory, without the hassle and outlay. Can you imagine telling your customers that they can now choose any leather to go on any model, in any combination, with an option to add reclining mechanisms, footstools etc. With this concept why would you not convert the whole of your leather showroom into a Container Share showroom as we are confident you are not going to be able to buy comparable quality at lower prices anywhere else? You become the Importer. We have several customers who have done exactly this and are enjoying sales and profits never seen before. It really can change your whole business.

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Now there is a better way to buy top quality Leather Upholstery at really low prices without having to buy and store a complete container.

“CONTAINER SHARE” by Signature Sofas.

It’s the new way to buy!


Level the playing field again when you become part of the family at Signature Sofas. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pay container prices just like the big boys for single orders? Yes, you read right for single orders! Well now you can. It really is possible to enjoy discounts of between 20%-33%. Are you frustrated for having to sell at reduced margins just to compete! Well now you don’t have to thanks to the brand new way to buy. You can choose from over 18 top selling models, in any combination, 3-seaters, 2-seaters, Chairs, Corner Groups Etc. In any leather category, cat 100, cat 200, cat 300, with any Reclining Mechanism, Manual, Electric, USB or Static (no reclining action), the choice is yours. We are turning on its head how business has been done for years.

CONTAINER SHARE METHOD SAVING YOU £100’S PER ORDER AND £1000’S OVER TIME. No PVC, No Bonded, No PU, No Buffalo.100% pure top leather and 100% pure split leather.


Cat 100 - Corrected Grain (South American) Cat 200 - Semi Aniline (South American) Cat 300 – Semi Aniline (thick Italian) Manual Rec / Electric Rec / USB Rec

You would normally pay your supplier a wholesale price comprising of the following Typical Uk Wholesaler 3RR+2RR

Signature List Price 3RR+2RR

Container List Price 3RR+2RR

FOB Price (Factory Price) + Freight (Shipping Costs) + Wholesaler Profit Margin (Usually 25%-35%) + Service Optional (Approx £10 Per Seat) + Transport Optional (Approx £15 Per Seat) + Agents Commission (Usually 5%) =



















Total Price



Savings with Container Share

£430 (34% Discount)

£340 (29% Discount)


Optional - Transport (£15 per seat anywhere mainland uk) or agreed price per load depending on mileage (£18 NI, £20 ROI) Optional - Service Charge (£10 Per Seat) * Prices may change due to USD($) exchange fluctuatuion

What We’ve Changed

• Brand new website, with all downloadable forms required.

• Brand New concept for buying imported leather upholstery with “Container Share”.

• PDF version of our new catalogue on our website.

• New simplified pricelist showing all comparisons and savings including percentage discounts for all leather categories and combinations.

• New USB electric recliner. (New for 2016 currently no other UK wholesaler is using this unique feature which allows your customers to recharge any USB devices using the port located on the recliner control button).

PLEASE CALL OUR DEDICATED TEAM ON 0843 178 0800 NOW FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO BECOME PART OF CONTAINER SHARE. Signature Sofas Ltd Charles House, Dawley Brook Road, Kingswinford, DY6 7BD Tel: +44 (0) 843 178 0800 Email: Fax: +44 (0) 843 178 0789 Web:

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Louis de Poortere’s Tailor Made service facilitates bespoke rug creation

Renowned carpet and rug manufacturer Louis de Poortere (info@depoorterelouis. com, presents its refreshed Tailor Made service for the innovative individual, offering the ability to create bespoke rugs from any of the company’s 15 broadloom designs. Through the Tailor Made service, retailers can offer customers a more creative approach to rug choice, whether opting for the inspirational 100% wool of Richelieu Velours,

or the flatweave look of the wool/cotton mix of Willow. The 15 broadlooms are all stocked for fast turnaround, primed for hand-finishing into rugs of up to 5m in length. The customer can then look to over 40 binding options, choosing from a host of qualities and colours, mixing and matching hues, plus ultra-fine binding options available for a subtle touch that allows the design of the rug body to shine through. They can explore the art of mixing different

Stardust, JAB rug effects, and even different pile heights – or making shapes such as geometrics with gaps to break up the look. The price is set by multiplying the m2 value by the Tailor Made rate. Stardust from JAB ( is a dynamic collection of vivid and colourful viscose rugs. The hero piece and namesake of the collection, Stardust, is inspired by the Indian Holi Festival of Colour and depicts an explosion of expressive colour

HOWLAMBS Bespoke Furniture & Kitchens Suppliers to the trade for over 15 years Reclaimed timber furniture specialists T: 0115 9532106 • M: 07521 461004

E: Howlambs Advert V2.indd 1

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Over 100 Years of Results & Profits!

“I am following up on the recent Lynch Sales event held in de Gruchy to say thanks for a great result, beating our sales and gross margin targets as well as coming in under budget on Marketing!” Neville Moore • Managing Director de Gruchy, St. Helier • 10th May 2016

“We appreciate we are a very small business and that as an income earner for Lynch we were never going to compare to the higher turnover companies that you have successfully worked with. However at no point in the whole process were we ever made to feel small or unimportant. On the contrary every avenue and detail was entered into in meticulous detail to ensure the success of the event.” Alan & Clive Brooks and the Clements Team Clements, Watford • 4th May 2016

“….. when you want a job doing to the highest standards delivering top results you need to have the best people around you to help.” Andy Burgess • Managing Director Furniture & Bedding Superstore • 11th April 2016

To learn more, call Gareth Price today for a complete outline, including a copy of our easy-to-understand, one-page contract, or visit

Most People Want To... ORGANISE




Contact Steely for brochures & prices

0161 702 7002

Contact Gareth Price Tel: 07974 209761

Ask for leaflets

Designed to work... Built to last.

Copyright 2016 Lynch Brothers Licensing Corporation

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Container-loads of Olympic furniture are available to buy now via B-Stock FurniBox from Lift Safe

Folding suite stands, Steely Products

Furniture and fixtures to be used by athletes residing at the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Village are going up for online auction before the games have even begun, reports online marketplace manager B-Stock Solutions ( Olympic sponsor RGS Events, the Official FF&E project manager of the games, is selling bulk quantities of furniture, fixtures and equipment from athlete apartments and sporting venues, including 20,000 beds, 10,000 wardrobes, 42,000 tables and 135,000 chairs. Everything will be available via the B-Stock Events marketplace at https://events. “This is a unique opportunity for business buyers around the globe to purchase items used by some of the world’s top athletes,” says RGS’ Paul Ramler. “Wholesalers, resellers or organisations in need of bulk quantities of furniture and fixtures are all encouraged to bid on these pieces of Olympic history.” RGS Events was responsible for designing, prototyping, managing quality control, procuring, shipping, and project managing the warehousing, assembly, delivery,

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installation, maintenance, retrieval and disposal of items in the 18,000 athlete apartments and games venues. All the furniture is of commercial quality and has only been used for a limited time in Rio. Steely Products (0161 702 7002, www. produces a wide variety of trolleys, stands and other metal products for the industry, to be utilised for storing, transporting and displaying furniture. The company was established in 1970 as a small, family-run metal fabrication business. Continuously building its efficiency – and, consequently, its competitiveness – Steely served its customer base with consistent quality and service. Steely’s team continues to build solid and respected relationships with customers, and the same respect is extended to suppliers, which benefit from Steely’s prompt payment practice. Lift Safe ( has supplied more than 650 of its FurniBox mobile furniture storage systems to one of the UK’s largest high street retailers as it looks to transform its warehouse operations.

Using FurniBox saves on labour costs – one man can transport a three-piece suite rather than needing six to carry it. Easy to push around on castors, the cart also helps reduce lost working hours due to employee injuries such as back strain. Most importantly, the system protects furniture in storage and transit, minimising losses from damage. Furthermore, it helps with stock-picking accuracy – a customer’s entire order can be picked and stored in FurniBoxes for collection. Jerry Hanss, MD of Lift Safe, says: “All retailers know that unfortunately the majority of damage to high-value items like furniture happens during handling in the warehouse. “FurniBox is a low-cost, simple method of preventing damage, improving pick accuracy and reducing manpower in furniture warehouse and retail applications. We are delighted that one of the biggest names on the high street has recognised the return on investment that FurniBox delivers, and are already in discussions with several other >>> major retail chains.”

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Stroolmount’s Move It pads – just one of the protection products on offer

Stroolmount ( offers retailers an exclusive range of award-winning floor and furniture protection products, from Quickclick interchangeable glides and selfadhesive cushioning felt, to scratch and dent repair kits and Move It pads to safely move furniture around the showroom, home or office. Offering an extensive range of furniture and flooring protection accessories, Stroolmount offers solutions for hiding expansion gaps around radiator pipes, helping reduce furniture leg impressions, stabilising wobbly furniture or keeping doors open safely. The company also offers own-brand products for large furniture and flooring manufacturers and retailers. Bonds Home Delivery Service (07545 002126, specialises in high-grade transport and home delivery for the furniture industry, holding national contracts with many home furniture suppliers. Already covering the areas of London, Essex, Cambridge, Suffolk, Norfolk, Kent and Milton Keynes, the company is opening up a new distribution centre in Newmarket to cover the rest of the UK. Bonds is also increasing its fleet by six vehicles. The company’s sales manager Stephen Bond is on hand to take on any delivery enquiries, and can be contacted using the details above

half page landscape ad.pdf 1 23/06/2016 12:00:21










We offer a fully comprehensive delivery and installation with, the option of disassembly and reassembly service. This will include unwrapping of Sofas. You are in safe hands with our fully trained and insured delivery staff, with unrivalled customer service and help available just a phone call away.

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URGENT? Call head of sales direct 07506 579 780 Call the office on 01638 560065


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Full p

AWARD WINNING PROTECTIVE PACKAGING FOR MATTRESSES AND FURNITURE unts r disco e d r o Bulk logo spoke le e b d n a ab g avail printin

- Reuse up to 70 times - Reduce damage and Packaging Costs - Improve Manual Handling

Range also includes; Kitchen Worktop Covers Furniture Lifting System The Britwrap concept can be adapted to protect almost any product.Enquire for bespoke applications

Designed and supplied by Weir & Carmichael LTD

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100-130 St Johns Road, Bootle, Merseyside, L20 8BH Tel: 0151 934 1250 email: Web:

29/06/2016 22/06/201513:07 10:54



TRADE SERVICES Photographing furniture

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and this is certainly the case for anyone selling furniture. Aesthetically, a good piece of furniture should speak for itself, but it’s up to the photographer to capture that beauty for all to see. Mark Richardson is the business relationship manager of 2020 Perfect Vision, a Leeds-based photographic studio that specialises in product marketing. In this article, he explains why furniture photography requires a specific approach, and how the team at 2020 achieves the best results …

Picture perfect How did 2020 come to be? 2020 was established in 2006. From day one we knew that to realistically deliver the level of service required by manufacturers and importers of large products, we would need a bespoke skill set and studio space that was fit for purpose. The choice of premises for our studio was based on two key factors – accessibility and size. Accessibility not only covers the logistics of our clients being able to easily reach our studio (we are located 10 minutes from the intersection of two of the country’s commercially busiest motorways), but the ability to get the product from the transport and into the studio. A 6000ft2 ground floor studio with roller shutter access seemed to fit the bill – and, a decade later, it continues to work brilliantly for our team. The 2020 team bring a broad range of experience from the commercial photography and creative marketing sector, with a couple of members of the team old enough to have experienced the challenges of shooting film commercially on 35mm, 120 and large format. How important is good product photography? That’s a great question. I believe to understand what is ‘good’, two main areas need to be qualified – that which is technically good, and what is good in terms of support for the brand or product’s ideology. Good technical application of furniture photography consists of a high level understanding of both product and light. When we present our products in anything other than their best light, we instantly diminish their perceived value. The furniture industry has a bespoke set of requirements when undertaking photography – both form and function are required to exist within a single image. The intended viewer is required to understand your product and its intended function. Our team has many years’ applied experience in this practice. It’s the outcome of attending hundreds of meetings, drinking a lot of coffee and taking the time to understand the essence of the product such as its construction, operation, finish and intended use. When we are addressing the concept of the representation of product or brand ideology, it’s key to understand place. Place consists of a series of preset guidelines which form an identity that both company and consumer can comfortably relate to. Hence the saying, “everything in its place”. Key factors of place include environment (room setting, etc), related supporting products and props (value given by association), placement (within the frame, angle of view, prominence) and lighting. A beautifully (appropriately) lit image will take your product from manufactured item to being an object of desire – that is, as long as you use the correct lighting for your brand. It would be incredibly easy to alienate your target audience by the use of inappropriate lighting.

“Issues tend to arise when you try to replicate bespoke, top-end roomset photography on an entry-level budget”

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“This image was created as an accompanying insert shot. Its primary purpose was to complement the main hero image by focusing on a single product. The angle and positioning of the product within the frame, the choice of lens used and understated use of props, are the result of a collaboration between client, photographer and stylist. “When seeking to create images that have this luxury lifestyle finish, it’s important to address what feels right. On this occasion, we focused on mood lighting to give an editorial feel. There is a complex set of procedures that have been employed here to provide the client with an aspirational outcome.” There is an old adage that states “you are what you say you are”. As retailers and suppliers, we are ultimately responsible for the message that we broadcast. What risks accompany doing this on a budget? Careful budget allocation is key to a successful photographic campaign. It is completely possible to generate simple, good quality photography on a budget. After all, every project is shot to a budget. However, not all budgets support where we would like to be in terms of image grandeur. Issues tend to arise when you try to

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Photographing furniture TRADE SERVICES | 133 “When we present our products in anything other than their best light, we instantly diminish their perceived value” replicate bespoke, top-end roomset photography on an entry-level budget. It’s also really important to have a clear understanding of your intended message. Does your target market require a descriptive white background product image, or do they need to be romanced with a concept of place and aspiration? Do you really need your entire range photographed, or just key pieces? What skills could you or your team provide to offset project cost? Could you loan or hire suitable props from friends and family rather than buying them? How would cutting corners affect the final outcome? How do you go about organising a shoot? Start with the finish. What’s the deadline for the project? Bear in mind that receiving your images from your chosen studio is not usually the final stage. Are your images required for a print deadline? A product launch date? A new website launch? Part of a company rebranding exercise? What’s the lead time required by the processes that follow your photography shoot? Start the conversation with the studio asap. Explain that you may have a project in the pipeline and an approximate date that it might happen. Any potential timescale clashes with the studio’s other clients can be highlighted at that time. Ask the correct questions: when do the studio require your product?

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Do your products require assembly upon delivery? Does your product require a specialist to assemble them, or will the studio be expected to do this? Bear in mind that the studio will more than likely have to pay a member of their team to do this – would it me more cost effective for you to have a driver or installer do this? What is the lead time for sourcing/manufacturing the furniture that requires photographing? How is the furniture being delivered to the studio – will you have to arrange a third party to cover this? If so, what’s their availability to deliver on your behalf? Does your chosen studio have the required space to store large items of furniture prior to your shoot? Who is responsible for QC and product-checking your items upon arrival at the studio? How does your approach vary according to the photos’ intended use and publication platform? One of the first questions that your chosen studio should ask is “what and when do you need the images for?” This information helps our studio team advise our clients on the options that are available to them. >>> “This king-size bed has been dressed to reflect the final purpose of the product. The viewer does not see the construction of the product. “This was a deliberate decision. The viewer is invited to look at the product within a fitting, traditional room set. Although the large bed is clearly the point of focus, it is supported by the inclusion of other items from the same range. This allows the customer to visualise the range in their own home. “The use of soft lighting and additional props helps portray that message, whilst highlighting subtle details within the product.”

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TRADE SERVICES Photographing furniture

Simple things to consider include: how much negative space is required outside of the main products? What format or aspect ratio is required? What are the biggest challenges facing professional photographic agencies today? Factoring in the costs of roomset builds for projects – creating bespoke roomsets is a time-consuming process. New clients may not be aware of quite how much is involved with this. Next, there’s the use of the phrase “can you just…” as a way of negating hours of additional work. Finally, there are those overseas factories which photograph products at their production plants. … and the biggest opportunities? Most of the opportunities arise from technological developments. Today, we have the ability to show our clients real-time, on-screen images in the studio as the shoot progresses. We have the ability to liaise with our clients in real time if they cannot make it to the studio on the day of the shoot. This potentially gives our clients a broader range of dates when we can work together. We can offer same-day, worldwide, digital product delivery, and the global village provides the potential of a global client base. There’s a broader array of post-processing and multimedia output options. These include image adaptation – opportunities for digitally changing elements within an image can help us save our clients both time and money. Two examples of this would be colour and fabric

“I learned a lot more by listening than I ever did by talking”

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“This image was shot for both web and print applications. Stylistically, we were tasked with matching the product with a suitable roomset environment. A strong piece of furniture often requires room to breathe within the image. “Our photographer has chosen lighting that has helped to bring out both detail and textures within the product, and the bed and roomset have been lightly propped by our stylist to accentuate the design values of the product. “You will notice that none of the props are directly linked to the product range itself. However, they all have a slightly retro feel, and have been matched by using a bold, yet limited, colour palette. The value of employing a stylist with industry-specific knowledge for the duration of your shoot should never be overlooked.”

changes that can be digitally applied to the product photography that we undertake. Finally, there’s the ability to provide cost-effective product videos that can be created as part of the main photography shoot, helping our clients save time and money by negating additional set-build fees and additional prop hire charges. What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned? Flexibility. The dinosaurs died out because they failed to respond to external changes. I have learned that you need to adapt to the ever-changing markets in which you work. 2020 have grown by being flexible enough to meet our clients’ ever-changing needs. The extended range of services that we now provide reflects this. >>>

29/06/2016 13:07


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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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given a fair chance to shine, then clear it and replace it with a “I have foundline. Greenwood to be a greatthe pleasure to deal better performing Test Retail and measure selling potential with over many years. They have proved to be both reliable and of all your products in a Greenwood Sale. effective.” Donald Dixon, M.D., Dixons Department Stores.

• SELLING SKILLS - Get good at selling. Most retailers “[7 figure] Sales Target Hit in Three Weeks! We are Delighted.”

William Browne, M.D., Rodgersorofsales York. training. The don’t bother with a proper sales process successful ones do! Invest time and money in quality sales “Our Seventh Greenwood Sale equalled a remarkable 35% of know-how. Call Greenwood arrange anweeks!” effective sales our annual turnover to during the three training course. Philip Heath, Dir. of Trading, Sturtons & Tappers.

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two and a half weeks! ” they are offering. Avoid all-out price wars. Be sure to out-do Neil Barker, M.D., Barkers of Sheffield. your competition on the most relevant beneficial USP’s final sales total equalled end of Call the original including“The choice, quality, value the andhigher service. Greenwood projections! As forcompetitors. your Sales Manager, to be honest, I could to mystery shop your not imagine there could be anyone as good as the guy you sent.” Richard Barsley. M. D., Barsleys Department Store, Kent.

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Every good retailer from Tesco to Harrod’s does. Consider using a ‘Greenwood’ salesHIRE promotion to increase sales, UNTIL turn stock into “DON’T A SALES COMPANY cash andYOU win HAVE future market share, protecting your profit SPOKEN TOwhile GREENWOOD…” at the same time. Call Greenwood!

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TRADE SERVICES Photographing furniture

Also, I have found that I learned a lot more by listening than I ever did by talking.

Mark’s top tips

Finally, who inspires your photography? Since my student days I have always been interested in the work of photographers who tell a story, whether via single or multiple images. I’m particularly keen on the work of the Magnum Photography Agency (worth looking up on your lunch break if you are not familiar with them!). It would also be prudent to highlight the skills of the 2020 studio team. The collective knowledge that they have to share with our clients is, in many ways, unique. Photographing furniture can be a challenge – but when you get it right, the results speak for >>> themselves!

Looking to achieve the best results from a shoot? Mark reveals the top five considerations to bear in mind:

“Product is king! In this image there can be no mistaking which item is given prominence. This chest of drawers is a solid, well-built piece of furniture, and is portrayed as such, and highlighted by a couple of key considerations – its position within the frame, and the angle of view chosen. “A combination of soft light along the front of the product and the retention of detail within the area in shadow along the side helps illustrate depth within both the product and its finish. “When shot against a white background, products of this magnitude could potentially seem imposing to the viewer. However, when lightly propped within an aspirational roomset, you can help convey the grandeur of a product without alienating a section of your customer base by making the image too masculine. It’s always important to consider how everyone within your target market will relate to your images.”

1. Consider the final medium in which it will be displayed. Complex or busy images displayed in a small area are typically difficult to read. 2. Ensure the clarity of your intended message – what exactly are you trying to say, and to whom? 3. Descriptive images versus lifestyle shots – do you require images for an online shop, trade publication, or for a Sunday supplement? These are good places in which to find very different images of very similar products. 4. Know your target audience, and how and where to engage with them. 5. Storyboard! Make sure that your chosen studio has a clear understanding of your required outcome. Provide them with as much information as you possibly can during the planning stages – such as a shot list, have a clear theme for roomset styling and supporting props. A reputable studio will be able to provide you with everything from a choice of Pantone paint colour on the walls to professional models and industry-specific stylists. It pays to understand that correct pre-photography planning is a key factor in achieving a top-end outcome.









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TRADE SERVICES Photographing furniture

“Everything about this image is bold. Let’s start with the product – a large corner sofa in a rich blue colour. From the physical size of the product to the colour and choice of fabric, it’s a confident statement in furniture design.

within the frame, with the viewpoint slightly above the product to highlight the depth of the piece. The lighting is both creative and descriptive, picking out detail within the form and finish of the product.

“The 2020 team were tasked with producing an image that represented this ethos. The photographer has positioned the sofa square-on

“Our stylist has chosen to use contrasting shapes, textures and colours to complement the sofa and offer a ‘less is more’ approach

to styling. The large circular rugs soften the foreground and lead the eye into the key area of interest. To allow your product to take centre stage, you need to understand the importance of balance within an image. Did you spot the subtle replication of colour in the flowers on the far side of the photograph? Irrespective of product shape or size, great product photography is all about the details.”

Author bio – Mark Richardson “My interest in photography started at high school, where it was a module within my art classes,” says Mark. “From the moment I saw the black and white image appear in the developing tray, I was hooked! “I went on to study full time for two years for a BTEC ND in photography at Bourneville School of Art. I supported myself through the course by working part time in photographic retail. “Upon completion of the course, I moved down south to undertake a BA (Hons) degree in photography at the London Institute (LCP). During my first year there I joined the AOP (Association of Photographers) as a

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student member, working as a photographic assistant in every role from tea boy through to first assistant. Over the next three years, I was able to learn key aspects of the industry from the studio floor level. “On completing my degree, I moved on to work across several different areas of the industry, from editorial, education and charity, to my current position in the commercial sector. With 2020, I spend the majority of my week working as a conduit between the studio and our client base. “This ultimately involves site visits to clients’ premises, studio meetings, and attending related trade events. I find having

regular contact with our clients helps to develop a greater understanding of their current and future requirements.” T 0113 272 0277 W

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Our extensive just got With more designs in more material combinations than ever before, we are proud to present our largest ever range of bedsteads, headboards, daybeds and sofa beds for 2016. There really is something for every taste, budget and home, backed by prompt nationwide delivery and quality customer service.

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range of beds extended. In Oak, Hevea wood, Faux Leather, Fabric and metal, Serene is breathing new life into imaginative bedroom design.

To request our brochures call 0121 505 0270 or email


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BEDS 29/06/2016 13:08



SHOWTIME Irish Furniture and Homewares Show

IFHS The third Irish Furniture and Homewares Show (IFHS) promises to be full of unique and innovative products.

With a newly-expanded exhibition area full of exhibitors ready to show their furniture and homewares products to over one thousand Irish trade buyer attendees, this year promises to be the biggest edition yet. Exhibitors include Annaghmore, Blue Bone, Buoyant, Derry’s, Kettle Interiors, Furniture Link, Global Home, Julian Bowen, Lebus Upholstery, TCS Imports and Sofa Source – find a full exhibitor list on the event website. The show – the biggest trade event of its kind in Ireland – gives Irish and UK businesses in the furniture trade the opportunity to do business in a relaxed environment, and provides attendees with

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a pleasant environment in which to see new products, innovative ideas and avail of exclusive deals and discounts from the 70plus exhibitors present. The Irish Furniture & Homewares Show is located in the National Show Centre, a modern exhibition and conference venue next to Dublin Airport, just two minutes from the M1, four minutes from the M50 and 10 minutes from Dublin city centre. Its proximity to Dublin’s airport and the many hotels in the area makes the venue a convenient location for delegates and exhibitors. The Irish Furniture & Homewares Show 2016 is free to attend to all trade customers.

Those interested in visiting should simply visit the website to register – and can also follow the show on Facebook and Twitter to stay abreast of the latest updates. T 087 996 6666 W

When? 20th-23rd August, 2016 Where? The National Show Centre, Dublin

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Over 70 Furniture & Homeware Exhibitors

Register free at


Hosts Irish Fu of Homew rniture & are Aw ards 2016

Secure your place at the IFHS & REGISTER FREE TODAY For the third year running, this event gives Irish & UK businesses in the furniture trade the opportunity to do business in a relaxed location and provides attendees with a pleasant environment to see new products, innovative ideas and avail of exclusive deals and discounts from over 70 exhibitors on show.

20 - 23 AUGUST 2016

The National Show Centre, Dublin, Ireland

Trade only show!


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SHOWTIME Autumn Fair

Autumn Fair Autumn Fair is set to return this season with a strong line-up of new brands, plus a wealth of engaging content through a full line-up of inspirational speakers and seminars.

The event will host over 1400 home and gift suppliers, including more than 200 brands across the 12 show sectors exclusive to the autumn edition. Home and giftware brands set to debut include Le Creuset, Hubsch, Lafinesse, Kaemingk, Vita Lighting and Nordlux. Returning names include Pacific Lifestyle, Light & Living, Sophie Allport, Suck UK and Pad Home. To further enhance the buying experience, visitors will find free seminars discussing a variety of topics in the dedicated E-Commerce Theatre. Confirmed speakers include

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Facebook’s Niall Hanlon, Twitter’s senior retail account manager Catherine Bennet, and award-winning interiors blogger Jen Stanbrook of Love Chic Living. New for Autumn Fair this year is Meet The Experts, a feature in which industry names will offer visitors the chance to discuss the challenges they face in their own businesses, through a series of one-to-one retail clinics. Naomi Barton, portfolio director for show organiser i2iEvents, comments: “We are thrilled to be welcoming new brands and speakers to the show for their first Autumn Fair experience, as well as welcoming back

loyal exhibitors for another year. We are committed to growing the show content, giving visitors additional reasons to attend and making Autumn Fair an unmissable date in the gift and home trade show calendar.” W

When? 4-7th September, 2016 Where? Birmingham NEC

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SERIOUSLY GOOD STUFF. Prepare to discover the latest and greatest products for your store.



Get your free ticket today: Credits: Staghorn Plant - Abigail Ahern, Small Pendent Light - Lene Bjerre, Rabbit - Tutti & Co, L light - Smiling Faces, Bronze Pipe Light - Pipe Art, White Cloudy Sea Urchin Vase & Papyrus Meteorite Vase - Ian Snow, Modeville Cream Linen Sofa - Libra, Giraffe Cushion - Wraptious.

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SHOWTIME China international Furniture Fair (Shanghai)

CIFF Founded in 1998, China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) has traditionally taken place semi-annually at China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, in March and September. From last year, however, the September edition has been relocated to the National Convention & Exhibition Center in Hongqiao, Shanghai.

Highlights of the 38th edition of China International Furniture Fair show are to include 400,000m² of exhibition space displaying the latest innovations in the furniture and furnishing industry, plus a gathering of international brands from countries including Italy, Japan, Turkey, Malaysia, Thailand and Korea. Smart home furnishings will set the trend for this show. The show will be split up into different categories including International Furniture, Design, Modern Furniture, Outdoor & Leisure,

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Classic Furniture, Homedecor & Hometextile, Commercial Office and Hotel Furniture and Furniture Machinery & Furniture Raw Materials. CIFF has become a world-class platform for trading, brand promotion, displays, and a meeting place for the industry. CIFF provides a platform for exchange and brings together industry experts and design elites to promote the development of original design for China’s home furnishing market. CIFF’s aim is to connect northern and

southern China and inspire the world with its new venue and opportunities. W

When? 7-10th September 2016 Where? National Exhibition and Convention Centre, Hongqiao, Shanghai

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SHOWTIME Top Drawer | Home

Top Drawer | Home Top Drawer, one of the UK’s most exclusive design-led shows for creative homeware buyers and interior designers, will present around 1000 carefullyselected exhibitors in London this September.

Presenting everything from cutting edge to classic, new trends to firm favourites, from quintessentially British brands and from some of Europe’s most directional labels, Top Drawer promises a line-up cherry-picked for its design, originality and commercial appeal. Curated by a panel of market-leading experts, Top Drawer offers a world-class edit that presents retailers with a refreshingly diverse and innovative choice of new products for the season ahead, featuring leading UK and international brands including Alessi, Also Home, Au Maison, Baa Stool, Black + Blum, Bluebell Grey, Bronte by Moon, Copper Dust, Di Classe, Edgar, Edito, Ethnicraft, Garden Trading, MeroWings International, Pavilion Rattan, Skandium,

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Terrace & Garden and Umbra. With the growing emphasis on all things handmade, Craft at Top Drawer sees its autumn/winter 2016 debut this September with an impressive selection of unique handmade products from fine contemporary makers. Spotted makes its return, introducing buyers to designs from young new talents whose market-ready products will be on show for the first time. Featuring new products and exclusive brands across Home, Gift, Fashion and Craft, the show takes place against a light-filled, contemporary backdrop with comfortable spaces, a visually stimulating design, warm welcome and fresh aesthetic, which all

create a sophisticated and relaxed business environment to source everything for the season ahead. Vibrant, informative and above all commercial, this unique trade show promises to be a breath of fresh air for UK and international buyers. W

When? 11-13th September, 2016 Where? Olympia, London

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11—13 September 2016 Olympia, London

HOME Experience the beautifully curated world of Home at Top Drawer, London’s international event for creative retailers. Discover a carefully edited, global cross-section of products from the finest brands and designers. REGISTER NOW

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SHOWTIME Autumn Long Point

Long Point The Long Point exhibition returns to Long Eaton’s showrooms this autumn, promising new models and fabrics from guild members and guest exhibitors alike.

Autumn Long Point – a counterpart to the smaller spring edition which takes place each May – provides an opportunity to discover the latest upholstery from a swathe of local manufacturers and suppliers, plus delve into the beds, cabinet and upholstery from the show’s guest exhibitors. Although the fabric upholstery output of the Long Eaton Guild of Furniture Manufacturers is at its heart – indeed, Long Eaton is now a UK Centre for Quality Upholstery Manufacture – Long Point has become a focus for a good deal more over

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the years, with central venue Harrington Mill playing host to new bedroom, living and dining releases within a host of guest displays and permanent showrooms. When visiting these showrooms and seeing new ranges lit, dressed and sold to their full potential, it is impossible not to feel closer to the brands than one might at a mainstream exhibition. Unmatched in its local authenticity, fresh with the latest fabric trends, and with good hospitality at every turn, Long Point offers a truly unique buying experience.

Retail visitors wishing to stay over can enjoy subsidised hotel accommodation if booked via the guild helpline, printed below. T 07902 032101 W

When? 12-14th September, 2016 Where? Long Eaton, Derbyshire

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Autumn 12th-14th September 2016

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The Bed Show The National Bed Federation’s (NBF) Bed Show, the two-day trade exhibition that brings the bed industry together, returns to Telford for its seventh edition this September.

Jessica Alexander, show organiser and executive director of the NBF, comments: “It’s fantastic to see the Bed Show get stronger each year, and we have over 80 brands exhibiting this September. It provides a great platform for NBF members to showcase their products to over 1400 visitors, and there is nowhere else in the UK where buyers can see such a large range of bed-specific companies.” Only NBF members can exhibit, which takes away the event’s commercial element and provides a balance between standard of display and equality among members. Visitors will see the latest trends, new products and concepts under one roof and, as the bed sector is still one in which products made in Britain dominates, those placing orders will invest in and support British manufacturing and British-made products. Since the introduction of the NBF’s independently-audited Code of Practice, buyers have been assured that they can purchase with confidence, knowing that all the exhibitors meet their legal obligations and supply safe, clean and honest products.

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A highlight of the event is the Gala Dinner, at which the Bed Industry Awards are presented. Taking place on the evening of Tuesday 20th September, the Gala Dinner brings together over 500 delegates from the bed industry for an evening of entertainment. It starts with drinks in the foyer at the Telford International Centre, prior to a three-course sit-down dinner and coffee in the Ludlow Suite plus music and dancing until 1am. During the evening, the Bed Industry Awards, which honour the brightest and best enterprises in the bed market, are presented. The awards are open to businesses of all shapes and sizes – the deadline for entries is July 29th at 5pm. This year’s host is comedian and broadcaster Marcus Brigstocke. Jessica comments: “The Bed Industry Awards are an integral part of the Bed Show, and we’re delighted to be running them for the sixth year. They are a fantastic way of recognising and celebrating the most successful bed manufacturers, suppliers and retailers.”

The categories include: Bed Manufacturer of the Year; Bed Component Supplier of the Year; Bed Retailer of the Year, split into two awards – those with a bed turnover of over £5m and those with less; and the new Judges’ Choice Award. Entries are judged by an independent panel. Commenting on how the award win has positively affected his business, Simon Spinks, MD of Bed Manufacturer of the Year 2015, Harrison Spinks, says: “Since the award win, we’ve seen a significant increase in demand for our beds. As a result we are investing and expanding our manufacturing capacity to ensure we keep up with this demand.” W

When? 20th-21st September 2016 Where? Telford International Centre

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Is your company

Best in Class? Could your business be the Bed Manufacturer, Bed Retailer or Bed Component Supplier of the Year for 2016-2017?

New for this year:

Judges Choice Award

For more information and to complete your entry online visit National Bed Federation, High Corn Mill, Chapel Hill, Skipton, BD23 1NL Tel: 01756 799950 •

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The AF



SHOWTIME The Autumn Furniture Show (Minerva)

The Autumn Furniture Show After enjoying record attendance at its members-only show in May, the Minerva Furnishers Guild is looking ahead to its larger autumn show, which invites all members of the trade to Telford’s International Centre for the third year running.

As a buying group, Minerva prides itself on offering its retail members a straightforward, helpful service, without putting any pressure on them to buy. Members enjoy access to exclusive products, specific container offers, and the support of a well-established network of contemporaries at the mid-to-high-end of furniture retail. As well as its private show each May, Minerva stages the Autumn Furniture Show, which welcomes members and nonmembers alike. Registration – open now via the website – is increasingly well managed, ensuring that only bona fide members of the trade can access the event. “We had a very successful May show, and are confident that October’s will be just as

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good, if not better,” says Minerva’s group business manager, Roy Beagent. Rebookings from May are high, even at this early stage, and include the likes of Alstons, Buoyant Upholstery, Duresta, Furniture Origins, Hypnos, Rauch and Vale Upholstery, plus many more. As usual, although prominence is given to the buying group’s preferred suppliers, several specially-selected guest exhibitors will also be present. “The show has come on a great deal,” says Roy, “ultimately thanks to its suitability. It’s the only major furniture exhibition taking place at this time of year, and the timing is superb. In most instances, orders can be placed for deliveries ahead of the all-important January sales period, and, in some cases, even

in time for Christmas.” Roy hints that future events are likely to see the return of foreign exhibitor delegations, as well as even stronger product exclusives – for now, he’s justifiably pleased with the growth of the show, and urges would-be visitors to register as soon as possible. T 01249 716195 W

When? 11-12th October, 2016 Where? The International Centre, Telford

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The AFS Advert 2016 216 x 297mm_Layout 1 16/06/2016 14:40 Page 1



Dates for your diary …. Now in its third year, this successful trade show will again be at the International Centre, Telford on Tuesday 11th October & Wednesday 12th October 2016.

On show will be a wide variety of products from national and international suppliers Open to all furniture retailers Pre-register at:



Tuesday 11th October 9am to 5pm

The International Centre Telford, Shropshire, TF3 4JH

Wednesday 12th October 9am to 4.30pm An event from

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SHOWTIME Belgrade Now

Belgrade Now Serbia’s Belgrade Now exhibition, taking place this November, offers buyers a chance to source quality product from one of Europe’s moast experienced furniture manufacturing regions.

According to the organiser of Belgrade Now, furniture companies everywhere are constantly searching for a competitive advantage, seeking better suppliers with great products, the best prices, consistent quality and service in the shortest time possible. This often means sourcing as close to home as possible. Serbia has a long tradition of furniture production and export, and has been blessed with ample forests of precious hard and softwoods. The country boasts an experienced woodworking labour force and labour rates that are competitive with Asia. Belgrade is located within 2000km of most of Europe, and return flights from the UK are available for as little as £127. This November, Belgrade will host the 54th annual edition of Belgrade Now, the region’s largest and broadest trade event for furniture retailers and manufacturers. This

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year, visitors will find over 500 exhibitors, occupying more than 55,000m2 of high-class exhibition space at Belgrade’s downtown fairgrounds. Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, is a metropolis known for its hospitality, nightlife and affordability. Good quality hotels can be found within walking distance of the fairgrounds, and not further than 10 minutes’ away by taxi. The fair presents the best of Serbia as well as mature exporters from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and throughout the region. Visitors will find upholstery, solid wood cabinets, tables and chairs, laminated furniture and kitchens and goods for residential, offices, commercial and hospitality use. The fair also features a section dedicated to sophisticated design, and as well as halls

dedicated to commodities – producers range from workshops employing a few expert craftspeople making bespoke products to enterprises with a workforce of more than a thousand. The fair also hosts manufacturers of furniture production machinery, components and supplies. Belgrade Now promises some of the best that Eastern Europe has to offer, and an opportunity to uncover that all-important competitive advantage. W

When? 8-13th November, 2016 Where? Belgrade Fair, Serbia

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Need a Competitive

Advantage? Think Serbia! Visit The Belgrade Furniture Fair November 8-13, 2016 • A highly-skilled workforce with a strong tradition of woodworking, furniture making and exporting • Labor rates among Europe’s lowest and competitive even with Asia • 2.5 million hectares of forests and woodlands with Beech, Oak and other hard and softwoods; FSC supply • Local manufacturers of particleboard, polyurethane foam anad most other important raw materials • Within 2,000km of all major European markets and Moscow • Currency (Dinar) related to Euro which makes prices more stable • Free and favorable trade agreements with most major economies • More than 2,000 enterprises of every size, many with profound export experience and flexibility to satisfy almost any requirement.

Belgrade’s annual International Furniture Fair is the largest and most important event in Southeast Europe where you will find manufacturers from throughout the entire region. You will find suppliers of lumber and other primary materials, components and finished furniture of every style, material and price point. At the 54th annual Fair (November 8-13, 2016) you can visit more than 500 exhibitors spread over more than 55.000 sq. m.

At one place ... Residential Furniture for every room Office, Commercial and Facilities Furniture Specialty Furniture and Cabinetry Interior Decoration Products and Accessories Manufacturing Materials, Machinery and Supplies We are anxious to have you visit us to discover your best competitive advantage. We have attractive programs available to help you with the cost and organization of your visit to Belgrade. Please contact us early to learn how we can help you. ORGANISER BELGRADE FURNITURE FAIR Bulevar Vojvode Misica 14 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

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Tel: +381 11 2655 231 Fax: +381 11 2655 744

BUYERS & GENERAL PUBLIC DAYS: TUE - WED, November 8-9 10:00 a.m. - 07:00 p.m. THU - SUN, 10-13 November 10:00 a.m. - 08:00 p.m.

BUYERS DAY: TUE, November 8th 10:00 a.m. - 07:00 p.m.

Exhibiton space





55.000 m2




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SHOWTIME imm cologne

imm cologne The beginning of the furniture year is heralded by one of the calendar’s key events, imm cologne, which presents the trends that will shape the furniture and interiors sector – and the products that promise to be good for business.

Visitors will find a unique variety of interior design ideas for every room, style and requirement – from the basics to designer items and luxury furnishings. Cologne is at the centre of one of the world’s most important markets, and centrally located in Europe. Exhibitors will encounter every target group amongst visitors from around the world. The impressive figures from 2016 again underlined imm’s status as the industry’s international business hub – 1081 companies from 50 countries (69% of those from abroad), and 94% of exhibitors ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the degree to which they achieved their fair objectives. In 2017, imm cologne will again be held in parallel with LivingKitchen, the leading communications and business platform for the kitchen industry. This format ensures that

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imm provides inspiration for the entire home, giving visitors a complete overview of the sector. LivingKitchen brings kitchen environments to life, staging integrated settings – from kitchen furniture and fitted appliances to sinks, taps and fittings, worktops, lighting and accessories – and the supporting programme combines information and entertainment. imm is one of the world’s leading platforms for new ideas, innovations and trends, and for young, creative, new design. This is where business momentum for the entire industry is generated, and trending topics for the coming months take shape. Innovation and trends will be presented not just on the exhibitors’ stands, but also through a series of inspiring events. One of the most spectacular is sure to be Das

Haus – Interiors on Stage, in which life in the house of the future is imagined, designed and realised by a renowned international designer. And the trade fair is not restricted to the fairground. Across Cologne, in shops, galleries, and pop-up and off-the-beatentrack locations, special events and formats will provide plenty to talk about. For one week, the entire city promsies to become the furnishing capital of Europe. W When? 16th-22nd January Where? Koelnmesse, Cologne

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imm cologne co-located with: International Business Media Services Ltd., 42 Christchurch Road, Ringwood BH24 1DN Tel. : +44 1425 48 68 30, Fax : +44 1425 48 68 31,

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SHOWTIME The January Furniture Show

The January Furniture Show The UK’s largest furniture and furnishings event, the January Furniture Show, is set to be over 10% bigger in 2017. Hosting a strong line-up of over 450 exhibitors, the event promises solutions for retailers, buyers and commercial specifiers looking for the latest products and industry developments.

New sign-ups Ekornes, Yeh Bros and Malini will join big names such as Parker Knoll, Sherborne, Ashley Manor Upholstery, Libra, Buoyant and Ercol to present everything from cabinet furniture, upholstery and beds to soft furnishings and giftware. The four-day show runs from Sunday 22nd January to Wednesday 25th across five halls of the NEC. Visitors will see the latest innovations, collections, offers, promotions and sales support which will be key to business success over the following 12 months. Show director Laraine Janes says: “We had 85% of 2016 exhibitors sign up for next year on the spot, which shows what a success it really is, and how integral it is to the furniture and furnishings business. We have had to increase hall space by 10% to accommodate the new enquiries and, laying

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strong foundations for the future of the show, we have just signed a seven-year deal with the NEC.” The long-term deal underlines the centre’s confidence in the future of the show, and the seven-year commitment from the event cements its position as the UK’s principal furniture and furnishings event. Laraine adds: “The show is at the right venue at the right time of year for exhibitors to meet retail customers from across the UK. The transport links, countrywide connectivity, suitability and scale of the halls and the accessibility for exhibitors are why almost all the UK’s important trade events take place there. “Last year saw changes to the NEC campus with the opening of Resorts World, and adding another layer of nationwide connectivity will be the HS2 terminal opening

at the NEC in 2023.” The next show will see Hall 5 as the major destination hall, offering its strongest line-up of commercial big hitters for years. Hall 4 boasts leading international cabinet brands while Hall 3 will be the place to visit for furnishing accessories. Hall 2 will be the centre for top-end international contemporary furniture, while Hall 1 remains a destination hall for high-end exclusive ranges. W When? 22nd-25th January, 2017 Where? The NEC, Birmingham

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SHOWTIME The London Fabric Show

The London Fabric Show The London Fabric Show will return to the Chelsea FC ground in 2017 with more exhibitors and greater choice for buyers. The show brings together UK and European producers and suppliers of fabrics for the upholstery, bed and soft furnishings industries.

The British Furniture Manufacturers Association (BFM), will again host the show in Chelsea FC’s executive boxes. This year’s edition saw 33 companies from the UK – including Abraham Moon & Sons, Art of the Loom, British Velvets and Warwick – exhibit alongside companies from Belgium including Ter Molst, Symphony Mills, Boyteks Textiles, Escolys, Muvantex and Green Street Textiles, together with Interfabrics and Antecuir from Spain, Marsteks, Kets Textil and Adoksan from Turkey, and Prostex from Italy. The variety of fabrics on display encompasses a huge mix including wools, jacquards, chenilles, velvets, tweeds, mattress ticking, backing fabrics, curtain lining, high-performance polyester fabrics, graded leathers, cottons and linens. Many of the producers offer buyers the opportunity to customise their choices and have designs and colourways made exclusively for them. The show, originally just incorporating

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Belgian mills, has expanded to include other high-quality fabric producers. It offers UK upholstery, bed and soft furnishing manufacturers a unique opportunity to see top-end textile producers together in one place. BFM MD Jackie Bazeley says: “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 who use fabrics – an unparalleled opportunity to see some of the best fabric producers in the world, together in one venue.” The striking venue adds distinctive quality to the show, as well as a splash of glamour – even for non-football fans. The executive boxes overlooking the Chelsea FC pitch provide comfortable and private exhibition space, and the scale of the stadium offers a dramatic backdrop. It is also easy to reach, with an underground station just two

minutes’ walk away. The 2016 show was a success, with visitor numbers up and exhibitors reporting strong performances. In 2017 the show is expanding and will have around 40 exhibitors, including additional manufacturers from Turkey and the UK. While the number of exhibitors is increasing to offer visitors even more choice, the quality will remain high, so visitors can be assured the integrity of the show will remain. W

When? 27-28th February, 2017 Where? Stamford Bridge, Chelsea

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DESIGNER Rob Scarlett Meets … Melanie Mills

meets ... Rob Scarlett Melanie Mills

Design underpins this industry, regardless of one’s place in the market. While creating something from nothing can appear to be the province of high-end European designers, the UK has a core of solid, hard-working creative professionals that keep the industry alive. In this exclusive series, Rob Scarlett goes in search of the unsung heroes of the industry to find out what makes them tick. This month, Rob meets Corndell’s Melanie Mills …

Melanie Mills

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Melanie studied BA Furniture and Product Design at Nottingham Trent University, before carrying out an internship at Dutch design house Buro Vormkrijgers, then working as a design assistant at Maarten Baas, also in the Eindhoven area. In 2008 she left to join Edinburgh’s Blue Marmalade as a design assistant, and went on to work as the project manager and designer at retailer Living Kitchens and Stone. She was appointed Global Home Group’s design manager in 2011, where she remains, and also works as the design director of Corndell Quality Furniture. W

On Melanie What was the most valuable part of your education? My internships were probably the most valuable element of my time at Trent as I was just thrown into a professional workshop full time, learning technique but also seeing the flow of work. It was important as I gained an understanding of the stages of taking a concept from a sketch to a finished product. What was your first design job? Working at a prestigious design studio based in Eindhoven called Maarten Baas. This design workshop exposed me to a number of

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Rob Scarlett Meets … Melanie Mills DESIGNER



The retailers are driving the industry with their price points. It’s soul destroying for a designer to be forced to remove a certain feature or a particular material just because it doesn’t meet a target”

different techniques and possibilities. There are no boundaries working with a high-end designer, permitting you to have the scope to design and create anything.

a huge role within the design industry as we seem to be permanently up against the clock.

On design

A blank sheet of paper can be daunting – what inspires you to fill it? On the occasion when I’m not working to a client’s brief, research plays a key factor to getting over any design block. I think the best thing you can do to escape designing a piece of furniture for the sake of designing is not to confine yourself to your desk but to go and visit exhibitions, listen to music or even to take a walk outside. Creativity seems to hide within your subconscious and it can only be realised when you express yourself freely. Having a strong team around you allows you to bounce ideas off each other and to reflect on other designers’ perceptions of the brief.

How do you mentally prepare yourself for work each day? After having an essential cup of coffee – Corndell has an artisan coffee roaster opposite the office! – I begin creating a productive plan for the day. Prioritising plays

We often compromise designs to make them commercial – how do you maintain your quality despite such pressures? I think it is fundamental for any designer to know what can be compromised, but then what will cause the range or design to >>>

Where might I have heard your name before? I doubt you have, unless it was related to Corndell in some way. What are you working on right now? I am working on new developments ready for the Manchester Furniture Show, for ranges that were successfully launched earlier this year, to give them more breadth. Alongside that I have a number of diverse briefs that I am constantly working my way through.

Tetbury, Corndell

Fairford, Corndell

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Tel: +44 (0) 1706 643 121

Fax:: +44 1706 643 133

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Rob Scarlett Meets … Melanie Mills DESIGNER



It has become increasingly common to see projects from design graduates lacking the understanding of processes and the use of suitable materials. This all comes down to where they decide to study and their choice of internships”

Annecy, Corndell

fail. If you do not have a strong knowledge of materials or techniques it could prove extremely difficult to think outside the box. Which area of your work do you enjoy the most – and the least? I most enjoy seeing things come to life from a drawing to the real form. It’s an exciting process after all the debating and hours spent on design development. My least favourite part of the job is the bureaucracy and the regulations we have to work with, which are coincidentally very important to ensure we do the job right and meet certain audit standards. However, they can slow things down, causing frustration for both the manufacturer and retailer. Describe one of your favourite designs, and explain why it inspires you This is by far the hardest question for any designer, as I see things almost every day that I obsess over. There are a lot of concepts that come out of Eindhoven Design Academy and Milan in general that are inspiring, but it would be difficult to pick just one design. Which is your favourite designer retailer, and what is it doing right?

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I don’t really have a favourite, but I feel Oka Direct are doing the right thing by not being so trend-orientated and creating their own strong look and feel. The same three people running the company are controlling the design side, allowing the furniture to be timeless and considered, but still remaining fresh. Another interesting retailer with a clear aesthetic is Restoration Hardware.

On today’s furniture market Sum up today’s UK domestic furniture design in three words … Work in progress. What aspects of it make you despair? And, conversely, hopeful? The last few years of recession have affected confidence amongst retailers and they’ve had to play safe with the design selections they make, which is frustrating, but understandable. However, the success of the January Furniture Show, and the positive start to the year, will hopefully create a better environment in which buyers can start to experiment more, featuring different trends and directions on their shop floors.

Do you feel that the industry adequately supports designers? To appeal to your target market and remain competitive, you need unique and innovative product, and to be able to recognise and leverage developing trends. Having a designer on board is therefore critical. The industry – manufacturers and suppliers – have now realised that a designer is an essential part of their business model, which is great, but we still don’t give recognition and support to designers and design in the same way as the fashion industry does. What’s the last design that really caught your eye? Moooi as a brand really caught my eye in Milan last year. Their presentation and platform of designs were outstanding. What’s the future of furniture design? Personalisation and the use of technology. The future of furniture design and manufacture is going to be progressively online, with consumers having complete control, manipulating the dimensions, material, finish and handles. If you are a retailer who is still selling furniture exclusively in stores, there’s no >>>

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DESIGNER Rob Scarlett Meets … Melanie Mills

question you are missing out. With apps like Tylko’s, customers are no longer having to use their imagination but can see the item of furniture in their own home while being able modify all the variables.

On the industry Which industry event or platform gives a designer the best step up? I’m not sure about step up, but when it comes to insight, Maison&Objet Paris is a great platform if your focus is on commercial design. That said, Milan should be your first port of call, as it showcases all the most innovative and interesting designs and trends. Zona Tortona can be quite out there with their concepts, but most designers are highly inspired and pick up ideas here and there, which can be incorporated into their own ranges.

What website do you frequent most often? I used to follow all of the blogs, from Dezeen to Core77, but in recent years I have found magazines and Pinterest far more useful and focused on commercial trends.

Creativity seems to hide within your subconscious and it can only be realised when you express yourself freely. Having a strong team around you allows you to bounce ideas off each other and to reflect on other designers’ perceptions of the brief ”

What’s the biggest challenge you face? Cost! Cost will always play a strong factor when designing, and will continue to determine the aesthetic, quality and function of the product. The retailers are driving the industry with their price points. It’s soul destroying for a designer to be forced to remove a certain feature or a particular material just because it doesn’t meet a target. How does the industry view designers? It really depends on your age and level of experience. If you are a design graduate fresh out of university, then you have to be quite aware of the value you can add to a business rather than having to accept unpaid

work experience – but everyone knows the design industry is becoming increasingly competitive, and this allows the furniture industry to pick and choose from a big pool. What advice would you give to young designers just starting out in the industry? Try to take yourself out of your comfort zone. It has become increasingly common to see projects from design graduates lacking the understanding of processes and the use of suitable materials. This all comes down to where they decide to study and their choice of internships. Take the time to listen and learn from people that have experience. I don’t know any designers that are not still learning

Rob reflects … Melanie says that her internships were probably the most valuable element of her time at Nottingham Trent. I’ve been working with Nottingham Trent placement students for my entire career – it’s a wonderful opportunity for students to get a glimpse of the real world. In fact, I instigated the internship at Willis & Gambier which is still going today, seven years later. Internships are great for students’ development, but they’re really amazing for the companies too! I would recommend any company looking to bolster their design output (without fully committing to another permanent designer) to contact Nottingham Trent or one of the many other universities that offer placements. Interns need training, but once you have harnessed that youthful enthusiasm they can be a valuable addition to your business. Plus there’s the added benefit that you have the option to employ a fullytrained (by you) designer after they have completed their course. Another matter is time. Where does it all go? As Melanie says, “we seem to be

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permanently up against it with time.” I can really relate to that! A couple of years ago I worked with a well-known retailer for a while and discovered a fundamental problem – roughly speaking it takes around a year from start to finish to develop and deliver a well-rounded product in the Far East. This encompasses everything from initial briefing to the sample displays being delivered. The problem is that because it takes a year to develop a new range, a retailer/ wholesaler will need to have decided its design direction for the following year before your current range has proved itself successful or not. That’s a big dilemma for retailers. Do you both stick to your guns, research and confidently predict the trend for a new design? Or do you wait to see how the design is received, respond accordingly and deal with the inevitable truncating of the design cycle? Most companies (and I think the practice is quite regressive) will wait to respond and try to make the design and development process more efficient. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve had furniture

stuck at the docks whilst the NEC show opens more than once. The consequences of truncating the development time is a lack of innovation and a host of me-too products. Designers need room to breathe, they need to get things wrong, then analyse the problems and put them right. They also need to see their product in the flesh – preferably in the factory where changes can still be affected. I suppose the bent of my rant is to invest it design and give it time to flourish. It’s beneficial for everyone involved – designer, wholesaler, retailer and consumer. Scarlett Design was established in 2010 by Rob Scarlett, who began his career when he was named the 2003 Young Designer of the Year. Subsequently, Rob has worked in the design teams of some of the best-known businesses in the furniture industry, including Willis & Gambier, Nathan Furniture, Yinihome and Skano. He has also enjoyed success with ranges launched through retailers such as Heal’s, Furniture Village and John Lewis. W

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DESIGNER In Design – Sarah Christensen

Sarah Christensen is a designer who has emerged from the contemporary art scene. Combining this background with an enthusiasm for making things from interesting materials has resulted in Sarah moving into the realm of furniture design.

In Design: Sarah Christensen, Foya “Furniture isn’t always as it seems from the outside – it is there to be used and discovered”

“Foya hints on the outside as to what is on the inside. When the drawers are opened, a burst of yellow is revealed and the stripes of yellow acrylic and fumed oak around the edges provides an interesting detail”

“The use of a push-to-open mechanism for the drawers allows the front to be kept flat, free from handles”

“The ‘V’ shape in the leg provides additional storage for books and magazines”

“I took the concept of a designer jacket that has a flamboyant lining and applied it to the cabinet. From the outside you get a hint of the lining around the cuff and collar, but the true extravagance is hidden and reserved for its owner”

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Training: Sarah has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from the University of the Creative Arts in Canterbury, and a diploma in Furniture Design and Making from Robinson House Studio with Marc Fish. Achievements: Sarah exhibited at the Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design in Cheltenham in 2015. E

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To enter please call

020 7256 5558

or e-mail

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Fara Butt Marketing director, The Shire Bed Company Established in 1997, The Shire Bed Company is a family-run business that is firmly rooted in Dewsbury, Yorkshire. It produces high quality beds, mattresses and divan bases for major retailers and the contract sector.

How did you enter the trade? By accident more than by design. I had a career in education as a head of English at the local secondary school when the business got involved with a television programme with Sir Gerry Robinson. He suggested some fresh faces join the business, and that’s when I first saw it as a serious second career. Who was your inspiration? My father – he has been in the bed manufacturing trade since the 1980s and he started from scratch. His hard work and determination even to this day are a great source of inspiration, not just for myself, but to so many in the industry. What was your career high point? Whenever we produce a great product there’s great excitement, my favourite being our anti-bed bug ecoShire range. More recently we launched the Yorkshire and Central region of the Furniture Makers’ – the industry charity – for which we raised over £1700 at the inaugural event. It’s great to be able to put back into the industry in some way. … and low point? Moments when the industry and the economy are in the doldrums and the struggle to remain positive during a period of uncertainty. There were a few of those moments for a lot of us in the industry during the last recession.

… and the turning point? The NBF Bed Show – the first one being in 2009. It brought the industry together in a way that had never happened before. There’s a great atmosphere at these shows, and, personally speaking, they have been a great success for us. Describe a typical working day The thing that makes this career so different to my previous job in teaching is that there is no such thing as a typical working day, as there is no timetable or set routine. I am fortunate that my work is very flexible and close to home. A typical office-based day allows me to do the school run before arriving in the office at a very sensible 9.30am. I start from the outside and work in, so I’ve usually caught up with emails in the morning and my office team bring me up to date with priorities for the day. As the site is currently expanding I will meet with our factory manager Malcolm and my husband Sajid to discuss the operations aspect. I always make time to speak to my father if he is in the country (and in the office) to seek advice and catch up on industry news. A lot of time is then spent responding to emails and phone calls. If you had to start over, you’d probably pursue which career? I believe there is an opportunity to bring my education and business careers together. Business education is woefully neglected in

schools and, having seen it from the business angle, the recruitment of appropriately skilled individuals for business is very difficult. There is a real gap and opportunity to develop business and entrepreneurial skills. And teachers of English are always closet writers … What date on the business calendar do you most look forward to? Most definitely the NBF show week. There is a real buzz about the show – we work hard preparing for it, and it’s great when it all comes together. The Gala Dinner in the evening is the icing on the cake for us. What is the most important issue affecting your business right now? Building capacity has been resolved as we have recently acquired two adjoining sites. We are future proofed in terms of space – the challenge for us now is to use the full site efficiently. What company do you most look up to? I have a long-standing joke with Peter Spinks of Harrison Spinks, who was our proposer to

Career digest 2000 (to current) – Teacher Of English, Kirklees Council 2004 (to current) – Marketing director, Shire Beds 2013 – Marketing committee chair, NBF

“Business education is woefully neglected in schools and, having seen it from the business angle, the recruitment of appropriately skilled individuals for business is very difficult”

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2015 – Director, NBF 2016 – Chair of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, Yorkshire and Central Region

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the NBF years back, that our best bed is The Harrison. So I suppose it would be Harrisons – their handmade beds are beautifully crafted. What would you most like to change about yourself? I can often see both sides of an argument, which is great if you are negotiating deals, but making quick decisions can take a little longer. What do you enjoy most about working in the trade? Despite it being hugely competitive and the fact there aren’t many women in it, there is a great deal of camaraderie and support in

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this industry, and I sometimes find this from the most unlikeliest of people. It’s one of the reasons I agreed to chair the Yorkshire and Central region for the Furniture Makers, as I know how generous people in the industry are.



“I can often see both sides of an argument, which is great if you are negotiating deals, but making quick decisions can take a little longer”

Leave us with an industry anecdote please! It’s something a long-serving member of the industry, Neil Steed, said to me when explaining how important a good bed is: “You only need two things for comfort in this life, a great bed and a great pair of shoes – because if you’re not in one, you’re in the other. “I buy the best shoes, and we make a great bed”

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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: Carpetright delivers mixed picture in FY results

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: UK furniture market grew 3% in 2015, says BFM

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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Resources: Brexit – how to manage opposing views in the workplace


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:

Autumn Fair Preview Beds & Bedroom, Dining, Living and Furnisher features

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Profile for Gearing Media Group Ltd

Furniture News #328  

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade

Furniture News #328  

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade