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The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade #347 February 2018 |

Goldenrod armchair by Shankar

BY THE NUMBERS Does the industry measure up?

FrontCover347.indd 11 FN347_Pages.indd

CHILD PRODIGY Little Folks Furniture comes of age

GREAT DANES Welcome to Trade Point

26/01/2018 15:28 14:48 29/01/2018

TCS FN FEB ADVERT.qxp_Layout 1 12/01/2018 12:17 Page 1

THANK YOU for visiting us at the

FURNITURE SHOW and making the 2018 range such a success

To learn more about our new 2018 Range, contact your local sales representative. It’ll be well worth a call. TCS - Solely Committed Committ t ed to Serving tt Serv r ing Independent Retailers rv Telephone: 00353 429 351 351 | * T’s & C’s Apply

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The Carpet Specialists

SERVICE QUALITY VALUE 29/01/2018 15/01/2018 15:28 11:24

18 11:24


“Whether you view such statistics as ‘damned lies’ or an invaluable source of benchmarking information, they’re a timely reminder that we’re part of a huge – and growing – market”


Editor-in-chief Paul Farley 01424 776101 Twitter @FurnitureNewsED Sales & marketing director Sam Horscroft 01424 776100 Twitter @FurnitureNewsAD Sales executive Caroline Littler 07861 231461 Production manager James Ash 01424 775304 Production assistant Mike Beales 01424 775304 Digital production assistant Nyall McCurrach 01424 775304 Copy administrator Steve Merrick 01424 776108 Proofreader Keith Fitz-Hugh Editorial director John Legg 01424 776104 Publisher Nigel Gearing Accounts Wendy Williams 01424 774982 Subscriptions



nflation fluctuates, digital

a timely reminder that, whatever the

engagement grows, and footfall

day-to-day hurdles, we’re part of a huge

stutters. That may describe a typical

– and growing – market, that’s full of

day in retail, but it doesn’t tell the whole

people needing to eat, sleep and relax in

story. Each month, countless metrics

style and comfort.

are published to describe our business

Elsewhere in this month’s issue, we

landscape, and many of them are relevant

hear from Trade Point’s Bo Simonsen

– but they could also be distracting us.

(p42), accountant Phil Mullis (p32) and

For a new perspective, take a look

children’s furniture expert Chris Lusty

at our lead article this month – an

(p80). Plus there’s a look at what visitors

exclusive summary of FIRA’s annual

can expect to find at this month’s London

statistical digest for the UK furniture

Fabric Show (p24), details of the BFM’s

industry (starting on p26). The report

new code of practice (p7), and a warming

itself is an engaging compilation of the

glimpse of the merriment enjoyed at

latest publicly-available data, offering

SFTBA’s winter fundraiser (p56).

reflection and predictions on key national

Keep an eye out for next month’s

economic trends, including consumer

Furniture News, in which we’ll reflect on

Annual Subscription Rates UK-£65 Europe-£85 RoW-£95

credit and new home sales, before

the January Furniture Show, and learn

plunging into the size, make-up and

more about the winners of The Furniture

Repro, print and distribution Stephens & George

performance of the UK furniture industry,

Awards 2018 (discover who won by

and the shifting sands of international


trade. Contrary to some of those daily

Until then, here’s to a fresh perspective.

updates I mentioned at the start, this report offers something to be optimistic about – not least of which is the growing Gearing Media Group Ltd 4 Red Barn Mews, High Street Battle, East Sussex TN33 0AG ISSN No: 1475 - 3731 © Gearing Media Group Ltd 2018 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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consumer spend on furniture and furnishings, which accounted for £16.7b in 2016 (that’s up an impressive +24% in the space of just three years). “Retail data suggests that furniture and furnishings demand at a consumer

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

level has increased significantly,” says the report’s author, Pete Beele. “It appears that our sector has done better than others, YoY.” Whether you view such statistics as ‘damned lies’ or an invaluable source of benchmarking information, they’re

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018 15:47





The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade #347 February 2018 |

Partner Comment

10 News 24 Events Goldenrod armchair by Shankar

BY THE NUMBERS Does the industry measure up?

CHILD PRODIGY Little Folks Furniture comes of age

26 Resources

GREAT DANES Welcome to Trade Point

FrontCover347.indd 1

26/01/2018 14:48

Goldenrod armchair, from Shankar’s Grande Designs collection (p44,


42 Profiles 56 Out & About 58 Living

FIRA’s latest statistics (26)

Chris Lusty, Little Folks Furniture (80)

64 Beds & Bedroom 68 Dining 72 Furnisher

Pete Beele FIRA’s technical development manager reveals the findings of his latest statistics digest, putting the national furniture industry in context

74 Trade Services 80 Last Word


Phil Mullis How did retail ebb and flow in 2017, and what can we expect this year? Chartered accountant Phil offers his suggestions


Jackie Bazeley The BM MD introduces the association’s new Association Code of Practice – as well as offering insight into the London Fabric Show on p24

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Trade Point (42)

29/01/2018 15:28


new directories home dĂŠcor and furniture


new products including furniture, mirrors, accessories and soft furnishings

01795 439159


4-8 February 8D20-E19

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29/01/2018 15:28 16/01/2018 09:46 15/01/2018 18:02:27

18 09:46 18:02:27

Partner Comment | 7

Best practice


he BFM has just launched its new Association Code

that make British-made furniture great – specifically, in

of Practice (ACOP), to demonstrate the industry’s

the eyes of consumers, retailers, contract specifiers and the

commitment to quality and service to the trade and

wider international audience.

give consumers added confidence when buying British.

It looks at the sheer diversity of the industry, designating

When the BFM launched its new initiative at the 2018

British furniture as traditional, contemporary and

January Furniture Show, the idea was to give members

everything in between, suiting any financial budget and

the opportunity to become an Approved Member. The new

appealing to those more morally or ethically aware.

code certifies that a company produces at least 50% of its

Our website has also been updated to coincide with

products in the UK and that it conforms to the range of UK

the ACOP launch and refreshed GBF profile. It offers our

legal, fiscal and regulatory requirements as a minimum.

participating members access to the newly-designed toolkit which includes swing tags, banners for the web and ready-

“We predict that, in time, our ACOP badge will be an important factor in the buying process”

to-print logos and graphics. The BFM has joined forces with CPS Wales to promote the GBF with a selection of new marketing materials. These can be self-printed or provided directly by CPS. To further support the ACOP launch, we’re planning a programme of consumer magazine advertising for later in 2018.

It will initially operate on a self-certification basis. All members have to do is complete a declaration which confirms they comply with current legal obligations. In return, approved members will receive a special Approved Member logo for use on their marketing material and

Jackie Bazeley is the MD of the British


Furniture Manufacturers (BFM, www.

It was created to help deliver consumer confidence as, the trade association

evidence of good produce, and we predict that, in time,

that has represented the interests of

our ACOP badge will be an important factor in the buying

the British furniture industry for more

process. While our members are not obliged to sign up to

than 65 years, and o�ers members a

the ACOP for 2018, the BFM is encouraging everyone to do

range of benefits including access to

so, to further improve the image of the industry.

expertise on subjects including export,

The BFM has also relaunched its Great British Furniture

EU timber regulations, health and

(GBF) campaign alongside the ACOP. Our Approved

safety, commodity pricing and the

Members are given access to the GBF promotional material

environment. Anyone interested in knowing more about the ACOP,

to help support UK produce.

GBF campaign or BFM in general should contact mikedimond@

Launched around 10 years ago, our GBF campaign has been a useful tool to help raise awareness of the key factors – or, to find out more about the GBF toolkit, laura@

Media Partners

Furniture News enjoys partnerships with a range of key global and national institutions and exhibitions Exclusive UK member

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

Official media partner

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New for 2018 ...

01993 776545

Corndell/DaylesfordFeb18_1.indd 1 FN347_Pages.indd 8

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Daylesford Painted & Satin Oak

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22/01/2018 29/01/2018 11:26 15:28

10 | News

Harveys and Bensons secure independent finance

Renewed growth at Heimtextil

Harveys and Bensons for Beds have confirmed that they have secured a new two-year independent finance facility through Pepkor Europe that will replace in full the planned investment from parent company Steinhoff, which is currently facing an investigation into an accounting scandal which has caused share prices to plummet and led to the departure of its CEO, CFO and chairman. This new facility will be used to support the future growth of both businesses as well as its manufacturing

Some 70,000 visitors from 135 countries

division, which operates through

were exposed to the latest home and

in particular, we are repositioning

factories in Bridgend, Huntingdon and

contract textiles from 2975 international

Heimtextil 2019 and grouping themes


exhibitors at Heimtextil last month.

and product groups according to target

Stuart Machin, group CEO for

“With growth on both the visitor and

“From the perspective of buyers

groups. In this way, synergies can

Harveys and Bensons for Beds, says:

exhibitor side, Heimtextil has convinced

be better recognised and exploited,”

“Harveys, Bensons for Beds and our

across the board and underpinned its

comments the event’s vice-president

manufacturing businesses have always

unique position as a world-leading

of textiles & textile technologies, Olaf

been run independently and for British

trade fair,” says Detlef Braun, CEO of


customers. This new finance facility

organiser Messe Frankfurt, which has

will allow us to continue to build on the

developed a new concept for 2019.

Next year’s event will take place from 8-11th January 2019.

progress we’ve made in the last few months. The loan is part of a wider £180m package that will also be utilised by Poundland.

DFS buys up Multiyork assets

ScS first through FIRA’s new flammability compliance scheme The Furniture Industry Research

is open to members and non-members

Association has launched a new

of the association.

compliance scheme for the Fire

The first certified company was

Performance of Upholstered Furniture,

nationwide sofa and carpet specialist

which aims to offer reassurance that

ScS. “Safety is our utmost priority and at

DFS has acquired eight store leases,

a manufacturer, retailer, upholsterer

the very core of our business,” says chief

assets and the intellectual property of

or supplier of upholstered furniture

executive, David Knight. “Achieving

Multiyork Furniture for £1.2m, which

has suitable processes and procedures

certified company status by meeting the

it plans to use primarily for its Sofa

in place to demonstrate due diligence

rigorous audit standards set out by FIRA

Workshop brand.

compliance with the Furniture &

demonstrates our commitment to the

Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations

very highest standards when it comes


to fire safety, and dovetails perfectly

Two stores will become DFS stores, while the members of the Multiyork retail teams at the eight transferred

Association director Phil Reynolds

stores have been offered roles within

says: “Although a number of guidance

the group. Multiyork will continue to be

documents are available, there is still

traded by the administrators until 18th

widespread misunderstanding about the

focus will also be working closely

February, under a licence from DFS.

application of and means of compliance

with our supply chain to ensure they

with the regulations.

can demonstrate the same continued

Gill Stewart, Sofa Workshop CEO, comments: “We very much look forward to welcoming the sales colleagues from Multiyork as part

“This led us to develop the new compliance scheme.” The scheme is open to manufacturers,

with our own stringent product testing programme. “Over the next 12 months our

commitment to fire safety.” On 8th February, the research association will host two sessions

of our network of experienced store

retailers and upholsterers of any size

with Hertfordshire Trading Standards


that deal with upholstered products, and

focusing on the scheme.

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News | 11

Litmus Furniture founder retires step back from day-to-day involvement

but there is no doubt I have gained the

in the business.

most personal satisfaction from taking

“It’s nearly four years since my son

a virtually unknown brand and product

Simon joined the business with a view

range into the UK market and growing

to taking over,” says Peter. “He is now

into one of the UK’s leading bedroom

pretty much fully in charge, and I just feel

suppliers and Wiemann’s biggest export

that the time is right to hang up the car

market,” says Peter.

keys.” Peter set up Litmus Furniture in 2001

“Along the way, I’ve met and worked with so many great people. I can’t thank

as a business consultancy to furniture

them all enough for the opportunities –

manufacturers after 10 years as MD of

and the challenges – but most of all for

After a working life spanning almost 50

Dorlux Beds, and took on Wiemann in

the loyalty, support and friendships. It’s

years – 30 of which have been spent in

2005. In the subsequent years, Wiemann’s

those personal relationships that are the

the furniture industry – Peter Hewitt,

UK business has grown 15-fold.

most precious and most memorable.”

founder of Litmus Furniture, sole UK

“Looking back, I really enjoyed my

Peter will still look after

and Irish agent for German bedroom

time with Dorlux and I was very proud of

admininstration and finance for Litmus

manufacturer Wiemann, has decided to

being chairman of The Sleep Council –


Regional bed exhibition launches this spring

Devonshire appoints new agent Pine and oak furniture manufacturer and supplier Devonshire has appointed Peter Kyriacou as its new representative for the

The SWFMARF, the federation behind

North West and Scotland. Peter has 30

September’s South West Furniture

years’ furniture experience, both in retail

Show, has announced the launch of a

and more recently on the road for Wade

new show dedicated to beds.

Upholstery. Steve Upperton, Devonshire’s sales

The Show West Bed Show, which will take place on 17th and 18th April

director, comments: “We are delighted to

at Sedgemoor Auction Centre in North

welcome Peter to Devonshire, and with

Petherton, Somerset, has been created

his strong furniture experience I am sure

to offer the association’s members a

he will make a valuable team member.

regional alternative to Telford’s NBF

The appointment is part of our strategy

Bed Show, at a time when the trade

of strengthening our sales team to help

calendar is less demanding for buyers.

us achieve our ambitious sales targets.”

Gallery Direct appoints UK sales manager Sally Simmons has been appointed the UK sales manager of Gallery Direct, as part

still be working with us.” Sally started her career at Harrods in

of a planned replacement for Alan Sadler,

1980 as a retail management trainee,

who is going into semi-retirement.

before working her way up to furniture

MD Peter Delaney says: “We are

buyer, and going on to implement new

delighted to welcome Sally to the team

systems in distribution and customer

and are confident that she will add

service. Her next step was as sales

significant value, thanks to her experience

& marketing director at Intermobel,

and knowledge gained from years in the

followed by 10 years as a self-employed

industry. We’d also like to thank Alan

sales agent, before working as a retail

for all his hard work and dedication over

manager for two independent businesses

the years. We hope he enjoys his semi-

in Surrey. She then joined AIS as a product

retirement, but are delighted that he will

selector within the furniture category.

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12 | News

Co-op launches

New appointments at Breasley

online Silentnight

Breasley Consumer Products has

as head of sales for Matza & Co, and will

appointed Rob King as its new sales

be responsible for project management

director. Rob has been with Breasley for

and business development on key

the past seven years, primarily as the

accounts. She will be based at Breasley’s

The Co-op has launched an online bed

company’s sales agent for the North

Manchester plant.

shop in partnership with Silentnight

London and East Anglia region. In his

Beds. The range comprises memory

new position, he will head up the UK

foam, natural and orthopaedic

and Ireland sales team, focusing on the

mattresses, plus children’s beds.



Silentnight marketing director Nick

Rob boasts 21 years’ experience in

Booth says: “We are delighted to have

the bed business, starting out as a rep

supported The Co-op on their relaunch

for Slumberland in 1995 before moving

of their bed and mattress range. Being

to Sealy and then Myers, where he was

able to partner up with another well-

national sales manager before joining

known and established Lancashire-


based brand with a reputation for

Darren Crowshaw, joint MD of the

quality and trust and help them expand

Breasley Group, comments: “As Rob’s

into the world of sleep has been a great

main responsibility will be developing

example of a successful collaborative

sales with the indies, we have also

team effort.

created a new role within the company,

“Using our expertise across all

Rob King

that of key accounts manager, and we

aspects of the proposition we have been

are very pleased to announce that Louise

able provide them with a complete

Chung will be taking up this position as

solution including digital development

from mid-January.”

and logistics, and we look forward to working together.”

Louise Chung

Louise has extensive experience in the bed industry, having previously worked

Retailers urged to capitalise on National Bed Month

Exclusive (UK) ceases trading Banbury-based supplier of marble and glass dining and occasional furniture,

The National Bed Federation (NBF) is

NBF marketing manager Simon

Exclusive (UK) Ltd, has ceased trading.

urging bed retailers and manufacturers

Williams says of the annual

According to MD Reg Pangali, the

to make the most of National Bed Month

promotional initiative: “Our National

decision to wind up the company was

(March) by downloading free artwork

Bed Month campaign has been running

principally based on the uncertain

for use in their sales and marketing in

for more than 25 years, and each

economic climate.

the lead-up to the annual promotional

year we actively give retailers and

campaign. Available from the NBF

manufacturers the tools to promote

contributor to the uncertainty in the

website, the toolkit includes a logo,

the importance of a good comfortable

market,” says Reg, “and the pound

infographics, posters and animated web

bed, for a great night’s sleep, during

getting weaker against the US dollar



was making buying more expensive.

“The Brexit vote was a massive

Unfortunately, retailers large and small were not prepared to accept the

Furmanac MD returns

increases, so it was better for us to quit

MD of adjustable bed and upholstery manufacturer Furmanac, Buzz Pattar, has

built a great business, and I’m very

resigned due to a “difference of opinion” with the shareholders over the future

proud of what I have achieved – but

strategy of the company.

it’s time to move on to another chapter

while we were ahead. “I have done this for 20 years and

Furmanac, owner of the MiBed, Hestia and MiChair brands, says that former MD

in my life. I want to thank our loyal

John Hilliard will return to the role, following recovery from major heart surgery

customers, and I wish everyone the

– but also that, due to the knowledge and understanding of the business Buzz has

best of luck.”

acquired over the years, he will remain for one day each week as a self-employed consultant.

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Where possible, existing orders were fulfilled prior to the company’s closure.

29/01/2018 15:28


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14 | Advertorial

Connect – the industry’s bestdefined marketing platform Are you looking to make more business connections? Furniture News’ Connect platform comprises a traditional printed trade directory and a brand new website – making it more straightforward than ever to source contacts, companies, products and services. Living in the Age of Information has its

Whether you’re

drawbacks. With the combined wealth

a furniture supplier

of human knowledge at our fingertips,

looking for potential

finding exactly what we need, where and

stockists, or a retailer

when we need it, takes time.

seeking new products,

And it is easy to waste time looking

Connect will provide

in the wrong places. E�ective searching

the information you

requires an intelligent approach – you

need – who can meet

have to know what to look for, and how

your demands, where

to ask for it.

you can find them,

What’s required is a platform that is smart enough to provide answers quickly and simply – and that’s why Gearing

and who you should speak to. The hefty printed

Media Group, the publisher behind

directory is published

Furniture News, is introducing Connect.

annually in April, and

Connect is a simple concept,

in its first iteration

comprising a traditional printed directory

will feature some 4000

to help users stand out from the crowd.

and a new website, both designed to help

retailers and more than 1000 suppliers of

These packages combine email, social

you make the right business connections,

furniture and furnishings.

media, promoted listings and display

quickly and easily. It’s been designed to meet the furniture sector’s needs.

Additionally, the printed directory will feature useful reference content including an events calendar, profiles of leading

with Connect’s users. As per the printed directory, the

suppliers, product articles, and more. The

Connect website will feature its own blog

shelf life of a traditional annual directory

with a wide and evolving range of useful

ensures that it functions as a year-round

and inspiring editorial content, such as:

reference tool for identifying suppliers

profiles of leading businesses; updates

and buyers alike. For the directory, there

from suppliers; information on key trade

are traditional display advertising options

bodies; a furniture events guide; product

for those wishing to take advantage of

updates for suppliers; an industry health

this industry resource.

check; and more besides.

The Connect website is the digital

Gearing Media Group’s Connect concept,

evolution of the traditional printed

in both printed and online forms, o�ers

directory. The website’s clean layout and

packages to suit every budget and

intuitive navigation gives users a clear

messaging preference. The printed directory

window to the trade – meaning less

is published in April and the Connect

wasted time, more rewarding searches,

website will go live simultaneously. Contact

and more opportunities for profitable for more



The Connect website also o�ers ways

FN347_Pages.indd 14

advertising, helping businesses engage


30/01/2018 10:48


Grow your network, grow your

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Connect offers advertising packages to suit every budget and messaging preference. Call us today on +44 (0)1424 776100 to find out more, or email

FN347_Pages.indd ConnectFeb18.indd 15 1

29/01/2018 15:28 11:56






THE NT COLLECTION In a natural oak finish, with Danish style influences and now available in dining and bedroom, this collection captures the trend for Scandinavian interior style. Featuring a choice of wood or metal handles, this is a range for those serious about making their home a stylish place to be. Prices start from just ÂŁ27.50

Order today from Kettle Interiors I 01536 444960 I Order in Ireland today from Decor Furniture I 028 3844 6000 I Container prices illustrated

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THE TT COLLECTION Available in a choice of white or grey, and with chunky contrasting gently lime-washed oak tops and chrome cup handles, this painted dining collection blends classic and contemporary influences for a style all of its own. Prices start from just ÂŁ43.00

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19/01/2018 15:28 13:33 29/01/2018




T H E LW C O L L E C T I O N This beautiful oak dining and bedroom collection in an on-trend light lacquer finish, oers exceptional value. A great range that ensures choice enough for every size and style of home. Prices start from just £22.50

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MIRROR COLLECTION Enjoy four gorgeous on-trend styles with bevelled glass in a luxurious gold or silver finish with selected styles also in modern white, individually boxed for convenience. Prices start from just ÂŁ27.50

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19/01/2018 15:28 13:35 29/01/2018





CHAIR COLLECTION Six new chair styles with up to five fabric choices to match our oak dining collections, and including office chairs and stools. Avaiable in pairs as part of any order. Prices from just £25.00

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CHAIR COLLECTION Six new chair styles with up to five fabric choices to match our oak dining collections, and including oďŹƒce chairs and stools. Avaiable in pairs as part of any order. Prices from just ÂŁ25.00

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19/01/2018 15:28 13:36 29/01/2018




THE LO COLLECTION This oak dining and bedroom collection is one of the most diverse available today, meaning that you can find the perfect item, whatever the style or size of home. Beautifully made and with an almost-raw, lime-wash fi nish and chrome cup handles to make its mark in modern style homes. Prices start from just ÂŁ27.50

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THE FR COLLECTION Enjoy the timeless elegance of classic French country style oak furniture finished in a grey lime-wash finish for an expressive range of well-made bedroom furniture. Items feature metal runners. Prices from just ÂŁ39.99

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19/01/2018 15:28 13:37 29/01/2018

24 | Events


THE PERFECT MATCH The London Fabric Show, taking place on 26th and 27th of this month, presents fine fabrics from some of Europe’s most exclusive producers and suppliers. Held in the executive boxes and suites of the Chelsea

wide selection of fabrics – including jacquards, wools,

FC ground at Stamford Bridge in Fulham, the BFM-

tweeds, silks, velvets, cottons, linens and chenilles,

hosted show aims to satisfy the fabric sourcing needs of

together with the most up-to-date backing fabrics and

manufacturers of upholstery, beds and soft furnishings

FR coatings. Five new exhibitors will take part in this

in an intimate and friendly environment.

year’s packed show: Girones and Castilla Textil from

Over 35 high-end companies from Belgium, Turkey,

Spain; Imatex from Italy; Luks Velvet from Turkey; and

Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK will show their new

Aquitane from the UK.

designs and collections in plains and patterns, in a


Want to know more? We asked Jackie

I expected – there’s a number of

especially as most of the exhibitors

Bazeley, MD of the BFM, to share her

mills on the waiting list. What was

are from the EU or accession

thoughts on the show …

a one-day show became a full two

countries. The outcome of the trade

days to cater to the more serious

negotiations will be interesting, and


potentially critical for some of the

What’s the background of the show, and has it exceeded your

The show has a bijou appeal.



It is compact, mainly comprising

London Fabric has been a show for

private exhibition space within the

Do you have any personal

circa 12 years. It was originally a

directors’ boxes. This was a prime

favourites amongst the products

large event at Earls Court, before it

reason for choosing a sporting arena

on display?

became a bespoke show to profile

– many visitors complained that

Every year I see something new

Belgian mills. When I arrived at the

negotiations were being overheard

that takes my attention. There

BFM, a second show had been set

at the previous venue.

are always new colourways and

up in a hotel nearby for other non-

patterns, and that is what makes

Belgian companies, and the footfall

Have you noticed much of a shift in

the show so vibrant – it is a

at both events was merely adequate.

the nature of the visitors?

plethora of colours, and it really

What was primarily a show for

lifts the spirit.

I spoke with the Belgian organisers, who considered my

manufacturers and some retailers

proposal to merge the shows, and

now embraces a far wider retailer

Do you have any tips for making

eventually they agreed to it. I then

audience, with all the big names

the most of a visit?

contacted James Lowe of AquaClean

attending. Last year we saw more

Yes – book overnight

who had instigated the non-Belgian

interior designers registering, and

accommodation, as you need two

show, and an agreement was

this has increased again.

days, and enjoy the hospitality

reached to encourage all mills to attend one show – London Fabric. It has built steadily over the last three years, and quicker than

arranged! Seriously, though, the What’s likely to be the hot topic at

show flows quite naturally, starting

this year’s event?

in either the Tambling or Hollins

I am sure Brexit will raise its head,

suites, then into the semicircle of directors’ boxes, and back into one of the suites, so it is very simple to navigate. Security has been tightened up this year, so visitors need to ensure they have registered before attending.

FN347_Pages.indd 24

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FN347_Pages.indd 25 LondonFabricShowBFMDec17.indd 1

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26 | Resources

Drawing on personal experiences, discussion and the current news, it is easy to paint a picture of how the trade has performed over recent years – but what do the official figures say? FIRA’s new statistical digest provides a summary of how the UK furniture industry is performing, distilling data from a wide range of sources to identify the manufacturing, spending and trading trends that have dominated the sector. Furniture News presents an exclusive summary …

Statistically speaking Published in December last year, the report covers 2013-16, and includes some estimates for how 2017 will be recorded, and beyond. Drawing on data from Government bodies such as the Office for National Statistics, HM Revenue and Customs, Communities and Local Government, plus the Bank of England, FIRA’s digest provides one of the clearest available pictures of the industry. Covering areas such as national

“There is evidence of more companies starting up, plus an increase in turnover – both of which should improve job opportunities”

economic trends, the structure of the UK

comprised almost 50,000 VAT-registered companies, supporting some 327,000 jobs. “At this stage I don’t envisage massive reductions in the number of jobs within the whole sector in coming years,” says the report’s author Pete Beele. “There could be some losses with increased capital investment in equipment, but counteracting this there is evidence of more companies starting up, plus an increase in turnover – both of which

furniture manufacturing industry and

retail and repair – is much larger than

trading relationships with the rest of the

many people think. Total manufacturing

world, the report delivers figures across

turnover in 2016 was £11.28b – the

Consumer credit and lending

contract, office and domestic subsectors.

largest proportion of which was furniture

After 2008, total net unsecured lending

manufacturing, at £8.35b.

to individuals in the UK continued to fall,

Here are the key findings …

National economic trends The UK furniture and furnishings sector The UK furniture and furnishings sector – comprising design, manufacturing,

FN347_Pages.indd 26

This turnover emanated from

should improve job opportunities.”

bottoming out at £207.1b in June 2012.

8390 companies employing 118,000

Since then it has increased, reaching

individuals, and reflected a YoY increase

£292.2b by the end of 2016 (a +10.8%

of +2.6%.

increase on 2015).

The wider sector – including specialist retail, but excluding general retail –

Some of this increase in lending was attributable to credit cards (up +5.1%

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Resources | 27

from 2015-16), although lending through other channels was +12.6% greater than at the end of 2015. Total net unsecured lending continued to rise into 2017, with the latest data (March 2017) indicating an outstanding value of £299b – +10.7% more than the outstanding net lending figure of £270b in March of the previous year. In addition to the above, there has been a gradual rise in lending secured on dwellings, which increased by +2.7% from the end of 2015 to the end of 2016, when it reached £1321b. Preliminary data for 2017 shows that this figure increased to £1354b by September last year.

Number of furniture manufacturers in turnover bands by region

House starts and sales

buoyant, the residential market virtually

and furnishings sales continued to

The rate of new UK dwellings starts in

stagnated.Total transactions reached

rise into 2017, with first and second

2015/16 fell quite significantly, with

1.4 million in 2016, and whilst a gradual

quarter consumer expenditures being

174,520 starts, being only 2380 greater

upward trend has still continued, the

respectively +5.9% and +5.4% higher

than the previous year (an increase of

pre-2008 figures of around 1.7 million

than for the equivalent periods in 2016.

+1.4%). Provisional data for 2016/17

have yet to be equalled.

Furniture industry trends

hints at a YoY rise in dwellings starts for England (+14%), Wales (+2%) and

Consumer spend

Northern Ireland (+10%). Data was not

Total UK consumer expenditure increased


available for Scotland.

between 2013-16 to £1216b (an increase

Total provisional UK furniture

of +8.0%). Expenditure for the whole

manufacturing turnover in 2016 was

matter how small) will potentially

furnishings, household goods and routine

£8.35b, which was +4.5% higher than the

generate domestic furniture sales.

maintenance sector rose by +19.3%

previous year. Data up to and including

However, putting this into context,

from 2013-16, reaching £58.8b, with a

September suggests that turnover in

annual dwellings starts remained well

significant increase of +7.2% over the

2017 could be +3% greater than in 2016,

below those recorded in the four years

year from 2015-16. This expenditure

although more recent anecdotal evidence

prior to the 2008 financial crisis, when

increase exceeded that for all other

points to more challenging market

they were typically of the order of

competitor products.

conditions in the last quarter.

These increases in new homes (no

220,000-235,000. The UK’s new homes trends are

Consumer expenditure on furniture and furnishings was almost £16.7b in

mirrored by property transaction

2016, and exceeded all other spend in the

statistics where the total number of

household goods sector. This represented

property transactions above £40,000

a +24% increase from 2013. The YoY

only increased by +1.2% from 2015 to

growth from 2013-15 was between 8 and


9%. However, growth from 2015-16 was

Whilst the number of non-residential property transactions remained relatively

somewhat less, at +5.5%.

“Furniture and furnishings demand at a consumer level has increased significantly”

The latest data shows that furniture Furniture manufacturing in 2013 equated to 1.35% of the UK’s total manufacturing turnover, whereas by 2016 this had increased to +1.60%. “Retail data suggests that furniture and furnishings demand at a consumer level has increased significantly, some of which will be derived from UK manufacturers,” says Pete. “It appears that our sector has done better than others YoY, so we are likely to gradually gain greater share of UK manufacturing turnover.” In 2016, 6223 UK furniture manufacturers employed some 88,000

Average weekly internet sales for household goods, 2014-17

FN347_Pages.indd 27

individuals. Despite its turnover being

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28 | Resources

1.60% of the total for UK manufacturing, the furniture sector employed 3.47% of all UK manufacturing personnel, which is estimated to have equated to 2.18% of the UK manufacturing wage bill. Unlike the other subsectors, turnover for the office and shop contract sectors dropped between 2015-16 from £2.26b to £2.16b (-4.8%). Turnover in the kitchen sector had historically fallen significantly from a high of £1.70b in 2008 to a low of £1.15b in 2011. Turnover increased, returning to £1.73b by 2014, but 2015 was a comparatively poor year, with turnover dropping back -£1.65b. 2016 data suggests that this was just a blip, with turnover increasing to £2.00b, which equated to a massive +17.8% Furniture imports into the UK, 2016

increase on 2015. This increase was larger than might have been expected, and it is difficult to judge whether it was all

figures, accounting for 40% of turnover.

higher than the previous year, which

attributable to the market, or whether it

As such, any recovery in turnover here

indicates that some of the larger

was partially due to data reconciliation

normally reflects the overall position for

companies have continued to grow.


the whole furniture sector.

“From a general business point of view,

The mattress subsector continued

However, the increase for the whole

there is always a drive for companies

to grow. The £0.83b turnover in 2016

sector from 2015-16 was much higher

to grow – either organically or by

reflected a +9.1% increase on 2015.

(at +4.5%), with the apparent large

acquisition,” says Pete.

The rest of furniture manufacturing

improvement in performance in the

“However, the data also suggests

comes under the heading of ‘other

kitchen sector clearly influencing this

that there were more companies in 2016

furniture’ in the digest, and comprises

overall increase.

than in 2015 – so for every merger there has also been a number of new starts,

the largest of the industry’s four subsectors. In 2016, turnover in this

Company size

predominantly at the lower turnover

subsector – which includes upholstery

Furniture manufacturing is dominated


and cabinet furniture – reached £3.37b,

by micro- and small- to medium-sized

which represented a +1.7% increase over

businesses, with only 285 companies

companies in the sector, compared

the 2015 figure of £3.32b.

(4.6%) operating at turnovers in excess

with 6155 in the previous year. Most of

of £5m.

this growth has been in the number of

This broad subsector has a significant influence on UK furniture manufacturing’s overall performance

Just 140 companies turn over more than £10m. This number is slightly

The latest data indicates 6230

companies turning over less than £1m, although there has been a slight increase in the number of organisations in the £2-5m bracket, which is assumed to be due to growth rather than new entrants. The digest recorded that 82.6% of companies turned over less than £1m in 2016, and the largest percentage of companies are in the £100,000-250,000 turnover band (29.7%). There is a significant proportion of extremely small companies within the whole furniture manufacturing sector, with 56.0% of organisations operating at turnovers of less than £250,000. In the mattress and office and shop subsectors, the percentage of smaller companies is lower than for the other sectors (54.8% and 68.5% within these sectors, respectively, turn over less than

Furniture exports from the UK, 2016

FN347_Pages.indd 28

£1m). Conversely, in the other furniture

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30 | Resources

the total. France and Germany, next in the hierarchy, each received 10% of UK furniture exports. Trade with leading European nations continued to be the main source of export income (63% of the total) and the main trade destinations were similar to those in 2015. Exports to the European Community totalled £0.71b in 2016 – an increase of £0.08b – with France, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Spain being the primary recipients. The negative trade gap continued to widen, with increases in imports outstripping any small increases in UK furniture trade figures, 2012-17

and kitchen sectors, this is higher, at

respectively. However, each of these

86.4% and 84.4% respectively.

countries roughly accounted for 10% of

The mattress sector has

furniture imports into the UK, at about

proportionately more large companies

half a billion pounds each.

than the others. 19.4% of companies

The value of 2016 imports from the

turn over more than £5m, compared

European Community was £2.9b – an

with 10.5% for o�ce and shop, and 3.1%

increase on the previous year when it was

each for the other furniture and kitchen



Furniture exports have gradually increased in recent years, from £0.83b

International trade

in 2012 to £1.13b in 2016. This equated to

Imports of furniture into the UK in 2016

a +13% increase from 2015-16, which is

increased to £5.8b compared with the

a greater percentage increase than the

previous year’s figure of £5.4b. This

+9% figure for imports over the same

equates to 42% of the home market for

period. However, in pounds sterling,

UK furniture manufacturing (including

this increase of £0.13b in exports was

add-on services). Indications for 2017 are

somewhat smaller than the £0.48b

that furniture imports could reach £6.5b,

increase in imports.

which would equate to about 1% of all UK imports.

The prediction for 2017 is that exports will continue to increase and could reach

The majority of imports originated from China (£1.9b), although its share of imports into the UK, having reached

£1.23b, which represents an improvement of +9% on 2016. Exports to the Irish Republic have

33% in 2015, decreased slightly to 32%

increased significantly over recent

in 2016.

years. In 2016, it received 22% of all

In pure financial terms, Italy lost its

UK furniture exports, which equated to

position of second in the hierarchy of

£0.25b. There was a small increase in

furniture exporters to the UK, being

UK furniture exports to the US in 2016

overtaken by Germany and Poland,

(£0.12b), which accounted for 11% of

exports. It reached £4.7b in 2016, and could be almost £5.3b by the end of 2017. Whilst exports to European countries are significant for the sector, the reality is that many of these countries continued to export more to the UK than vice versa. As such, the negative trade gap with the European Community in 2016 equated to £2.20b. The main positive trade gap, as in previous years, was with the Irish Republic. This gap, despite the country’s recent increases in exports to the UK, moved from £0.14b in 2015 to £0.16b in 2016. After this, there was a number of countries with which the UK benefited from much smaller positive trade gaps, starting with the US at £42m (almost double the previous year) and the UAE at £27m, also significantly greater than the previous year. Australia was next in the list, usurping Saudi Arabia, with the positive trade gap being £12m. The trade gap with Russia remained positive, but only by £11m. All findings and summaries in this article are subject to copyright, being issued by FIRA International, the exclusive service provider to the Furniture Industry Research Association.

THE AUTHOR Dr Peter Beele is the technical development manager at furniture testing and research body FIRA. The full report is available free to FIRA members, and for £2000 otherwise. W

FN347_Pages.indd 30

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32 | Resources

For the Chinese, 2017 was the year of the Rooster – but its wake-up call failed to reach retail sales. In fact, the whole year remained dormant for a number of reasons – Phil Mullis looks at how retail unfolded and what the future may hold for the industry in 2018 …

The ebb and flow of retail – what’s in store for 2018? Despite the backdrop of January sales and Chinese New Year, the retail sales delivered a gloomy start to 2017. The underlying pattern, based on threemonth-by-three-month movement, decreased by -0.4% - the first fall since December 2013. By way of contrast, January 2016 retail sales experienced growth for the 33rd consecutive month – a +5.2% increase compared to a year previously.

“Consumers are now demanding value – not just by way of low cost but also decent quality, leaving retailers to scrutinise profit margins”

This was disappointing because, at

consequently, the overall customer experience. In April, the 132-year-old retailer, Jaeger, closed its doors. Some of its competitors offered a ‘fast-fashion’ alternative, available the second the weather became unseasonably too warm or cold. In addition, fast-fashion enables retailers to reproduce catwalk fashion much quicker – meaning consumers can have the latest collections now, rather

the time, the consumer was in a good

prices started to rise, which affected

than in six months’ time. Sadly, Jaeger

position, financially – inflation was yet

the retail sales statistics with a +2.4%

could not keep up and became irrelevant

to hit and fuel prices were low, giving

increase in the quantity bought. It gave

in the world of fashion.

the average household more disposable

the industry some hope, as on the surface


it looked like people were spending

technology. For example, the grocery

Also, the three-month-on-three-

Other retail sectors have embraced

more – when it was actually inflationary

sector, which is under constant pressure

month figures would have taken into

increases that affected the overall

to improve productivity and keep prices

account the Christmas spend from the

figures. A rise in retailers’ input costs

low, has stepped up its self-serve

second part of Q4 2016 – so a -0.4%

were starting to be passed on to their


decrease did not set the Year of the


Rooster off to a flying start.

September 2017 delivered a similarly

This has come at a human cost, with Tesco making 8000 and Asda 4357 job

so-so set of statistics, and we entered

cuts in 2017 – around three quarters of

First stop – where have we been

the Golden Quarter with lower quantities

which affected store staff. This is a stark

The rest of the retail journey for 2017

bought compared to 2016. By contrast,

reminder that regardless of the size of

continued a similar pattern. Retail sales

in November 2016, the quantity of goods

your business, you need to make sure

from Valentine’s Day only delivered a

bought increased by +5.9% YoY, whereas

that you are constantly keeping an eye on

+1.5%. However, the three-month-on-

October 2017 showed a -0.3% fall.

the market and adjusting your offering

three month pattern during Q1 2017

according to the resources available.

quickly burst this bubble, showing an

How did we get here?

overall decrease in sales by -1.4%.

Since 2008 and the infamous credit

the digital age, and automation doesn’t

The sales were broadly at the same

However, retailers should be embracing

crunch, we have seen a complete change

always mean redundancies. Jobs can also

level for Q2 (April to June) 2017 as at

in consumer behaviour. Consumers are

be created with the new technologies,

the start of the year – a beginning of a

now demanding value – not just by

and there are more opportunities for

flatline, perhaps?

way of low cost but also decent quality,

retailers to invest in staff training, for

leaving retailers to scrutinise profit

example, and new products.

Compare this to the same period in 2016, where the volume of sales

margins to ensure they remain viable in a

increased +6% in May and the value

keenly-fought marketplace.

of online sales increased by +21.5%

Furthermore, many consumers

Retail continued to be challenged by the Minimum Wage, business rates and Apprenticeship Levy (common to many

from 2015 – this was even against a

consider it the norm to demand access

businesses but particularly retail). And,

background of the referendum vote and

to retailers across multiple channels

lest we forget, currency devaluation, an

the subsequent currency devaluation.

(mobile, social media and in-store),

interest rate rise, inflationary pressures

and retailers need to be switched on to

and continued uncertainty following

technology to sate demand.

the Brexit vote all gave consumers

Second stop – where are we now? The second half of the retail journey for

In many cases retailers have used

2017 was no more fruitful than the first

technology to place them in front of

– consumers may decide on a night

half. Inflation saw prices rise at their

the consumer – and arguably, this

out rather than a new top as a way of

fastest pace since 1991. Food and fuel

has improved their offering and,

utilising their discretionary spend.

FN347_Pages.indd 32

reasons to monitor their finances closely

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34 | Resources

What’s in store for 2018? After the Brexit vote, many of my clients reported a stalling in big ticket and discretionary spends – particularly in furniture retail. Thankfully, it did pick up again during early 2017, but there is a chance as talks surrounding Brexit continue into 2018 and beyond that uncertainty could continue in the market. Looking ahead, I do not expect there

“Despite the issues mentioned, retailers have been and will continue to be a resilient and innovative breed”

registered in the UK, if their annual turnover exceeds the VAT Registration Threshold (currently £85,000). The onus is on the third-party platform to ensure the seller is providing a real VAT number. Some unscrupulous retailers have provided false VAT numbers, and charged customers VAT but pocketed what should have been due to the Exchequer.

to be a great deal of retail sales growth –

- that may not seem much, but every

one reason is that our GDP forecast looks

pound counts when it comes to consumer

retailers have been and will continue

anaemic, at less than +2% per annum.


to be a resilient and innovative breed.

Thankfully, it looks like inflation peaked

In some welcome news, the Chancellor,

Finally, despite the issues mentioned,

Consumers will continue shopping

in 2017, but, as long as it outstrips real

in his Autumn Budget, referenced rogue

– how, where and when are the

wage growth, consumers’ discretionary

traders. Mr Hammond said that online

questions that retailers need to answer.

spend will continue to be squeezed – not

marketplaces would be jointly liable with

Those retailers who get closer to their

ideal for growing retail sales.

sellers for VAT in order to address VAT

customers will fare better, but as with

In addition, we could see a further

fraud. It means that traders operating

any business, they should always be

interest rate increase, perhaps adding an

through a third-party platform, such

keeping it as lean as possible without

extra £20 to monthly mortgage payments

as Amazon or eBay, will need to be VAT

compromising on customer service.

THE AUTHOR Phil Mullis is a partner, and head of retail and wholesale, at chartered accountancy firm, Wilkins Kennedy LLP, which provides a range of accounting and business advisory services. W

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42 | Profile

Bulk-buy partner promises “win-win scenario” Promising container-loads of well-priced product without the up-front costs, Denmark’s Trade Point is a middleman with a difference, says Bo Simonsen, the company’s market manager for the UK & Ireland … As a Dane who’s spent 19 years living in the UK, Bo is no stranger to import operations. Having worked in sales roles with the likes of Willis & Gambier, Actona and Flexa, he’s well versed in the nation’s unique demands and approaches, and believes that Trade Point offers the UK’s container buyers a degree of choice and service that’s unrivalled in the market … How’s business? Since Trade Point entered the UK last

“We currently offer 14,628 SKUs, and ship close to 15,000 40ft HC containers each year, and this immense volume means we can offer very competitive pricing”

April, we’ve opened accounts with

retailers the world over full containers of furniture and accessories. What’s the scope of your product range? It’s truly a one-stop shop. We have every major product group covered, from entry-level to high-end models, encompassing indoor and outdoor furniture and accessories. We’ve got furniture that looks a million dollars but costs much less, so our customers can make a healthy margin. How do you keep your prices low?

numerous independent and national

What are the company’s credentials?

It’s all about scale. We currently offer

retailers, who increasingly need more

Trade Point celebrated its 20th

14,628 SKUs, and ship close to 15,000

competitive price points and higher

anniversary last year. We’re well

40ft HC containers each year, and this

margins – and container buying is the

established on the international stage,

immense volume means we can offer

best way to achieve that.

with offices and showrooms in Denmark,

very competitive pricing, and give

China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and

retailers a better deal than they could

traditional way, there’s also the risk of

Brazil, and we have manufacturing

find anywhere else.

getting burned – so it’s crucial to pick

partners in many of these countries, plus

the right partner.

in Eastern Europe. From these, we offer

But if you’re buying containers in the

Do customers have to purchase large amounts of the same product, then? We work in volume, but we’re flexible when it comes to mixing the ranges in each delivery. We don’t have a one-sizefits-all approach – we work together with our partners in each market to build the best set-up. So you’re able to develop white-label products alongside your stocked lines? Customers can tap straight into our established lines – which are grouped this year within three must-have trend

Trade Point’s owner Rene Nielsen with UK & Ireland market manager Bo Simonsen

FN347_Pages.indd 42

categories – or we can build a range based on a design brief.

29/01/2018 15:29

Profile | 43

Have any global industry developments significantly affected Trade Point of late? The changes in China over the last 8-10 months have been amazing. Factories have closed down overnight, entire industrial areas have been shut down for months, and raw material prices have increased drastically. New environmental regulation has really concentrated and focused the supply chain over there – so we’ve increased staffing and beefed up our management to make sure the disruption is dealt with before it hits the customer. That said, we manufacture in many

The company employs a large creative team to ensure it stays ahead of emerging trends

countries, so our eggs aren’t all in one basket!

When we start working with

buy products at fairs – the problems

multinational retailers, for example, we

start when you don’t get what you’ve

And has the Brexit process already

look at where we can bring value to their

agreed, or there’s a breakdown in the

impacted your UK business?

customers, and identify any gaps in their

supply chain. We take a complex process,

Brexit is Brexit. There’s nothing you

offer. We then discuss development plans

simplify it and add security. Once the

can do about it, other than focusing on

in line with coming trends, while making

order is placed, it’s our responsibility to

bringing the best products to market, at

the most of our existing stocks – or

see everything through – from ensuring

the right prices.

design and develop specific products for

our factories are regulated and the


workers ethically treated, to overseeing

Can you sum up your offer?

the product’s entire life cycle.

We have global reach and a local set-up.

If we take the latter approach, the

We’re already designing, sourcing and

retailer will enjoy exclusivity for that line in their territory, but we’ll explore

And if there is a problem?

delivering products at a low fixed cost

where else it might sell. Basically, it’ll

Then we take care of it, in person. If

to some of the biggest retailers in the

be a white-label product in its country

there’s an issue with one particular

world, and are now ready to take on the

of origin, but it may also become a stock

batch, we need to quickly establish if

UK market.

line for our international customers.

there’s the potential for that to affect

Most importantly, we make it easy to

other products and customer bases. We

safely buy great-value product, all from

hit on a fantastic idea and come to us

also need to make sure the factories can

one supplier.

to bring it to the market – it could be

handle what we’re putting through them,

that we see the potential for it to be sold

and bring them up to speed if there’s a

Where can I see the ranges for myself?

elsewhere, or a customer in another


We attend plenty of international shows,

Even a one-store independent might

but our 55,000ft2 showroom in Odense,

country already has something similar in

Trade Point’s owner, Rene Nielsen,

development. It then becomes a real win-

understands the importance of a direct

Denmark is probably the best place to see

win scenario – production of the range

business model that makes things as

what we offer. It always reflects the latest

grows to the point at which everyone

simple as possible for the customer. He

trends, making it easy for retailers to pick

benefits from better prices and quality.

once told me: “Trade Point must stay

the winning products. Drop me a line to

nimble on its feet – I don’t believe in

set up a visit!

How can you guarantee that the quality

complicated layers of management, but

levels are maintained?

in letting the people in charge of their

T 07747 610072

We have QC set up under Danish

area take action.”


management. In China alone we have more than 45 people whose job it is to ensure you get the products you want, as per any initial agreement. And customers don’t pay any money up front? Trade Point finance the up-front production payments – you only pay when the goods are ready to ship. Anybody can travel the world and

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Trade Point’s 55,000ft2 showroom in Odense, Denmark presents the latest of the company’s 14,000-plus SKUs

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44 | Profile

Shankar reveals new approach With an established reputation for supplying hardwood dining furniture and chairs, West Midlands-based supplier Shankar is taking a new approach to business this year, reveals Melanie Main … Shankar can rarely be accused of standing

“Our products have changed,” explains

takes care to ensure its personnel and

still. Constantly on the search for new

Melanie. “They’re now much more

customer service match the quality of its

ideas and designs, the Wolverhampton

upmarket, with a higher price point, so


designer, importer and distributor is

you have to work less to achieve higher

well aware of the importance of bringing

sales, rather than selling more to achieve

techniques to drive Shankar forward,”

customers a steady stream of fresh

the same.”

says Melanie, “not least of which in our

products, and the result is a carefully-

Indeed, Shankar’s January Furniture

“We are always using lots of savvy

work to improve the brand’s visibility

curated selection that reflects the latest

Show 2018 offer was visibly different to

and expand into territories.” Shankar

design, fabric, colour and texture trends.

previous years, in which dining chairs

was recognised for its work in this

dominated its stand. There’s now a

respect when it won last year’s BCABA

Shankar business partner Melanie, as the

clear divide in the supplier’s portfolio –

Network (Black Country Asian Business

rapidly-growing company drives home a

between the simple, affordable Espresso

Association) Business Award for Best

higher value proposition that is already

Living items, and the more luxurious

International Trade.

resonating with stockists.

designer living products that make up

T 01902 399764

Shankar’s Grande Designs collection.


This year will be no different, asserts

“We had a fantastic show,” says Melanie. “Running a modern company can be tough, but we’ve listened to our customers, and given them what they’ve asked for – and the response to our new seating and bed models shows that we’re definitely expanding into an area of demand.” Despite this change of tack, Shankar retains its well-established strengths. Formed a number of years ago by members of the Main family, the company retains its personal touch, and

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BEDS Sleep in style with our handcrafted NEW upholstered crushed velvet bed collection. Our 3 key bed models can be produced in a choice of 4 colours: Silver Black Mink Pearl They are available with complementing 3 or 4ft storage ottomans.

T: 01902 399764 E5 MoorďŹ eld Road Wolverhampton West Midlands WV2 4QT E: ShankarFeb18.indd FN347_Pages.indd 1 45

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46 | Profile

The FR collection

Diversity key to Kettle’s big reveal With the launch of two bedroom ranges, 29 chair styles and a collection of bevelled glass mirrors, the January Furniture Show was a busy time for Kettle Interiors. Furniture News spoke to sales director, Simon Ainge, to see what these introductions mean for the supplier’s portfolio this year … “We’ve long been famed for bringing

its customers maximise the choice they

out the very latest in on-trend looks at

can offer consumers.

the show, and this year was no different,

“We’re pretty confident that romantic painted bedroom furniture has now found

“Our collections are packed full of

a new direction, with softer washed

with the launch of NT Bedroom and

variety, with pieces for every occasion,

finishes on the up,” explains Simon.

the FR collection – but we also decided

but each has always been limited to one

“We’ve also seen a move towards more

to branch out a little this year with

or two matching chair styles,” continues

luxurious country styles, so we designed

some complementing ranges that see

Simon. “We’ve had modern bonded

the FR collection, a perfect blend of

us diversify from traditional cabinet

leather styles, but recently we’ve noticed

grey-washed oak and French provincial

furniture,” says Simon.

a big shift towards more luxurious

country style.

“With our brand new mirror collection, we’re giving our existing furniture

upholstered styles.

“The result is akin to furniture you

“So, for 2018 we’ve put together an

might expect to find in a grand French

customers the opportunity to capitalise

extraordinary extension to our collection

chateau, but proportioned for today’s

on this lucrative accessory sale, with

of 29 different combinations. With six

homes and with all the modern details,

four styles that come individually boxed

items in different choices of fabrics –

including metal runners.”

for ease. From baroque to Edwardian,

from plain to a gorgeous duck egg blue

the designs typify popular gilt styles

stripe and a heritage-inspired check

show, it was clear that Kettle Interiors

in the sector, and come in a range of

– the looks range from button back to

has again delivered a mix of perennial

rectangular sizes ready for any home.”

scroll, and even office chairs and stools.

favourites and engaging new looks. With

This really is a fully-featured collection.”

these introductions available from UK

Moving around the stand, the sheer variety of upholstered chairs was

One of Kettle’s big launches of 2017,

With a busy stand throughout the

stocks at the supplier’s usual competitive

immediately noticeable, and impressive

the NT Collection, has been expanded

pricing, retailers can enjoy these new

in its depth. This seems a big move for

to include a full suite of bedroom items.

collections without delay.

Kettle Interiors, but one that falls in line

A more adventurous move was the

T 01536 444960

with the supplier’s reputation for helping

introduction of the FR collection.


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48 | Profile

Corndell helps retailers ‘get the look’ In 2014, Corndell, one of the UK’s best-known cabinet furniture manufacturers, began its transformation into a brand with a distinct look and marketing positioning. But what impact does a new look have on the way ranges are presented, and how does it help the retailer? Furniture News investigates the company’s latest exhibition stand to find out … Prior to 2014, marketing within the Corndell business was confined to trade support – but it was quickly recognised

Wall vinyls help articulate the brand position and set the scene

that any brand, be it B2B or B2C, needs to stand out and have a uniqueness that engages an audience, either through the pages of a brochure or on the shop floor. Today, Corndell’s Cotswold Chic positioning is instilled throughout the business, and, informs every process, from furniture design to photography, in print and online. Perhaps the biggest embodiment of this new image is the company’s January Furniture Show stand presentation, which is developed from as early as July, in tandem with the development of the next year’s new ranges. What is Cotswold Chic? Corndell has been based in Witney, Oxfordshire for over 40 years, and its workforce represents many local families. Oxfordshire, with its long heritage of furnituremaking, is also a county renowned for its fine countryside, quality produce, architectural merit and the good things in life, and all these attributes help influence and inform the development of Corndell’s furniture. Many of the ranges - including the ever-popular Nimbus – are built in oak, and the 20-plus paint colours in Corndell’s palette are influenced by the natural colours of the local countryside. This background was the basis of the marketing messaging and style, and it gives Corndell a unique identity within the UK marketplace. Cotswold Chic personifies consistent, high quality products, and represents a style found in high-end Oxfordshire interiors – a mixture of attractive wood finishes, soft, natural colours, comfort and sophistication, in a rural setting. The shopper who enjoys this look demands the finest goods, understands interior design, does not want anything abbrasive or challenging in their home, and wants well-made items which have an English influence. Corndell’s design team, headed by Melanie Mills, uses these references when creating each range, and the photographic

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Profile | 49

Cotswold stone hints at provenance

styling is based on the more general

anxious about the choices they are

Country Chic trend, carried out in

making – while others are more

Cotswold locations.

confident and want to enjoy a day

Well-dressed bedrooms evoke warmth and comfort

selecting furniture for their home. How can this help retailers?

Either way, choosing a product for the

When shopping for high value items,

home is a representation of a consumer’s

some consumers can often be slightly

personal style, and any assistance that can be given will help move the selling

Less is more for this classic piece

process along. Therefore, images of the furniture within an attractive room setting, plus well-laid out room sets within the store and POS and brochures which demonstrate colour, finish and range options, are a must. The January Furniture Show is often

and the size of the room sets. However, smaller arrangements work as well in

the starting point for a retailer’s product

store – indeed, the Country Chic palette

selection, and Corndell’s is designed

for flowers is, naturally, strictly white,

to demonstrate the ideal way in which

green and English.

to display its ranges – along with the

The walls and flooring are important

Cotswold Chic pointers and messaging.

elements of the display. In retail, the

The beauty of the process is that once the

furniture works particularly well on stone

furniture is in place, the styling elements

or slate flooring, with the natural colours

are very easy to achieve, and a few simple

and texture suiting any wood or painted

additions can turn five pieces of furniture

finish. At the NEC, Corndell demonstrates

into an interesting and engaging display.

how the application of graphic vinyls

For example, the accessories used are

hint at the product USPs, and provenance

all textural, and in soft, natural colours.

- created in the Cotswolds – almost

Often the materials are natural wood,


tweed, wool or handmade ceramic,

Brand identity may have once seemed

and, for a finishing touch, sprinkled

irrelevant, but installations such as this

pine cones and dried leaves add to the

demonstrate how engaging a strong set


of defining principles – in this instance,

Fresh flowers are important, and the

Cotswold Chic – can be.

displays used at the show are pretty impressive due to the ceiling height

Styling creates a story

FN347_Pages.indd 49


Flowers add a natural touch

29/01/2018 15:29

New for 2018 ...

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Corndell/DaylesfordFeb18_2.indd 1 FN347_Pages.indd 50

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Daylesford Painted & Satin Oak

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22/01/2018 29/01/2018 11:26 15:29

52 | Profile

Importer Home Inc was set up as a subsidiary of an existing outdoor furniture retailer – so whilst still establishing its brand and describing itself as a ‘new’ company, it is supported by a wealth of experience …

Home Inc offers an unrivalled finish Home Inc imports directly from its

Its high gloss pieces, for example,

with soft-close doors and drawers,

partner manufacturer in the Far East,

have a perfectly flat, mirror-like

these contemporary pieces are engaging

which has perfected the difficult process

finish that is missing from many of its

centrepieces that promise to stand the

of manufacturing high gloss furniture

competitors’ models. They also have a

test of time.

– and, due to its existing relationships

sheet of tempered glass bonded to the

T 0800 772 0807

with major retailers, provides exemplary

upper surface for protection. Coupled


packaging. The company holds stock at its new 30,000ft2 warehouse and integrated showroom close the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, ready for prompt delivery. It aims to provide complete ranges of assembled, high quality, uniquelydesigned products at competitive prices, backed up by a friendly and dependable service – and welcomes enquiries and visits from new customers so it can show them the quality of these products.




DEV-02 3 Drawer Bedside Unit

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PL-10 Large TV Stand

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FN347_Pages.indd 52


web: 29/01/2018 08:41

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Home In

????????????? | 53

Home Inc. - Wholesalers of Premium Quality, Contemporary, Indoor Furniture Ranges to the Trade We understand that seeing a product in person is an important part of the decision making process for a retailer before they give up valuable floor space to a new range. To help with this, we have recently fitted out a new show van with samples of our existing ranges like the ones pictured here. Further containers of these products have arrived in our warehouse so if you are thinking of having something new on your floor for Christmas, please get in touch (using the details below) and we will try and rush through a visit to you. As we are a relatively new company that is growing rapidly we have taken the decision to use all our profits to bolster our stock levels, which means we may struggle to exhibit our products at this year’s January Furniture Show. Therefore please use our offer and let us come to you rather than you travel to Birmingham. Please keep an eye out for us next year however, as our plans for 2018 involve developing some exciting new ranges utilising innovative new ceramic surfaces that we will want to show off.

Showroom & Warehouse Riverpark Trading Estate, Riverpark Road, Eastlands, Manchester M40 2XP Please contact Alistair on: 0800 772 0807 or Home IncDec17(editfromOct17).indd 1 FN347_Pages.indd 53

06/11/2017 29/01/2018 12:20 15:29

Discovering ... Black Steel and Solid Oak

Waxed Oak Finish

Individual and unique raw edge

White Oiled Oak

CorndellOakmillFeb18_3.indd 1 FN347_Pages.indd 54

01993 776545

29/01/2018 15:29


Slab or Steel leg options

FN347_Pages.indd 55

22/01/2018 29/01/2018 11:27 15:29



Event: The Scottish Furniture Trades Benevolent Association (SFTBA) Gala Dinner Location: The Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow Date: Wednesday 29th November Lowdown: Over 100 members of the trade attended the annual charity gala, which raised almost £4000 to help people within the industry that have fallen on hard times. Funds were raised through a dice game which offered the potential to win £10,000, as well as an auction of items donated by Hypnos, Halo and Kaymed. The most notable donation on the night was from Ian Archibald of Archers Sleepcentre, who won a Hypnos bed with a £2000 bid. Another winner was Hypnos MD James Keen, who left with a signed cycling top donated by 2016 Olympic Gold Medallist Katie Archibald (Ian’s daughter).

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58 | Living

Having exhibited at the January Furniture Show for seven years

products, ranging from accessories to bedroom furniture and

running, Eco Furniture ( enjoyed its


most successful exhibition yet last month.

“Due to us being able to reach out to many new customers

“We believe it the pinnacle of the year for us, as it allows us

at this year’s show, we are excited to announce that we are

to showcase our new product ranges and existing range at the

allowing our customers to benefit from our already-brilliant

biggest furniture exhibition in the UK,” says a spokesperson.

prices, with 10% off any order placed between February 3rd-9th

At this year’s show, Eco Furniture introduced over 50

using the promo code SPF2018,” concludes Eco Furniture.

Tastes change, and no-one setting up home for the first time wants the same furniture as their parents or grandparents. That is why Core Products’ (01738 630555, investment in finishing technology has paid dividends, bringing its Corona offer up to date to appeal to these new consumers. In addition to the classic Corona waxed finish, Core also introduced a subtle grey wax wash finish last year, complemented with gunmetal-coloured hardware. Being made from real wood, the natural characteristics and grain still show through. This range has been so successful that Core has had to significantly increase production to meet demand. New this year is a refreshed version of the Corona

finish, with tops made from individually

whitewashed range, which comes blended

painted and distressed effect planks,

with antique wax tops and antiqued metal

which are tongue and groove-jointed to


give this version of the range a unique

With the desire for upcycled-look furniture greater than ever, Core has also

effect. Retailers wishing to bring their Corona

brought out a Vintage paint-effect version

offer right up to date should request

of Corona. Still made from real wood,

their own copy of the Core Products 2018

it incorporates the bestselling grey wax

product directory today.

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Corona Vintage

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Living | 59

Louis de Poortere (, www. has teamed with Villa Nova, part of the Romo group, to bring a fresh range of flatweave and hand-tufted rugs to the market. Villa Nova is a British brand with a philosophy of creating stylish and innovative fabrics, wallcoverings and accessories in a trend-focused palette. Working closely with Villa Nova’s design team, rugmaker Louis de Poortere has captured the essence of its original patterns in nine striking designs. The collection includes bright botanicals, bold geometrics and abstract patterns, presented as hand-tufted 100% wool or wool-mix rugs, or flatweave rugs in soft cotton chenille.


The rugs have been designed to co-ordinate with Villa Nova’s

Best known for its beds and mattresses, Hyder Living (01484 531000, also offers a range of practical and

fabrics, wallcoverings and cushions, making it easy for homeowners to create a co-ordinating scheme.

clever sofa beds. Previously available to order, these sofa beds will be available from UK stocks this April. Hyder Living will also be expanding the current range with new styles to ensure retailers can benefit from a fully-featured collection that is easily accessible and available with direct shipping. Says director Biny Hyder. “Currently only available to order, we are now confident that the range meets the style and practicality demands of homes around the country, so we have taken the decision to make them widely available to our network this April.” The decision comes as the company continues to expand its bed offer, and the Natural Collection of luxury Made in Yorkshire mattresses. The supplier is also in the final stages of developing a new line of sofas.

The team at Febland (01253 600600,

“It was nice to welcome our existing returned to its

customers, who were able to see our new

ourselves on being able to satisfy most

Blackpool headquarters with “mixed

products in the flesh, touch the fabrics


feelings” following last month’s January

and test the performance of the new

Furniture Show, according to the

lines. We did gain a few good quality

plaques, metal wall art, clocks, LED

company’s Stephen Ward.

new customers, but we wonder about the

lighting, LED guitars and upholstered

buying trends – where are the retailers

chairs went well, with a good choice of

going to find new lines?

colours and finishes.

“There were plenty of visitors and slightly less exhibitors, but the desire to place orders was lacking,” says Stephen.

“We do supply a number of internet

“On a high note, our new lady shopper

“Aside from the exhibition, our

“Our stand was creative, and the variety

companies as well as high street stores

upholstery department is very busy with

of furniture, giftware and lighting was

and contract companies, and consider

contract furniture for retirement homes,

there, but the sales were down on last

ourselves flexible – with bespoke

with very specific chair dimensions and


requests and delivery times, we pride

wood finishes – which we excel at.”

FN347_Pages.indd 59

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60 | Living

The January Furnit of our new and e & the la Buoyant’s new range offers both glamour and comfort


If you didn’t our sales

January was a busy month for Buoyant Upholstery. The January Furniture Show marked the launch of a partnership with ILiv, resulting in collections based around five themes – Scandi, Country, Classic, Contemporary and Glamour. According to Buoyant, the feedback was “amazing”, and visitors to the stand were impressed by the “inspirational” fabrics and shapes they encountered … As well as these collections, Buoyant

seat interiors; Flair, which offers a

and scatter back cushions, and comes

Upholstery added eight new models and

glamorous mix of chenille and velvet

upholstered in soft chenille fabrics mixed

two accent chairs to its core range.

fabrics, chrome studs and is finished

with faux leather trim and co-ordinated

with chrome feet, features sumptuous


These introductions comprised: Zephyr, a contemporary, compact model

Extraflex seating, and is available with

that does not compromise on seating area

both formal back cushions or casual

new accent chairs, Merlin and Ringo,

due to the narrow arm feature, and offers

pillow back cushions;

which promise to enhance any room.

on-trend chrome stud detailing and

Sloane, a twist on classic styling

These new models were joined by two

Buoyant’s sales agents will be visiting

Foamflex seat interiors, which come with

featuring contrast piping detail, chenille

various areas in the company’s show

a five-year guarantee;

fabrics and solid hardwood feet, also

vans shortly, so anyone who was unable

benefits from Foamflex seat interiors,

to attend the NEC will have a chance to

range which is both elegant and

and is available with both formal and

see the new models for themselves.

comfortable, and comes upholstered in

pillow back cushions;

Sophie, a classic-style upholstered

flatweave fabrics with contrasting fresh

Portman, which has sweeping arms

Buoyant Upholstery continues to build over a century’s worth of knowledge,

floral scatters, all finished with solid oak

with deep button detailing and fibre-

experience and quality into every piece

turned feet;

filled standard back cushions for extra

of furniture it makes, and remains

comfort, and comes upholstered in

a committed member of the British

in a plush, soft chenille fabric, which

flatweave fabrics with co-ordinating

Furniture Manufacturers association,

offers an impressive sit thanks to its

scatters in fresh, vibrant prints, while

lending its continual support to the

super-soft cushions; Washington, a

benefiting from Foamflex seat interiors;

consumer-facing Great British Furniture

timeless traditional design with soft

and the Denny, which incorporates


rounded scroll arms and deep Foamflex

Extraflex seats and soft fibre arm pads


Byron, a transitional range upholstered

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niture Show marke d exciting partners e launch of 8 brand Telephone - 01282 691631

dn’t get a chance to visit us at the N sales agents will be visiting your area The January Furniture Show marked the launch of our new and exciting partnership with ILIV & the launch of 8 brand new models If you didn’t get a chance to visit us at the NEC don’t worry because our sales agents will be visiting your area in our show vans soon.


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Central Furniture Manufacturing Ltd For a Full Colour Brochure please call 0121 766 8110


Vogue Range Marino Range Mulliner Works, 154 Bordesley Green Road, Birmingham, B8 1BY Tel Fax Email Web

: : : :

CFMFeb18_1.indd 1

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0121 766 8110 0121 766 7450

26/01/2018 11:41

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Central Furniture Manufacturing Ltd For a Full Colour Brochure please call 0121 766 8110


Sorreto, Newport & Nova Range Mulliner Works, 154 Bordesley Green Road, Birmingham, B8 1BY Tel Fax Email Web

: : : :

CFMFeb18_2.indd 1

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0121 766 8110 0121 766 7450

26/01/2018 11:40

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The Shire Bed Company’s (01924 439898, www.shirebeds.

Opal Active Jubilee mattress, part of its latest Anniversary Active collection, is inspired by its work with Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos Rugby League team. The range provides a deep level of support to aid the rest and relaxation benefits critical to elite athletes. Shire’s marketing director Fara Butt says: “The range, which has incorporated feedback from our sporting links, has been incredibly well received by customers who like the science behind the collection – it gives them a real talking point when dealing with consumers.” The high-performing 2000 series encapsulated pocket spring mattress also includes smart climate and moisture management to further enable a good night’s sleep. The range, which was launched at last year’s NBF Bed Show, also features Active Anniversary, a 3000 series encapsulated pocket spring mattress, and Active Triumph, a 1000 series encapsulated pocket spring mattress. They all feature a high

Based in Liverpool, wholesaler World Wide Furniture Source

quality Anniversary collection cover.

(0151 260 5201, www.worldwidefurnituresourceliverpool. prides itself on giving traders and online buyers a high level of service and a product range that adapts to changing trends. The company’s customer base is spread far and wide, and its products are globally sourced, ensuring prices remain competitive. New product ranges to be introduced this year include impressive six-piece bedroom packages, plus a budget threepiece bedroom set which World Wide Furniture Source is confident will prove popular with its landlord client base.

Kettle Interiors (01536 444960, email has

FR Collection

introduced a new collection of mirrors for 2018, each individually boxed for convenience and flexible delivery. Available in four styles influenced by baroque, art deco and Victorian, these new mirrors are available in a variety of rectangular sizes, with the grand leaner style ideal for dressing, and making rooms feel more spacious. Each mirror is available in aged silver or gold effects, with selected styles also available in white. All are available individually as part of any Wholesale, Stockist or Container order from Kettle Interiors. Mixed with furniture, or as a complete collection, these mirrors are supplied direct from UK stock and feature bevelled glass to enhance the quality feel. Also new this year is Kettle’s

FN347_Pages.indd 64

FR Collection, which sees the supplier

sizes, FR has something for every size

offer a brave new French country style.

of room, from grand suite to guest

Finished in a grey-wash oak finish, this

bedroom. Particular highlights include

stand-out range comprises 15 items,

the upholstered fabric headboard and

proportioned for today’s bedrooms.

dressing bench, which add a real sense of

Elegantly styled and with aged black metal handles and aluminium metal

elegance to the collection. Available from UK stocks and with

drawer runners, this is a quality bedroom

free delivery on orders of £500 or more,

furniture collection that is sure to turn

the FR Collection can be supplied as part

heads. With three chests, two wardrobes

of any Container, Stockist or Wholesale

and a low-end bed in three standard

order from Kettle.

29/01/2018 15:29

of all your products in a Greenwood Sale.

Retailsystems_Qtr.qxp:Qtr 12/01/2018 12:01 Page 1 Retailsystems_Qtr.qxp:Qtr 12/01/2018 12:01 Page 1

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DeluxeBedsJan18.indd 1 FN347_Pages.indd 65

1 Wilmslow House, Grove Way, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AG 18/12/2017 08:50 GreenwoodRetailFeb18.indd 1

17/01/2018 11:19

30/01/2018 10:47

66 | Bedroom

Cepina bedroom in picea pine and basalt

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR At last month’s January Furniture Show, German bedroom furniture specialist Nolte Möbel captured visitors’ attention with its newest line, Cepina – an alpine-inspired bedroom range available in light and dark versions, which offers customers a new level of rustic comfort … The Cepina range meets varied demand,

Presenting clean lines, traditional

making it suitable for bedrooms of many

materials and fine details, Cepina is set

independent tests – we have received

sizes. Its hinged-door wardrobes come in

to brings alpine lifestyle to UK bedrooms.

several awards and quality seals in the

three widths (four for sliding doors), and

Offering weathered colourways that


its chests in two widths and heights. The

cover a spectrum from brown to silvery

bed is available in three widths and four

grey, Cepina is supported by a raft of PoS

is FSC certified, and Nolte Möbel has also

lengths, and offers a height-adjustable

materials to help convey the available

been certified by the PEFC for delivering


options in-store.

sustainability throughout its supply

Available in tonal combinations

“Customer satisfaction is our main

and we also take part in regular

Every company within the Nolte Group


of picea pine and basalt, as well as

concern,” says assistant manager of

planked oak and polar white, Cepina has

export sales, Alexia Doudèche. “We thus

bedroom into a holiday paradise, far

been designed to capture the feel of a

offer products with a 10-year guarantee.

away from the stresses of work and

mountain landscape – at once verdant

Indeed, our products are responsibly

everyday life,” concludes Alexia.

and rugged.

manufactured to the highest standards,


FN347_Pages.indd 66

“Cepina has been created to turn the

29/01/2018 15:29



The new Premium, Performance and Ortho ranges complete the highly anticipated, re-imagined Posturepedic Collection. Featuring all new, state-of-the-art Posturepedic technology, the collection embodies style and finesse. With a combination of new innovations and freshly modified Sealy favourites, the models in the collection are available LUXURY SUPPORT

with vertical handles, a stunning border finish and multiple colourways.

MILLIONAIRE ELITE To find out more about this innovative new collection, call the Sealy Sales Team on 016973 20342

FN347_Pages.indd SealyFeb18.indd 1 67

29/01/2018 24/01/2018 15:29 11:50



Bucking the trend in the reproduction furniture market, Iain James Furniture (0115 973 4481, www.iainjamesfurniture. has launched a Burr Walnut additions brochure. The booklet presents the company’s new product launches, which include an attractive circular dining table with ebony inlays, and a Biedermeier-themed base in burr walnut. Most of the ranges are available in bespoke sizing, and Iain James Furniture offers an amenable, approachable service to retailers and interior designers.

Bluebone (, admits to having a “thing” for bars – and this appreciation has certainly translated well into its design and manufacturing process, as demonstrated by the supplier’s latest models. With home entertaining on the rise, there is growing demand for home bars, and Bluebone offers various bars, barstools and

Circular dining table

cafe tables in a soft industrial style.

This Easter Treat The One You Love To A Special Chair...

High Back Slat Granddad Chair Ref. 122

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High Back Fiddle Granddad Chair Ref. 123

Fiddle Back Rocking Chair Ref. 127

Smoker’s Bow Chair Ref. 125


Please visit our website to see our full ranges - WWW.MANDPCHAIRS.CO.UK All enquiries to: Mike Hodgson – • Call: or Paul Hodgson – • Call:

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07802 648383 07469 819520 18/01/2018 08/02/2017 12:07 14:28

29/01/2018 15:29


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16/01/2018 15:29 14:23 29/01/2018

WHAT A FANTASTIC NEC SHOW WE HAD Thank you for everyone that was part of it. For those of you who missed it, here are some of the Showstoppers.










FN347_Pages.indd 70 FurnitureToGoFeb18.indd 1

29/01/2018 15:29















CallCall nownow to see what wewe can dodo for to see what can foryou. you.

Furniture To 3 Go, 3 Keel Close, Interchange Park, Furniture To Go, Keel Close, Interchange Park, Portsmouth, Hampshire 5QD T: 02380 517067 Portsmouth, Hampshire PO3PO3 5QD - T:-02380 517067 E: - E: -

FN347_Pages.indd 71

29/01/2018 23/01/2018 15:29 11:02



Flair Rugs (01457 850660, has kicked off

Retile, Vita Décor

its spring/summer 2018 campaign with new styles and colour updates to its Simplicity portfolio, as well as a new design in Spring Additions. With three fresh ranges in Cocktail, Element Shard and Element Carnaby, Flair Rugs is reaffirming its commitment to offering style in the value segment, delivering soft and durable synthetic fibres for easy maintenance. Cocktail features four designs, all bold geometrics and including circles, diamonds and interlocking hexagons for a 3D-cube effect. As its name suggests, Element Shard is a refracted linear design that makes a statement in three powerful colour combinations. Element Carnaby takes a more structured approach, with a mid-century-influenced geometric formed of circles and diamonds – while the super-thick shaggy of Cariboo has been given a new colour in ochre, and the hand-carved classic scroll of Elude now also includes the same popular shade.

Granorte (01785 711131, is rolling out an update to its UK stock-specific POS unit with the Vita Décor collection, bringing this range within fast and easy reach. Granorte has been providing UK retailers with a select instock collection, available in just 48 hours, through its retail display concept. Composed of key decors from original, luxury vinyl and recycled leather cork floors to striking wall tiles, the POS was launched in 2016 to reflect the diverse nature of cork. Eight Vita Décor digital designs have been added to that portfolio. With a feature-packed specification, including Uniclic and a 15-year residential warranty, these cork floors offer comfort, sound absorption, thermal insulation and wear resistance – yet the real highlight is the effect of digitallyprinted designs, from wood looks to laser-cut floral designs, lace and Retile’s patterned tile effects.

Furniture & Lighting


Open 7 Days A Week

We are one of the largest wholesale furniture suppliers in Lancashire. Specialising in modern funky furniture home lighting, wall mirrors, giftware & accessories, dining room furniture mirrored furniture, home bar furniture contract tables & chairs to the retail sector nationwide.

Febland Group Ltd

Flag House, Ashworth Road Blackpool, Lancashire FY4 4UN

Tel: 01253 600 600 Email: NEW FW1078GO MIDUS DINING TABLE WITH FGU741GO GOLD SILVIA DINING CHAIRS FeblandFeb18.indd 1

FN347_Pages.indd 72

25/01/2018 13:09

29/01/2018 15:29


FN347_Pages.indd PharmoreFeb18.indd731

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Why does leather never go out of fashion, asks Crest Leather (www.crestleather. com)? “Leathermaking is a centuries-old practice, yet is still very much in vogue today,” says a company spokesperson. “Our ancestors hunted wild animals for food, then made clothing, footwear and tents from the hides to protect themselves from the elements – and hides remain a cruelty-free by-product. “But what is it about leather that seems to never go out of fashion? Firstly, there is word itself. Just like good coffee

or wine, authentic leather has a unique aroma that evokes a feeling

in the most exciting, diverse leather

promises an experience that

applications that go beyond the classic

involves all the senses – look,

furniture upholstery – from leather-

smell and touch.

upholstered walls, to leather tiles, leather art and even the mixed use of leather and

chic, the supple strength or

different textures to create contrasting,

the primal intimacy of wearing

bold and edgy masterpieces.”

such an elegant and prestigious

FN347_Pages.indd 74

“Today more than ever, we assist

of cosiness and warmth. It

“Perhaps it’s the timeless

InsertCoFeb18.indd 1

been seen before?

Crest has invested in the latest

article. How can such an

technologies and design trends to create

historically old material still be

a collection that combines centuries-old

able to create excitement? And

Italian craftsmanship with pioneering

what’s the recipe for a leather

technology and style, and by doing so

look that feels modern, fresh and

has crafted some of the world’s most

ultimately something that hasn’t

innovative looks.

25/01/2018 13:16

30/01/2018 10:45


We make leather,


You make art.


FN347_Pages.indd 75 1 CrestLeatherFeb18.indd


29/01/2018 15:25 15:29 29/01/2018

76 | Trade Services

Vanbuilt ( produces

its customers’ needs, with an in-house

maintenance checks or expensive HGV

purpose-built vans and lorries that

team on hand to design and fit any


are suitable for wholesalers, removals


and delivery companies. Using new

Both sales and rental are available

VanBuilt’s vehicles offer significant

across most models, with a choice of 7.5t

and nearly-new chassis, VanBuilt has

advantages over standard 7.5t trucks,

designed models to maximise space and

returning 24mpg plus increased speed

functionality, with loading space from

– and, crucially, a low loading height.

benefit from suspended ceilings, LED


Anyone can drive them on a car licence,

lighting, light grey painted walls, oak

plus they offer low maintenance

wooden flooring, and internal electrical

costs, and no tachograph, six-week


Completed to the highest specification, Vanbuilt has developed business around

and lowloader vans. All of Vanbuilt’s industry-ready models

Most People Want To... The most extensive range available from including: ORGANISE




Contact Steely for brochures & prices

0161 702 7002

Ask for leaflets

Designed to work... Built to last.

RichardsonJan18.indd 1 FN347_Pages.indd 76

Touch Up Markers & Graining • Transparent & solid colour markers • Clear finishing markers • Graining markers & colouring sticks

Repair Aerosols • Dye & Pigment Colouring Aerosols • Finishing Aerosol in 6 sheens • Low Odour Finishing Aerosols • Speciality Aerosols for spot repairs, blushing etc

Repair Kits • Touch Up Furniture Repair Kit • Professional Furniture Repair Kit • Cabinet Installation Kit • Flooring Installation Kit • Solid Wood Repair Kit • Quick Repair Burn-In Kit

Fillers • Simple Fill-Sticks & Quick Fill hot sticks • Burn In Repair Systems - matt & gloss • Epoxy Repair Fillers + Wood Touch-up & Repair Training Courses

14/12/2017 PeterBrownFeb18.indd 11:21 1

15/01/2018 13:07 29/01/2018 15:29

FN347_Pages.indd 77

29/01/2018 15:29

78 | Trade Services

A world leader in the manufacturing of

shareholders Luc and Carole Maes both

and journalists attending the recent

latex and PU components for the bedding

cycling lovers, it seemed only logical for

presentation of Quick-Step Floors’

industry, Latexco ( has

Latexco to heighten brand and corporate

Cycling Team in Calpe, Spain.

sponsored the projects of cycling team

awareness through cycling sponsorship.

“Sports sponsorship is not just an

CEO Patrick Lefevere for 25 years. With

“Cycling is our passion, but it also

investment for Latexco. It is part of our

serves to

corporate philosophy. The competition,


the perseverance and the team spirit that

our brand

mark the Quick-Step Floors Pro Cycling

around the

Team are values that Latexco shares.”

world, and we are proud

and name on the team’s jerseys, Latexco

to do this

has lent it logistical support. During


all the major events, including the


Tour de France, Latexco moved each


rider’s personal Latexco mattress from

Floors, one

hotel to hotel, offering the cyclists an

of the most

invigorating night’s rest each day.


The Insert Company (UK) (0121 439 7329, sales@

As well as putting the Latexco logo

Patrick Lefevere adds: “I am really

teams in the

proud to have a sponsor like Latexco with

history of

me for so many years. Since the very

the sport,

beginning, we have had a great common

with which

understanding. Despite our shared

we have such

success over the past 25 years, I am sure

a special

the best is yet to come, and I hope we


can celebrate 30 years of shared passion


and partnership with Latexco, who I can


safely say is one of the oldest and most

to sponsors

reliable sponsors in the world of cycling.”

Self-threading inserts has added a further range of extreme performance threaded inserts to its extensive range, in order to satisfy demand for inserts that are suitable for insertion into harder materials, including aluminium, alloys and hard plastics or composite materials. Self-threading inserts are easily installed into predrilled holes, offer impressive performance characteristics and are widely used in many different industries, including automotive, aerospace and furniture. There are many variants available, in thread sizes from M3 up to M30 (UNC, UNF, WHT upon request) with different lengths to suit

hex drive installation, blind end, thin

itself on supplying the most cost-

applications. Parts can be supplied in

walled, safety grove and chip reservoirs.

effective insert for any given application,

steel, case-hardened steel, stainless steel

This new range adds another

and its highly-trained and experienced

and brass. It is even possible to supply

dimension to the company’s already

sales staff are familiar with all types of

parts that have unique features such as

broad range. The Insert Company prides


FN347_Pages.indd 78

29/01/2018 15:29

SilentN RA Furn


We’re delighted to launch our new range of traditional pocket spring mattresses. Expertly created with quality comfort layers, including our Naturals Collection featuring Cashmere, Silk and British Wool.

For more information call 01282 851 111 or visit

SilentNightFeb18.indd RA Furniture News - Best FN347_Pages.indd 79 1 of British Ad.indd 1

26/01/2018 11:23 09/10/2017 15:29 15:13 29/01/2018

80 | Last Word

Christopher Lusty CO-FOUNDER, LITTLE FOLKS FURNITURE Children’s furniture brand Little Folks Furniture offers well-made product that’s manufactured and designed in the UK. With operational and warehouse facilities in Wiltshire, Little Folks Furniture rigorously tests products in-house to create ranges that meet exacting safety standards. CAREER DIGEST


1987 – Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge

1992-96 – Director, Moxwood Pty/ Moxwood (UK)

1987 – Product designer & technical manager, A Baveystock & Co

1994-2010, 2016-present – MD, Linked Resourcing

1991 – Manufacturing/sourcing operations, Yugoslavia

2002-14 – Chairman and creative director, Aspace

1991 – Management consultant, Kingdom Technology

2009-15 – Chairman, Fibre7

ow did you enter the trade?

development. Perhaps the most

I’ve been designing and

extraordinary demonstration was that

in Zimbabwe with little more than an

manufacturing nursery and

he invented electrostatic painting for the

aircraft hangar – plus great people and

woodworking industry.

local resources – and ending up with

children’s furniture for over 25 years. Manufacturing baby cots and furniture

The principle is that you pass an

My left-field answer would be starting

a highly proficient string of factories

uses specialist knowledge due to safety

electric current through the material and

making everything from high-end

standards, and to do this we had to

it attracts paint. Of course everyone said

kitchen doors to baby cots. Sadly, politics

develop new factories and introduce new

“but wood does not conduct electricity”.

overtook us.

technologies and quality control systems.

His reply was “It does if you put 80,000

We became one of the principal

volts through it,” and so the first

… and low point?

suppliers to the retail high street – but

electrostatic plant was built in the East

I think it was the realisation in the early

when I was in the States I noticed there

End of London.

Noughties that everyone was going

was a well-defined market for children’s furniture, and nothing like it in the UK.

Many of the factories we work with

to have a go at sourcing directly, and

today use this technology – which

principally out of China. It confirmed

really hasn’t changed much in the last

that so much of the value added by good

likes of Mothercare and John Lewis, and

40 years. But he understood that the

design, development and sourcing groups

proved there was an enthusiastic market

product needed to work properly (he

was, in fact, not valued at all. It led to

for product other than cheap pine bunks.

was an engineer after all), and was

much more generic product, and in many

I developed a direct-to-consumer brand

also instrumental in the development

respects a dumbing down of the offer.

alongside (Aspace/AspaceBaby), which

of safety standards. I think I added a

confirmed the demand for well-designed,

design aesthetic to some of those core

… and the turning point?

proper furniture for children.


Having a go at our own small retail

Who was your inspiration?

What was your career high point?

completely new experience and I got to

This was not my initial career choice,

My ‘corporate’ answer would be

work with some great new people.

and, almost perversely, my inspiration

working with a team at Mothercare to

was my father. He had exposed me to

genuinely develop better product with

Describe a typical working day

manufacturing during holiday jobs, and

a sustainability/ethical agenda, and

We’re a relatively small team of experts

also had an incredible mindset when it

proving that you could increase market

– technical/manufacturing, sourcing,

came to technical and manufacturing


supply chain management, IT and

So we developed projects with the

operation, which was Aspace. It was a

FN347_Pages.indd 80

30/01/2018 11:23

Last Word | 81

wherever it may be, and seeing what we can do. What is the most important issue affecting your business right now? I think there is a dangerous cocktail in the digital versus bricks-and-mortar conundrum, and a general catharsis in the shadow of the Brexit process, and as a result not a lot of decisionmaking or consideration of newness. This is tough for a new brand – particularly when we obviously believe we have product which can excite the market and is clearly missing from the offer at the moment. What company do you most look up to? If I look at retailers, then I would refer to a couple. Firstly, Barker and Stonehouse. The pundits say that if you are going to get footfall into a retail space then you have to offer an experience. I know that remark is set in a wider context, but I think Barker and Stonehouse provide an marketing, and creative heads. And we’ve been together on and off for many years, so not only is the management of the business quite flat, but there’s quite a bit of shorthand in communication. There’s also quite a lot of crossover, and we all try and invest in moving the business forward – especially when it comes to market research and product development.

“I don’t look forward to a date as such, but to getting out there, wherever it may be, and seeing what we can do”

Secondly I would name Neptune – for their absolute consistency of style and message. What would you most like to change about yourself? I tend to try and understand – or get involved in – almost every aspect of business, and be quite hands-on. However, I am learning to step back

Our sourcing operation is based in Slovenia, where we have close access to

visual collateral is critical for the Little

some of the best and most established

Folks website, and for all retailers who

factories – and, most importantly,

offer the brand.

beautiful wood! So there will be calls with the office first thing in the morning, and

If you had to start over, you’d probably

reviews of factories, quality inspections,

pursue which career?


I started by training to be a doctor, and

We have developed some quite detailed

incredible shopping environment.

was a bit of an academic. So I’ve changed

more – especially as I am now helping a number of other businesses, and I have to condense my input and make sure that input is relevant and counts. What do you enjoy most about working in the trade? I think it goes back to my earlier comment that what I do has taken

and specific reporting suites, and we

career already – and don’t plan to do it

use these to inform weekly reviews of


me all over the world and given me

in our own test house), web stats and

What date on the business calendar do

been pretty passionate about wood –

sales by channel. We tend to involve some

you most look forward to?

and so there is always a subtext to my

external auditing as a check that we are

I have been extremely lucky in that I

travelling where I am going to places

focusing on the right detail.

have been able to work all over the world

that have huge natural resources, and

and experience many different ways of

in which we must ensure sustainability

product development and the creative

doing things – so I don’t look forward to

and good practise, as well as support the

work in the studio – generating fresh

a date as such, but to getting out there,

development of local industry.

Dress up or dress down?

Smile or poker face?

Live young or act your age?

Dress appropriately – being in a factory

Smile – it’s about working with people.

Act your age, but don’t let it limit you –

product performance (including testing

There will also be regular reviews of

is different to being in a board meeting.

FN347_Pages.indd 81

extraordinary experiences. I have always

there’s always something new.

30/01/2018 10:45



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

News Birlea Furniture triumphs over Platinum Enterprise UK in IP dispute

News The Furniture Awards 2018 – discover the winning suppliers and their star products

Products Envision brings products to life online through 3D room-rendering technology



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Decembe r 2017





Issue 74


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

Furniture News is just one of the industry titles published by Gearing Media Group. 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 (


er 2017

er - Decemb

| Novemb


Flat Panel FP290_


by BA Com



dd 1

Doha, Qatar 7 15:32



017 11:34




NEXT MONTH January Furniture Show review | The Furniture Awards 2018 winners | The latest new products and insight

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Profile for Gearing Media Group Ltd

Furniture News #347  

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade

Furniture News #347  

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade