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SMG NEWS | SUMMER 2017 | ISSUE 185 The Official Publication of SMG The National Furnishing Group







REGULARS 11 AT THE SHARP END Bradley Davies from Victoria Carpets

17 BUSINESS INSIGHT An insight from Richard Renouf

34 QUESTION TIME Mike Dobson from Gaskell and Manx Tomkinson


ON THE COVER Cormar Carpets Highland Saxony

Manx Tomkinson Natural Shades


Dear Members, Well what a busy and inspiring spring season we have enjoyed! With the Buying Groups’ Show in Solihull, the Wool Floor Show in Chelsea and the Members’ Ball & Young Factory Visit there’s certainly plenty to tell you about in this issue of SMG News. The SMG team enjoyed the Buying Groups’ Show in Solihull and it was great to see so many Members there, thank you to everyone who came along. I’m sure you will all agree it really is one of the best Shows of the year. You can read more about it in our special feature on pages 66-67. There were many new products and unitary displays at the Show and it was great to see so many SMG Approved Suppliers using this occasion to showcase their new developments. You can see some of these new product launches featured in this issue of SMG including launches from Edel Telenzo, Associated Weavers, Cavalier Carpets and Cormar Carpets. As well as the new developments in carpeting, Ball & Young have launched some very

interesting new products designed for artificial grass installations and Interfloor have launched some fantastic high density PU’s supported by extensive point of sale support materials. As well as product features, you can find lots of information inside on the fantastic Business Support Services you have access to by being a member of SMG. We have the free of charge Business Support Helpline, Annex Solutions for minimising costs of your utilities, SMG Insurance Solutions for lowering your retail insurance premiums and Ford and Lombard to assist with some great deals in vehicle leasing and purchase. Our ‘Question Time’ feature this issue showcases Mike Dobson of Gaskell Woolrich and Manx Tomkinson and I’m sure you will find his interview as interesting as we did on page 35. We have more industry insights from Bradley Davies of Victoria Carpets on page 11 giving his opinion at ‘The Sharp End’. On pages 26 and 27 we have a teaser for you on an exciting new

own brand offer which will be coming your way – look out for further information in the July Monthly Update! You definitely won’t want to miss it. I’m sure you’ll agree that although business has been a little up and down during the spring season, there are lots of new products, ideas and features to talk about. With the election due in June, it could be the start of the post Brexit upturn. Watch this space! On behalf of SMG, I’d like to wish our Members and Suppliers a very successful summer. See you in the autumn for the next edition featuring The Floor Show in Harrogate... we hope to see you there!

All the best,

Mike Reed Head of Group Operations

SMG The National Furnishing Group 9 The Markham Centre, Station Road, Theale, Reading, Berkshire RG7 4PE Telephone 0118 932 3832 Fax 0118 930 4515 Email Web Published by: SMG The National Furnishing Group. Printed by: Lamport Gilbert Limited 3 Darwin Close, Reading, Berkshire RG2 0TB.

NEWS UPDATE SMG MEMBERS VISIT THE HOME OF CLOUD 9 During February a group of SMG Members were invited to visit the home of Cloud 9, Ball & Young in Corby. Undaunted by Hurricane Doris the members arrived in time for lunch at the wonderful Old White Hart in Lyddington where they were greeted by Ann Shaw, Ball & Young sales director, and her team. After a very congenial lunch where the members could get to know each other and talk a little about their businesses and experiences the happy band travelled to the Ball & Young factory. There they were treated to a tour of the plant and facilities with expert guides who could answer any questions they had before a very interesting and informative presentation on the company and its products. Once the work of the day was complete the Members travelled the short distance to Barton Hall Hotel

where they were treated to a superb three course meal and an overnight stay. With great company and superb hospitality a fabulous and informative time was had by all.

BARGAIN HUNT EXPLORES AXMINSTER CARPETS’ RICH HERITAGE Axminster Carpets has featured on popular BBC show, Bargain Hunt, as presenter, Natasha Raskin Sharp, visits Axminster to learn about Thomas Whitty, the man who made Axminster Carpets world famous. Known for making carpets a true form of art, Thomas Whitty invented the first ‘vertical loom’ which is now more commonly known as the Axminster

Weave. Offering a unique insight into Axminster Carpets’ factory, viewers were able to see the intricacies involved with designing and recreating Whitty’s beautiful designs in addition to learning more about the recent restoration of the original carpets at Brighton Pavilion. Further highlighting Axminster Carpets’ commitment to quality and superb craftsmanship, Natasha Raskin Sharp

shared with viewers how reproduction is made by computerised looms, which are all then checked by hand illustrating how Axminster Carpets combines original methods with new technology. Hilary Clements, Marketing Manager at Axminster Carpets comments “We’re very proud of our unique heritage here at Axminster Carpets and were thrilled to open our doors to Bargain Hunt so that they could learn more about our manufacturing process. Today we not only reproduce the historically accurate carpets Natasha saw, but also are renowned for beautifully designed, high quality carpets that can be used throughout the home.” Axminster Carpets was recently awarded Best Residential Carpet of the Year at the International Wool Flooring Awards for its latest collection, Hazy Days, and were also named finalists for best commercial carpet and design innovation. To view Axminster Carpets on Bargain Hunt please visit the BBC iPlayer website.


BROCKWAY ACQUIRES HISTORIC GROSVENOR WILTON, CONTINUING THE LEGACY Brockway Carpets has announced the acquisition of one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious independent carpet manufacturers, The Grosvenor Wilton Company Limited, heralding a new era for the historic brand. The deal sees Brockway purchase the trade and assets of Grosvenor Wilton, which has created the finest Wilton and bespoke carpets since 1790 for the world’s most historic palaces, stately homes, public buildings and private residences. Examples include exclusive projects for Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court Palace, The Mansion House, The White House and the Royal Pavilion Brighton.

Worcestershire and protects the skills and bespoke Wilton carpets, and we are looking forward to exploring new craftsmanship of all the staff. markets in the future.” Brockway Chairman Charles Annable For further information contact your comments “Grosvenor Wilton is one of local representative, or contact the finest bespoke manufacturers of Brockway directly on 01562 828200. the highest quality woven carpets with a pedigree which is unequalled. We’re proud and delighted to welcome the business to the Brockway Group.” Charles continues “Grosvenor Wilton’s unique heritage and tradition of innovation will further strengthen the Group’s position as the UK’s leading manufacturer of beautiful, wool-rich carpets.”

Paul Foley, who continues as Commercial Director at Grosvenor Wilton, adds “This is an exciting event in our long The company will continue to be known history, ensuring that the principles of as The Grosvenor Wilton Company authenticity, classical English design and Limited and will operate independently within the Brockway group of companies. craftsmanship, that Grosvenor Wilton so famously stands for, are maintained. Importantly, the deal secures the future We will continue to supply the finest for the company’s factory in Hartlebury,

Above: Charles Annable and Paul Foley.

DESIGN BREEDS SUCCESS AS FLAIR RUGS RELEASES TRENDEDIT 2 Following the success of its launch edition last autumn, Flair has released TrendEdit 2 for the SS17 season, a portfolio of styles that enhances the brand’s position as a trend-focused producer of forward-thinking rug designs.

behind the scenes to produce each TrendEdit portfolio, with our designers spending days, weeks and months bringing together their latest trends predictions for the season ahead.”

This season, TrendEdit welcomes six new lines including Persian Fusion, wool/ viscose blends that are beautifully hand The TrendEdit concept has been a huge carved in a time honoured traditional hit since its inception, a collection of method, and Cairo, with silky 100% Flair’s most exclusive rugs that has viscose that pays homage to the high on-trend design at its heart. Beautifully sheen materials adorned by the Egyptian displayed in an eye-catching brochure, Gods. Also presented are the varied fibres each range is backed by a spectrum of of Eclectic, a collection that takes us on inspirational photography, resulting in a journey to all four corners of the globe, a publication that presents readers with the back story leading to each collection’s and the 100% stain resistant acrylic Palais, proving that flatweaves are still big news development, adding substance to the underfoot. inevitable style found within. “We’re really proud of TrendEdit 2, and are hoping it receives a similar reaction to its first edition,” explains Gareth Davies, Sales & Marketing Director, Flair Rugs. “There’s a huge amount of work that takes place

Finally, readers are treated to two more Flair Rugs’ exclusives in the luxury cowhides of Marques and a unique Sheepskin fibre that finds its origins in Dartmoor’s windswept hilltops. These

collections will sit alongside existing success stories from TrendEdit 1, including New Jersey Print, winner in the ‘Décor’ category at this year’s Furniture Awards. For further information, visit the dedicated TrendEdit website at or contact Flair Rugs on or telephone 01457 850660.

SMG News | Summer 2017 | 7

NEWS UPDATE ADAM AHEAD OF THE TRENDS AS PANTONE ANNOUNCE COLOUR OF THE YEAR World renowned colour experts Pantone have launched their Colour of the Year for 2017... ‘Greenery’. The launch is highly anticipated and is expected to shape a lot of the interior design trends for 2017 including paints, wallpapers and fabrics. Here at Adam Carpets we believe it should include carpets too! Pantone comments “Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evoke the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”

The Colour of the Year and New Castlemead Twist colour launched at Harrogate 2016... Apple.

of assessing the trends of the future and developing the colours” comments Eamonn Prescott.

As with last year when Adam Carpets launched ‘Hugo & Ella’ into Fine Worcester “The fact that four months after launch, on the back of a his’n’her palette, they have once again correctly forecasted the Pantone has reinforced our belief that Green will be a big colour in 2017 is very on-trend colour for 2017. satisfying and rewards all the hard work “The new colours of Castlemead Twist that Kelly Butler and her team put in” he were twelve months work in terms adds.

Adam Carpets also correctly forecasted Pantones reference to ‘zesty yellow greens’ when commenting for Homes & Living Ireland Magazine in October 2016. For further information please contact your local representative or Adam Carpets on 01562 822247.

ULSTER CARPETS PURCHASES GRIFFITH TEXTILE MACHINES Ulster Carpets is pleased to announce the acquisition of Griffith Textile Machines. The purchase of the premier UK manufacturer of textile machinery consolidates a long-standing relationship between the two companies. GTM, formerly known as Bonas Griffith, is a leading innovator of technical textile machinery based in Sunderland. Combining their unique skills with Ulster’s weaving experience will lead to further significant improvements in carpet weaving technology. This acquisition begins the second phase of the £35 million regeneration of all

Woven manufacturing facilities at Ulster’s Portadown site. Phase one was the recent completion of an £8 million Dye house and Energy centre increasing manufacturing efficiency as well as bringing a number of major environmental benefits. This regeneration project will ensure that manufacturing remains in Portadown long term, securing employment for the local area. Working alongside the excellent management team and employees of GTM, Ulster is committed to enabling their continued growth and further developing new and exciting technology in the textile sector. David Acheson, Ulster’s Head of Strategic Operations commented, “Ulster’s ethos and future plans very much revolve around quality, design excellence and technical innovation, and Griffith Textile Machines fits this perfectly. We are delighted to have secured this purchase


and are excited about the future prospects as the two businesses combine their skills.” Dave Watson, GTM’s Managing Director comments “With our shared strategic objectives and being such a clear fit, joining the Ulster Group was an obvious next step for both parties. We are thrilled with the rare opportunity to focus on developing innovative solutions based on our joint peerless technology. Joining the Ulster Group is the culmination of a twenty five year business relationship and will encourage GTM to achieve its maximum potential to the benefit the group.” The acquisition is being funded from cash reserves and reflects Ulster’s desire to continue to broaden the Group by selectively adding outstanding businesses when and where the appropriate opportunity arises.

NEW APPOINTMENTS AT CORMAR CARPETS Cormar Carpets have recently appointed a new Marketing Manager and Finance Director, based at the Brookhouse Mill head office in Lancashire. Jason Steer, the new Marketing Manager, brings a wealth of marketing experience to Cormar, starting work originally with the Cooperative Group, before moving to Silentnight Group in Barnoldswick, Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, then onto Spectrum Group where he was responsible for the Russell Hobbs brand in both the UK and Europe. Most recently, Jason was UK head of marketing for PUMA football teamwear. He has a Masters degree in Marketing Management and a BA Hons degree in Business Studies.

which will be invaluable in helping Cormar continue to grow and build our marketing communications.” Jason’s responsibilities will be geared towards online and offline marketing. He will report to David Cormack and work closely with Cormar’s merchandising and sales team. A keen Burnley football supporter and FA qualified coach, Jason lives in Rishton, Lancashire with his wife and three children. Jonathan Hill will also be joining Cormar as its new Finance Director and takes over the role from Robert Barker who retires after 23 years at Cormar.

Jonathan has significant experience in the manufacturing, consumer and financial services sectors both with Marketing director, David Cormack, comments “We’re delighted to have Jason smaller companies and larger organisations including Barclaycard, on board as he brings a huge amount Marks & Spencer, HSBC and Umbro PLC, of marketing experience and expertise, owned by Nike Inc. Prior to joining Cormar, Jonathan was based in Brussels, Belgium, as director of finance for Ideal Standard SA, the privately held bathroom and sanitaryware manufacturer, operating across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.

Jason Steer, New Marketing Manager.

Jonathan Hill, New Finance Director.

colleagues from my previous time here as well as continuing my love of cycling that began in Belgium!” David Judge, Managing Director of Cormar said “We took a long time to find the right man to replace Robert Barker, who has been with Cormar for more than two decades. We are sure Jon, given his considerable experience, will bring a new dimension to the role, which will be to the benefit of the business and us all.”

One of the UK’s leading independent tufted carpet manufacturers, Cormar Carpets continues to produce all its wool and polypropylene carpet ranges Having returned to the North West from its two production sites near Bury with his family after four years abroad, in Lancashire. It also has its own fleet Jonathan said “I’m delighted to have of more than 60 distribution vehicles joined the talented team at Cormar. It’s to ensure a top class delivery service to already a very successful business and I customers, as well as its own team of 28 look forward to being a part of its exciting sales representatives throughout Britain future. Returning to the North West and Ireland. allows me to reconnect with friends and

All Cormar Carpets are produced on site at its Lancashire mills and distributed in the UK and Eire via its own delivery fleet. For further information on the latest range from Cormar Carpets... Highland Saxony, turn to page 31. SMG News | Summer 2017 | 9

NEWS UPDATE BRINTONS TRIUMPHS AT THE INTERNATIONAL WOOL CARPET & RUGS AWARDS World renowned carpet designer and manufacturer Brintons has triumphed at the International Wool Carpet and Rugs Awards 2017, winning three prestigious awards. The first award was for Creative Marketing Initiative for the Fleece to Floor Campaign.

Brintons fought off strong competition to win this category with its ‘From Fleece to Floor’ campaign that promotes wool as the ultimate sustainable choice for flooring. The campaign, which includes video elements, print and online advertising, highlights the importance of premium quality wool in the creation of Brintons’ beautiful durable carpets.

Next Brintons scooped the award for Woven Carpet Design Installation of the Year for Queen Mary II. Where 20,000m2 of bespoke-designed axminster carpet was created for Cunard’s luxurious refurbishment of flagship liner RMS Queen Mary II. Brintons’ bespoke designs

The final award was won for Design Collaboration of the Year and Altered Gravity Collection with Stacy Garcia. Altered Gravity includes 14 patterns and draws inspiration from modern art; abstract expressionism blends with contemporary graphic design and digitally rendered textures melt between layers of mixed media paintings. The International Wool Carpet and Rugs Awards were created by the Campaign for Wool to celebrate quality, style and innovation in the wool and carpet industry. Now in its second year, the Awards event attracted over 220 entries from the flooring industry, each of which was judged by a panel of industry experts and editors from leading design publications on the basis of its technical, construction and design excellence and innovation and design.

give each area of the liner a distinct look and feel while enhancing the feeling of luxury and comfort and harnessing the illustrious design heritage of Cunard.

RUGS FOR ALL AGES IN 2017 KIDS’ COLLECTION The 2017 Kids’ Collection by Flair Rugs is undoubtedly one of the most far-reaching on the UK market, a diverse and complete stable that caters to all ages and tastes, as homeowners search for the final component in their children’s bedrooms, playrooms and dens. Always a highlight within Flair’s Kids’ Collection is its licensed Disney line, bringing rooms to life with character favourites including Nemo, Tinkerbell, Frozen’s Elsa and our friends from the fabulous Cars. These choices are all produced in 100% washable nylon, meaning the fun will continue even if a slip or spill occurs. Matrix Kiddy, also a 100% nylon, equally plays an important role in the Kids’ Collection, with educational value found in its playful planets and tremendous times tables. 10

For children’s design in alternative fibre types, customers are encouraged to explore Kiddy Play, with highlights including Zoe Zebra and Leah Leopard prints that fully encapture the beauty of 100% wool. The Kids’ Collection also keeps in mind children at the younger end of the age spectrum, with the Nursery line allowing toddlers to experience a combination of vibrant colour and pattern-work in super soft micro fibre form.

2017, is also flexible in its size and shape options, while presenting fibres to meet the requirements of any home: wool, “Year after year, our Kids’ Collection is one polyester, nylon and micro fibre are all to be extremely proud of” explains Gareth showcased, and all choices are of course Davies, Sales and Marketing Director at backed by Flair Rugs’ exceptional service Flair Rugs. levels.” “This collection holds fabulous versatility, For further information please contact and not just when it comes to the rugs’ or telephone Flair design. The Kids’ Collection, updated for Rugs on 01457 850660.


Bradley Davies started working in the Flooring Industry 14 years ago, firstly with an independent retailer, then Beds Flooring, Carpet Right, and now Victoria Carpets. He has been with Victoria Carpets for two years and covers Essex, East/North/West London, Middlesex and Hertfordshire.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE TRADE? “I started working in the trade straight from school and have worked in most aspects of it now too. From working at an independent retailer and fitting carpet to being a representative for Beds Flooring, an independent wholesaler, and Victoria Carpets.” WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN CHANGE THE MOST IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS? “Obviously it has to be the massive swing from wool to man made fibre being sold in the market. This has seen companies like Victoria Carpets having to diversify and change things to adapt to what’s selling in the market place.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCT? “I would say my favourite product is our New Tudor Twist which has a

great quality and fantastic colour bank to match. Still selling very well in my area is First Impressions, such a classy luxury man made twist that is extremely hard wearing too.” WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE KEY MARKET CHALLENGE FOR RETAILERS AT THE MOMENT? “Finding different ways of getting new customers, whether it be advertising, leaflets or building an online presence. This is very important as they cannot just rely on people walking in - as footfall has fallen.” OF ALL THE RETAILERS YOU VISIT WHAT COMMON DENOMINATOR CONTRIBUTES TO THEM BEING SUCCESSFUL? “Service! Retailers that are very knowledgeable, helpful and give the best all round service are always successful.”

AS A REPRESENTATIVE WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES? “Quite simply continually trying to grow sales on my area whilst maintaining a great level of service for my customers.” OUTSIDE OF WORK, WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS? “I love spending time with my family, I’m very lucky to have three wonderful daughters and they can take up a lot of time. I have three dogs who love nothing more than to go for a walk and at every opportunity I’ll watch any sport that’s on.” WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN? “Always be willing to learn new things. This industry is always evolving so I feel you need to be flexible to change with the times.”

Established in 1895 Victoria Carpets has grown to become one of Britain’s best-known and well respected carpet brands. Manufacturing all types and qualities of tufted products, produced in wool, wool mix and man-made fibres which cover a wide selection of styles and price points, Victoria Carpets are also one of a few companies who still produce woven Wilton carpets. SMG News | Summer 2017 | 11

NEWS UPDATE NEW WEBSITE FOR CROWN FLOORS “The new website is another step in the right direction for the Crown Floors brand, as we continue our drive to become a leader in the UK residential carpet market,” explains Geert Vanden Bossche, Marketing Director at Balta The new portal Group. “This site will definitely aid the is fully optimised for desktop, tablet and process, as consumers and retailers mobile devices, bringing the visitor the alike search for the perfect match to sort of inspiration that carpets of this suit the needs of their home or store. quality deserve. New ranges such as This is a fabulous way to showcase our the tartan Glendevon and super soft new and existing collections for 2017, luxurious Satino Finesse all play their part, including the Deacon Jones concept with but it is a series of value added features its portfolio of exclusive Crown Floors that will ensure this new website will be choices.” the go-to platform for all things carpet. Geert adds “We are also extremely excited Arguably the star of the show is the new about the new free sample service we Carpet Finder, a facility that allows guests have introduced, following extensive to refine their search by shade, pile and retail and consumer research, it was clear fibre type. The facility will then work its this facility would be the icing on the magic, before presenting the visitor with cake for our improved on-line presence, carpets that meet every requirement and we look forward to welcoming specified for their home. Thereafter, to visitors to our new website so they complete the user-experience, can explore all things Crown from the homeowners can then request up to comfort of their own home.” three of samples to be delivered to their Trending greys, shimmering silvers home free-of-charge. This service will and crisp whites; all the latest looks of allow the consumer to compare the the season are ready and waiting to be softness and texture of the carpets they explored at Crown Floors’ new website, like as well as ensure the right colour is plus consumers can search for their chosen for their home. Joining a new and updated carpet portfolio for 2017 is the brand new Crown Floors website, an intuitive on-line resource that allows homeowners to find their perfect carpet with precision.

nearest retailer, delve into technical and usage information and read up on the latest news and trend predictions from the Crown Floors’ team with the regularly updated blog. Furthermore, retailers can also make use of the trade log-in facility to unearth a plethora of useful tools and information to help their business. Visit the brand new Crown Floors website at or for further information please contact Crown Floors on 0800 898 282.

NEW SALES REPRESENTATIVES AT VICTORIA CARPETS Victoria Carpets are delighted to announce they have two new representatives; Jim Osborne and Chris Lamb. Jim is well known to many people having worked for nearly 44 years in the trade, he will cover Manchester, West and South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. After 12 years in retail, starting as a sales representative for Lancaster Carpets in the 1980’s he also went on to work for Spence Bryson, Mr Tomkinson, Brockway and most recently Edel Telenzo. Jim is looking forward to working again with Victoria Carpets’ Managing Director Phil Hartley and National Sales Manager Joe King.

Jim Osborne 12

Jim comments “It’s an exciting time to be joining Victoria Carpets with lots of new and innovative products as well as meeting customers, old and new.”

Chris Lamb has been working in the carpet industry for 9 years, previously working for Headlam Group, at Headlam Newcastle, Lifestyle Floors and Fells Carpets. “I am pleased to be on board with an established UK Manufacturer such as Victoria Carpets. I am looking forward to not only working alongside the existing team, but also to having a long and successful career here!” commented Chris.

Chris Lamb

WOOL FLOORING AWARD WINNERS PUT QUALITY & DESIGN IN THE SPOTLIGHT The wool flooring industry gathered in March to receive recognition within the second Campaign for Wool International Carpet and Rug Awards. The prestigious event was held at Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC, where many attendees were also exhibitors at Wool Floor Show London. The Campaign for Wool, Patron HRH The Prince of Wales, established the Awards in 2016 to highlight the diversity and breadth of quality in design, production, innovation and marketing across the carpet and rug sector. Over 65% of wool from the UK and a significant proportion of New Zealand wool is used in carpet and flooring. British brands manufacturing within the country showed the internationally recognized excellence of the carpet industry based in the UK. There were over two hundred entries for fifteen categories including some publication sponsored Awards, which link the competition winners to consumer media home interior titles.

“The judging panel were very impressed by the high standard of the entries this year, it was a real show-case of high standards on all fronts and particularly pleasing to see the engagement... our industry can be very proud of itself.”

following a career which started at Victoria Carpets and saw him become joint Managing Director, his contribution led it to a PLC business before his Axminster Carpets based in Devon was retirement. He then became a constant The winner of the ‘British Wool Award’, the winner in the ‘Residential Woven which seeks a planet friendly carpet - was Award’ and Cavalier Carpets of Lancashire enthusiast for the wool rich carpet industry at the helm of The Carpet Wools of Cumbria Carpets with won the ‘Residential Tufted Award. The Foundation. Silverstripe - a modern cream and grey ‘Residential Flatweave Award’ was won carpet created using 100% un-dyed Christopher and Suzanne Sharp of The by Roger Oates Design of Herefordshire. British Wool from the Rough Fell, Rug Company won the Design sector Alternative Flooring of Hampshire won Herdwick and Swaledale sheep breeds the ‘Wool Innovation in Carpet Award’ for Award for reinvigorating the design rug and manufactured entirely in the North world through traditional production its Barefoot Ashtanga Silk range. of England. married with designer partnerships and The Awards also run the ‘Wool in particular for their focus on ethical and “This range showed the immense Flooring Hall of Fame’, which recognizes environmental wool production in Nepal. capacity of British sheep breeds to a leading carpet industry and a design produce a stylish, quality carpet without “The judging panel were very impressed sector professional for their career long addition of any other fibres or dye. It by the high standard of the entries this commitment. is a trailblazer for how carpet can be year, it was a real show-case of high produced from locally grown wools in the “Winners of the ‘ Hall of Fame’ are chosen standards on all fronts and particularly UK” commented Bridgette Kelly of the for their passion and excellence, for pleasing to see the engagement - our Campaign for Wool. showing influence in their immediate industry can be very proud of itself.” work environment but also externally, Other winners included Brintons, based showing influence and impact which has in Kidderminster, which scooped three helped drive wool forward” Bridgette prizes ‘Woven Carpet Installation of the Kelly, Interior Textiles Director of the Year’ in the commercial sector with its Campaign for Wool said. RMS Queen Mary 2 Cunard liner entry; its partnership with Stacey Garcia won the John Duncan, Chairman of The Carpet ‘Designer Collaboration of the Year’ and Foundation won the Carpet Sector Award its ‘Fleece to Floor’ marketing campaign won the ‘Creative Marketing Initiative Award’.

SMG News | Summer 2017 | 13

NEWS UPDATE RESEARCH REVEALS BEING A MUM IS THE MOST TIRING JOB IN THE WORLD! Mums lose an average of two full weeks sleep in the first year of parenthood – that’s according to new research from number one bed brand, Sealy UK. Plus, with a quarter achieving less than five hours’ broken sleep per night, UK mothers with young children are 41% more likely to be sleep deprived than those in top professions, including finance and investment banking. The study forms the latest phase of Sealy’s Worldwide Sleep Census, which polled more than 15,000 respondents across the globe, to help better understand the sleep pressures imposed on mums with young children.  A mum’s sleep is the worst in the UK With more than half (65%) of mums with young children having their sleep disturbed on a regular basis by their child crying or waking, the research shows they rarely enjoy a full night’s rest. And it seems the impact can have a knock-on effect, with 48% of UK mums stating this means they are frequently irritable and short tempered the next day. The UK’s sleep debt chart – who gets the least sleep?  • Mums rank the highest of all groups when it comes to sleep deprivation, with one quarter sleeping for less than five hours a night.

• Those in transport, communication, construction and utilities are also missing out, with one-in-five (an average of 20%) sleeping for less than five hours, but most (40%) securing a solid seven hours each night. • In third place are those in public sector roles, including admin, education and health, amongst service industries such as the hospitality sector and retail, with 82% getting six hours or more sleep. • While the majority of those in finance and banking (just over 30%) average on six to seven hours of sleep per night, only one-in 10 get less than five hours of sleep – 100% more than mums. Widely regarded as the most stressful industry to work in, the finance sector is thought to lose an average of 26 days each year through stress-related illness per employee. This puts the shocking lack of sleep mums receive into sharp focus.

imagine huge stress levels, sleepless nights and 80 hour working weeks, but this research flips that concept on its head, and shows that despite these being hard professions, the most exhausting job title is surely Mother”. “With only 15% of mums waking up feeling refreshed and well-rested, it’s clear that sleep deprivation is a real issue for this group. Quality and unbroken sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing, so despite being high-functioning even when sleep deprived, it is important for mums to make sure the rest they do get really counts. Establishing a routine can be one way to do that, as well as investing in a good quality, supportive mattress.”

Mums manage the best without sleep Despite getting less sleep than any other profession, mums are able to handle sleep deprivation better than most; one-in-three professionals admit they’re not as productive when tired, compared to just one-in-five mums.

For more information please visit for the full Sealy World Sleep Census or contact your local representative.

Neil Robinson, an expert on sleep at Sealy, comments on the study “When we think of bankers and financiers, we

BALTA ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE BENTLEY MILLS (USA) Balta are delighted to welcome Bentley Mills, its employees and customers into the Group. The iconic ‘Bentley’ brand in the premium commercial carpet segment has resulted in landmark projects such as the last nine presidential inaugurations and the New York Freedom Tower. Balta will continue to support the Bentley brand, and will make use of Bentley’s sales force and market power to accelerate the growth of its European Modulyss® carpet tiles in the USA. Additionally, Bentley’s line of premium carpet tiles will be sold worldwide through Balta’s distribution. 14

As a result of the Bentley acquisition and the continued strength of Balta’s and Bentley’s performance in 2016, on a pro forma basis(1) , the combined entities achieved aggregate revenues of 668 Mio € and adjusted EBITDA(2) of 97.4 Mio €, with a margin of 14.6%(3) The group’s revenue has a geographical balance with 42% in Continental Europe, 28% in North America, 22% in the UK & Ireland and 8% in the Rest of the World. (1) Pro forma basis: combined, as if the Bentley acquisition had occurred at the beginning of the period. (2) Adjusted EBITDA refers to operating

profit / (loss) adjusted for depreciation and amortization,impairments and write-offs, results from acquisitions and disposals, gain from discontinued operations, legal costs and integration and restructuring expenses. (3) All numbers preliminary and unaudited.

DEVELOPING TOWARDS A CIRCULAR ECONOMY Carpet Recycling UK’s 2017 Annual Conference and Awards Event kicks off at Aston Villa Football Club in Birmingham this June with the theme of ‘developing towards a circular economy’ for carpet. CRUK will be celebrating the achievements and contributions by members – both individuals and organisations – who are helping to create a circular economy for carpet and driving forward greater sustainability. Guest host and keynote speaker, Andrew Bird, Chair of LARAC (Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee), will provide the local authority perspective on carpet recycling and also present the prestigious CRUK Awards. The one-day conference, sponsored by Invista, manufacturers of ANTRON® Carpet Fibres will include the annual awards ceremony, which is open for entries now. The four categories are Recycler of the Year; Reuse Member of the Year; Take Back Partner of the Year and Recycling Champion. Offering many networking opportunities, CRUK’s conference will

appeal to representatives from the whole supply chain, including manufacturers, recyclers, contractors and retailers and local authorities. It will also be of interest to equipment suppliers and waste management companies, as well as architects and designers. This year’s comprehensive programme features topics on waste prevention/ redesign, take back schemes and good practice to encourage greater re-use and recycling of carpet. Speakers include Kate Burnett who will outline the launch of Milliken’s new carpet tile take-back scheme and Mark Gilbert from Emerald Trading Waste Solutions Ltd on recycling carpet waste for equestrian products. Picking up the circular economy theme, Lukas Hoex from DSM-Niaga will speak about their development of a 100% recyclable carpet. CRUK Director Laurance Bird comments “Local authorities have a key role to play in helping to divert carpet from landfill and assist CRUK members find new uses for this waste material. We would like to hear local authority views on the voluntary producer responsibility stance

taken by the carpet sector and gain a better understanding of the challenges they face with regard to recycling carpets specifically and bulk waste generally. He adds “Our annual conference has become a must-attend event for the carpet industry, offering delegates the opportunity to share best practice, breakthroughs and inspiration towards developing a circular economy for carpet. We look forward to welcoming you in Birmingham!” CRUK was founded in 2008 to tackle the 400,000 tonnes of waste carpet arising in the UK annually. Its core funders are Cormar Carpets, Lifestyle Floors/Headlam, Desso, ege, Milliken, Balsan and Marlings. Last year, 142,000 tonnes of carpet were reused, recycled or recovered for energy – a 35% landfill diversion rate. CRUK’s target is 60% diversion from landfill by 2020. To register for the conference or for more information, please contact Marie Rhodes by email on or telephone 0161 440 8325.

SMG News | Summer 2017 | 15

NEWS UPDATE NATURALLY SPOTLESS WOOL Steve Bakker, International Marketing Manager for The WoolSafe Organisation explains why wool is spotless... naturally! “There is a perception among some consumers that wool is a somewhat delicate fibre, easily damaged and stained. Perhaps this is fuelled by those labels on clothing that say wash with care and hand wash only? However, this does not apply to wool carpet! Wool fibre used in the manufacture of carpet comes mainly from Britain and New Zealand and is incredibly tough. This hard-wearing and resilient fibre has great ‘bouncebackability’ and is quite different from the softer and finer Australian Merino wool that is predominantly used in clothing. You only need to see the sheep out in the fields, roaming the moors day and night in all weather conditions to see how tough wool is. The wool is battered by wind, rain, hail and snow so needs to be very resilient and have natural water repellency to keep the wet and cold away from the skin and the sheep warm and snug.

serious pile distortion and permanent damage to the carpet. So what should you do if you spill red wine on a wool carpet? Be prepared – Accidents happen no matter how careful you are, so it’s best to be prepared. It’s no good waiting until you have a spill before speeding to the shops to look for a carpet cleaning product. All that time you are rushing round the supermarket looking for a WoolSafe Approved spotter the spill is slowly sinking into the carpet and penetrating the fibres. So, make sure you always have to hand a clean white towel or kitchen roll and a bottle of spot remover suitable for use on wool (no bleach, optical brighteners, sticky residues, etc.) if in doubt, look for the WoolSafe certification mark on the bottle.

It is easy to keep your wool carpet spotless by following these simple tips: • Blot up the spill immediately using kitchen roll and keep blotting until there is no more transfer onto the tissue. Then put a few layers on top of the spill and stand on it.

• Apply the spot remover to a white towel or kitchen roll and dab. Do not scrub! Do Follow the correct advice - There is a lot of not spray the spot remover directly on to really poor spot removal advice out there the stain as you are likely to over-apply on the internet, ranging from the ‘old the product and will only succeed in wives tales’ like pouring white wine onto spreading the stain. red wine (wasteful and leaves a sticky • Blot again. residue) to the downright dangerous including using petrol! (I mean, what • Rinse by lightly spraying the area with could possibly go wrong?) or other water and blotting. It is this natural water repellency that ill-advised chemical cocktails! gives wool carpet owners the time to blot • If it was a large spill, place layers of up a spill before it soaks into the carpet. Instead, download the WoolSafe Carpet tissue paper on the treated area and then Unfortunately, all too often carpet owners Stain Removal Guide App. It’s free and a plastic bag with a heavy book on top. panic, grab the first detergent they can tells you step by step how to simply This will draw any remaining spill into the find under the sink and scrub the living remove most common household spills. tissue rather than drying on the tips of daylights out of the spot! This can cause the fibre. If you would like to see the above technique in action you can watch a series of one-minute videos we made to help you. They show how to successfully remove common spills like red wine, coffee, orange juice and beans on toast from wool carpets. I know these simple steps work because it’s me who got volunteered to be in the videos. Wool carpets not only have great natural stain resist qualities they also have the best appearance retention of any fibre. Unlike synthetic fibres, which scratch and abrade over time to become dull and flat, wool, when properly maintained, can look great almost indefinitely.” 16


becoming familiar with. The key ones are listed below;

Our world changed in April. Did you notice? I’m not referring to anything political, nor to an event which made the news headlines. But I am referring to something very relevant to flooring businesses; the British Standard Code of practice for the installation of resilient floorcoverings, BS8203: 2017, was published. Having a British Standard for resilients is not new. The previous version of the standard was published in 2001 and added to in 2009. The new standard is a complete update which takes into account some of the developments in products, materials and construction methods in recent years. Nothing in it should concern a reputable company or installer because the standard reflects best practice and has been written with a lot of input from installers and manufacturers. But it’s fair to say a lot of reputable companies are not even aware that there is a British Standard for installation at all, and assume British Standards only apply to manufacturers and their products. As flooring professionals, we advise customers in our shops and we visit customer homes. We pride ourselves on the knowledge we have and the service we give, but there’s always something new to learn. For example, can you answer these questions? • When is a floor considered flat? (and how do you measure this?)

BS5325: 2001 Code of practice for the Installation of textile floor coverings. This standard covers carpet installation using various fitting methods including double stick, together with underlays, adhesives and carpet tiles. It’s currently under review with an updated edition coming out sometime this year.

• Who is responsible for moisture testing? • Should wood block floors be lifted before laying a vinyl floor covering? • What colour should the nosings be for internal stairs of public buildings? • How much time should be left between laying a screed and commissioning an underfloor heating system? These are just some of the issues covered by the standard, and if we follow its code of practice we are less likely to run into problems, but if we do we’re more able to show we’ve acted professionally. They can also be extremely useful to use with customers who are demanding that we fit the flooring anyway if we run into a snag as it will show that we’re following best practice and not simply being difficult. There are other installation standards for floor coverings that are also worth

BS8201: 2011 Code of practice for installation of flooring of wood and wood-based panels. This standard covers the installation of solid and engineered wood and wood blocks, mosaics and parquet. It has information about different subfloor structures and the hardness ratings of various types of timber. It excludes bamboo flooring. BS8425: 2003 Code of practice for installation of laminate floor coverings. This standard covers the installation of laminate flooring as a floating floor including the need to allow for expansion and contraction in all directions. British Standards can be purchased directly from BSI online, or through a BSI member. They can also be viewed at main libraries, although they can’t be copied and copyright restrictions are very tight (which is why I’m unable to quote the answers to the questions above!).

Richard has worked in floorcoverings and furniture retail for more than thirty years. His experience includes independent family businesses and a major national retail chain. In 1992 Richard established the Qualitas Conciliation Service (now the Furniture Ombudsman) to help resolve disputes about furniture and floorcoverings and is now working as an independent consultant and is a consultant member of the Contract Flooring Association. SMG News | Summer 2017 | 17


In previous issues we have looked at Public Liability cover, the Insurance Act 2015 and an overview of claims handling by the SMG Insurer, in this article I want to look again at the SMG Insurance Policy and why it is a great benefit to you as Members of SMG. Not only do we guarantee to beat your current Insurance premium by a minimum of 10% if you haven’t made any claims within the last 5 years, we also offer a number of additional Insurance covers which are not included within a standard commercial insurance policy. I have spoken to a number of Members over the last 12 months who have a shop policy that covers stock, contents, plant and machinery, Public and Employers Liability but also have a tradesman policy to cover work away from the premises for carpet & flooring fitting and the use of subcontractors. The SMG policy can provide cover for stock, contents, computer equipment, buildings, tenant’s improvements, stock in transit, money, employers and public/products liability and includes commercial legal expenses as standard, in addition the policy can include cover for work away from your premises such as carpet and flooring fitting including cover for your use of subcontractors all under one policy.

The policy includes, as standard a number of enhanced covers exclusive to Members of SMG and I’d like to outline and discuss these extensions in further detail. Loss of Customers’ Keys During the course of your business you may at times need to use a customer’s keys to enter their premises, perhaps to measure up or to fit carpet or flooring whilst they are not there. If you or your employees were to lose the keys whilst they are in your custody or control the policy will provide cover up to £75,000 for the cost of replacements and/ or the alteration of keys or affected locks, including any consequential loss suffered by the customer through being unable to gain access to their premises. Failure to secure customers’ premises In the unfortunate event of you or your employees failing to secure your customers’ premises, which results in damage to or theft of their property, this extension will provide cover up to £75,000. Cleaning Cover to Items Being Worked Upon Cover is provided under the policy to protect you in the event of the incorrect application of cleaning products to a customer’s flooring, soft furnishings, carpets, curtains or upholstery up to the limit insured under the Public Liability

section of the policy (£5 million any one occurrence as standard). Professional Indemnity Provides cover for professional advice provided by you, or on your behalf, in connection with your business. The limit of cover provided under the policy is up to a maximum of £250,000 in any one policy period. The cover is provided on a ‘claims made’ basis, so will only apply if the claim is incurred on or after the start date of cover and is reported during the current period of insurance. Financial Loss This is an extension to the Products Liability section of the policy. It provides for situations where there has been no physical damage or injury caused by products supplied by you (the usual trigger for products liability claims), but instead they have caused a financial loss to the third party. Again this is on a ‘claims made’ basis, as described above, and the limit of cover provided is up to a maximum of £250,000 in any one policy period. This does not cover product recall, however we can arrange separate cover if this is required. All of the cover extensions mentioned here are automatically included at no extra cost, so in short the SMG Insurance policy gives you more Insurance cover that is designed specifically for your business whilst saving you money.

SMG Insurance Solutions is a comprehensive insurance scheme arranged by Coleman Insurance Brokers, a top 100 UK independent insurance broker. It is available exclusively for SMG Members and designed to protect you from the risks faced by Carpet, Flooring and Soft Furnishing retailers and installers.


Visit to register your interest alternatively call the SMG team on 01202 647464. SMG Insurance Solutions is a trading style of E Coleman & Co Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

SMG News | Summer 2017 | 21

NEWS UPDATE SHOW SUCCESS FOR CAVALIER CARPETS Cavalier had another successful trip to this year’s Buying Groups’ National Floor Show with their classic wool based ranges featuring strongly. This included the launch of the superb ‘Cosmopolitan’ a brand new 1/8th gauge twist. Cosmopolitan has a new modern palette of twenty four sophisticated plain tones to suit all styles of decor, available in three qualities and two widths. To back up Cavalier’s new plain twist collection they have extended the already successful ‘Pennine Heathers’, with the addition of new colours and two more weights (40oz and 60oz). Being long associated with the production of fine velvet qualities, Cavalier Carpets did not disappoint with the re-styling of the

well established ‘Cartouche’ range, with seven tasteful new tones which give the range a whole new look. Loops have always had a place in the Cavalier product portfolio and this year saw the unveiling of the latest ‘Capital Loop’, with a sophisticated plain colour range in two subtle textured designs. Available in both 4 and 5 metre widths and made using 100% Wool yarns with a heavy domestic rating. Visitors to the stand could see the two brand new additions to the Stain-less collection, ‘Stain-less Titan’ and ‘Stain-less Definition’. Also on show, the newly enhanced ‘Distinctions’ with the addition Hans Lowe, Sales Director at Cavalier Carpets with of five new highly popular grey tones and the prototype Selectern. as ever, the assurance of bleach samples or can be set up in conjunction cleanable stain resistance. All of the with their slim line wall units, or arranged Cavalier Stain-less Collection can now be displayed on the new 62 slot tombola. back to back in ‘island’ formation. Taking centre stage were the prototypes of the soon to be released ‘Selectern’, a compact multi-product addition to Cavalier’s super clean white POS range. This unit, which will be available soon, has the ability to display up to four Cavalier products using standard format

For more information please contact your local representative or Cavalier Carpets on 01254 268053.

NEW FROM FLAIR RUGS Palais is a further example of how the Manchester based rug supplier has combined of the moment looks with technical innovations to produce a collection ideally suited for today’s most discerning customer. It’s a distressed style flatweave that makes the most of high quality acrylic fibre to create design-led looks and premium underfoot comfort. What’s more, in an industry first, the new collection is also the first acrylic rug to benefit from a unique Stain Resistant technology treatment, resulting in a luxurious look and feel that can also withstand the test of time. Like every rug to settle in the TrendEdit portfolio, Palais arrives with a design back story that, like the materials found 22

in production, is the result of careful research and planning by the Flair Rugs team. These pieces are fit for a palace expanse, the like of which inspired the collection’s inception, with an age old design that adds salient colour clarity to intricate pattern-work and silky soft texture, all resulting from 100% acrylic fibre and its nature. Palais is available to purchase in three versatile sizes and a trio of hot colours; Cerise, Turquoise and aligning with Dulux’s 2017 Colour of the Year, Denim Blue. This, combined with a flatweave pile that is continuing to hold sway as we approach the summer months, ensures Palais will be in high demand as homeowners explore the TrendEdit concept and all it can offer.

Palais and the remainder of the TrendEdit 2 portfolio, can be viewed on the new dedicated TrendEdit website at or for further information contact Flair Rugs by email on or telephone 01457 850660.

FLAIR RUGS MADE ITS BOW AT BUYING GROUPS’ NATIONAL FLOORING SHOW Showing at the Buying Groups’ National Flooring Show for the very first time, Flair Rugs presented its latest product and point-of-sale developments to a whole new audience. With adaptations made to the brand’s TrendEdit and Simplicity stable unveiled, along with selected highlights from the core product range, the brand promises to be a valued, eye-catching addition to the show. Autumn 2016 saw TrendEdit 1 revealed to much acclaim, and with TrendEdit 2 freshly released for the new season, the Buying Groups’ National Flooring Show provided a fantastic opportunity to extend familiarity with the concept. New collections include the silky 100% viscose Cairo, the stain resistant 100% acrylic Palais and the luxury cowhides of Marques; there’s a sumptuous fibre, pattern and colour for any interior, each presented using inspirational imagery and an in-depth design story. Gareth Davies, Sales and Marketing Director at Flair Rugs, explains “We’re very aware of the value that exhibiting at the Buying Groups’ National Flooring Show can bring to a brand, and although this is the first time we’ve showed here, Flair Rugs were determined to make a statement to all visiting our vibrant stand. TrendEdit 2, alongside new merchandising and POS options, stole the headlines across this very busy two-day period, but we fully expect results to inspire a return next year!”

New point-of-sale developments include a unique rug slider and eye-catching brochure lectern, both playing their part in promoting Flair products and everything they can bring to retailer offerings up and down the land. Also shown was selected rugs from Flair’s core product range and newly updated Simplicity portfolio, the latter championing a value-driven approach that refuses to compromise on style and fibre choice. For further information please email or telephone Flair Rugs on 01457 850660.

SEALY UK EXTENDS ITS SUPPORT FOR UP-AND-COMING OLYMPIC ATHLETE The world’s biggest bed brand, Sealy UK, has teamed up with British Olympian and Linford Christie protégée, Margaret Adeoye, to support her as she competes at the highest level. Making her Olympic debut at the London 2012 Olympics representing Great

Britain in the 200 metres, Margaret is no stranger to the demands of training and performing under extreme pressure time and time again.

really can’t beat that fresh feeling in the morning from a good night’s sleep, and I’m looking forward to many more nights of great quality rest!”

More recently, Margaret joined Team GB in Rio and is now in training for the inaugural Nitro Athletics series in Melbourne, where she will represent her country once again in the 200 metres under the guidance of Olympic champion, Linford Christie.

Neil Robinson, Sealy UK Marketing Director adds “Margaret has an incredibly promising future ahead of her and we’re delighted to be part of it by providing her with the comfort and support of a Sealy mattress. Her dedication and determination, coupled with the excellent guidance from a world champion stand her in good stead for success in 2017.”

As a self-confessed “terrible sleeper”, Sealy has gifted Margaret a Sealy Navarro 1400 Mattress in a bid to improve her sleeping patterns, in turn, aiding her training, performance and recovery so that she can follow in the footsteps of her mentor and role model, Linford. Margaret commented “Now that I’m sleeping better, I feel better prepared to tackle even the most challenging of training sessions. Since sleeping on a Sealy everything seems to be going well, and I have no complaints what-so-ever. You

With her involvement in Sealy’s World of Sport, Margaret joins a number of leading sportsmen and women, including British snowboarding champion, Zoe Gillings-Brier, Rugby League champions, Wigan Warriors, and boxer Frank Bruno MBE. The initiative was launched to promote deeper sleep and the wealth of benefits this has on sporting performance. SMG News | Summer 2017 | 23


running vans face but thankfully there are a number of technologies that can save money. Telematics, such as Lombard Vehicle Solutions’ award winning ProFleet2 telematics technology, can provide an effective tool to help manage fuel and driver efficiency.

Commercial vehicles are undoubtedly the workhorse of businesses. In fact, according to Department for Transport figures they constituted just under one in 10 vehicles on the roads. And such vehicles have a massive role to play in helping keep small businesses, which themselves are the ‘lifeblood’ of the British economy, operating effectively. For many businesses, running vehicles is a major cost alongside payroll and premises. Yet there are many ways that small businesses can cut their costs through improved fleet management. Key issues to consider include: Downsizing – many van manufacturers have now introduced new models that employ creative use of space to offer optimised loading along with improved fuel consumption and emissions. A review of your business operations may uncover the possibility of switching to a smaller van. If you occasionally need to accommodate a larger load, van rental can provide an effective short term solution. It is also highly recommended to work with your vehicle supplier and fleet management specialist on storage solutions that maximise load space. Overloading – Unfortunately this is a very common issue – in 2013 the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) reported that 93% of the vans it stops

are overloaded. However, overloading not only increases fuel costs and wear and tear on items such as clutches and brakes but could also have disastrous implications if the driver was involved in an accident – not to mention the possibility of prosecution and a major fine for whoever overloaded the vehicle. It is essential to put best practice policies in place. Daily walkaround – Undertaking simple checks every morning can help ascertain any issues with damage, lights not working, tyre issues etc. This should also be accompanied once a week with checks on all levels under the bonnet and tyre pressures. Such checks are vital in terms of making sure vehicles are roadworthy and also reducing costs – for example, make sure tyres are properly inflated can improve fuel economy and reduce tyre wear. Using technology – Downtime is one of the biggest costs that businesses

Other simple solutions that can also help businesses running vans include fitting reversing sensors and in-vehicle cameras which can reduce both damage and vehicle downtime, far outweighing their costs. Meanwhile speed limiters can help improve fuel economy while a sat nav can assist the driver getting to where they need to be. Driver training – Taking the type of vehicle used out of the equation, the driver has the greatest influence on costs and emissions. Driver training can play a major role here in helping to improve both of these as well as reducing accident rates and insurance premiums and minimise vehicle wear and tear. And working with a specialist in driver training, such as Lombard Vehicle Solutions, can bring instant benefits for the business’s bottom line. If you would like to find out more about Lombard Vehicle Solutions and what they could do for you, or would like to learn about their vehicle special offers, please contact 0117 908 6490 and quote LVS 2404.

If you’re looking for a reliable and trusted partner to offer you competitive pricing across a wide range of cars and light commercial vehicles, Lombard Vehicle Solutions can help. They understand that as well as cost effective solutions, you also need vehicle advice and support services you can rely on – leaving you free to get on with achieving your business goals. Created to meet the needs of today’s businesses Lombard Vehicle Solutions is one of the UK’s leading fleet service providers. SMG News | Summer 2017 | 25

A Super Soft new own brand range exclusively available to SMG Members! Full details will be revealed soon...


The Wool Carpet Focus Group is working on plans for a major autumn wool marketing programme. The aim of the WCFG is to promote the fact that wool is the best fibre for carpets and rugs. Its members include the vast majority of significant wool carpet manufacturers who sell their products in the United Kingdom. Buying Groups, like SMG and other wool orientated organisations are also members. Everyone has paid a fee to join and it is the most unified group of independent but collaborative companies the wool carpet industry has ever seen. It is estimated that there are over 8,000 carpet retail outlets in the UK. To get the message out to every one of them is a huge task but we are doing our best to be fully inclusive of them all. Our team has recently had meetings with The Campaign for Wool, Wools of New Zealand, British Wool and Viking Wool from Norway with the aim of working on a coordinated approach to helping retailers sell more wool carpets! Various ideas are being discussed and there will be news coming through in the next few weeks. It is difficult to say too much at this stage and one of the

largest hurdles we have to jump is how to finance it all. It might be that those retailers who are keenest to work with us will get the first option of what is available and others will be included later. The WCFG is all inclusive of everyone who has an interest in marketing wool carpets. We have called wool’s natural benefits and attributes ‘Woolabilities’ and we are defining them all with a simple message that is backed by scientific fact. They say that a picture can paint a thousand words and I would like to share these with you now.

This is a bale of wool, freshly scoured (washed) at Haworth Scouring Company in Bradford. The straps on the bale, which weights over 320kgs, were released and even after 300 tons of pressure packed it tight it burst open to several times its packed size. This shows that wool has ‘Bouncebackability’, the natural spring like nature of the fibre (crimp) which helps it return to its natural state. I am not supposed to be too critical of unnatural carpet fibres but if this was a bale of polypropylene it would bounce like an egg! Imagine this Bouncebackability in a wool carpet where the pile has the natural ability to recover its shape and retain its original appearance much better than unnatural fibres carpets! Additional Woolabilities are defined on our website which can be viewed at and new ones are being defined all the time. If you would like more information about the Wool Carpet Focus Group please contact SMG or myself and we will be happy to see how we can work together to sell more wool carpets and rugs.

The aim of the Wool Carpet Focus Group is to help the sale of wool carpets and rugs - a simple aim but one which has brought to light many scientific facts and old wives tales which have turned out to be true! The Group is supported by some of the most high profile brands in the carpet industry including many SMG Approved Suppliers.

SMG News | Summer 2017 | 29

Cormar is on a High With New Highland Saxony Range Cormar Carpets, the UK’s leading independent tufted carpet manufacturer, launches its high performance, heavyweight, heather carpet collection... Highland Saxony. The new, easy-clean, luxury carpet range, offers a wide choice of tri-colour, non-fade heather colours, which are bleach cleanable. It is Cormar’s first collection to carry a 10 year guarantee against both stain and wear. Made from 100% soft Excellon polypropylene in a high quality two fold yarn, the colour palette reflects today’s trends with a mix of fashionable natural and grey shades that provide warmth and comfort to any home. “Offering the 10 year guarantee for both stain and wear resistance gives

the customer added confidence in our quality,” said David Cormack, Marketing Director at Cormar Carpets. “As the market increasingly moves towards heavier weight carpets, Highland Saxony is a luxury option with high end specifications which all adds up to a range that looks good, feels fantastic and performs brilliantly” he adds.

All Cormar’s loop pile, wool twist and easy clean polypropylene ranges are produced on site at its Lancashire mills and distributed in the UK and Eire via its own delivery fleet. For more information please contact your local representative or Cormar directly on 01204 881200.

Highland Saxony comes in four and five metre widths that can be teamed together to accommodate the trend for a streamlined look in the home.

SMG News | Summer 2017 | 31



This issue we thought it would be interesting to focus on Gaskell and Manx Tomkinson. With big changes announced in January 2017 who better to put in the spotlight than Mike Dobson. Having joined the company in 2006 and being a passionate supporter of wool he was the brainchild behind the WOW project, therefore Mike has a great understanding of the benefits of wool carpet as well as man made with the dual brand of Manx Tomkinson. We asked the usual questions and here are the results... HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE VALUES THAT HAVE MADE GASKELL & MANX TOMKINSON SUCCESSFUL? “It is important that each brand means something to the retailer. Gaskell Wool Rich is, by its very name, focused on wool products.  Over the last couple of years, we have developed the product line so that it is now a one-stop shop for loop pile ranges, combining a broad cross-section of textures, colours and price points.  As for Manx Tomkinson, we are very excited about this merger as it brings together two well-known brands that have been successful in different product areas over the recent past; value for money wool ranges, and high performance, competitively-priced man-made products.

For both businesses, the focus has been on the Independent retailer, with ongoing investment in point of sale development to present the ranges in the most professional way possible.” WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU ARE CURRENTLY FACING AS A MANUFACTURER? “For our wool products, there is no doubt that wool has been struggling over recent times to maintain market share against its man-made competition. Improved fibre quality, competitive prices, and strong marketing campaigns have meant that wool’s position as the fibre of choice in the mid- to top-end segment of the market has been undermined.  Hopefully by working closely with the Wool Carpet Focus Group and other marketing organisations, we can come up with plans and campaigns that will help to re-establish wool as a key fibre in carpet production. Man-made ranges face totally different challenges to wool.  The market is heavily over-subscribed with products, and the retailer and consumer can easily be confused by the breadth of offer in terms of texture, quality, price point, weight, colour, and so on.  This is why our new Easy Living brand identity is so important to help the Manx Tomkinson offer have greater prominence in-store.”

INDEPENDENT RETAILERS ARE ALSO FACING CHALLENGES, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER THEM? “Every so often, pretend that you are a consumer visiting your store, and see how easy it would be for you to choose the right product for your needs. There are so many potential suppliers these days, offering all sorts of different flooring products, different promotional material and different displays.  Whilst it is vital that the retailer has a good choice of products to present to the consumer, they must always bear in mind that a more limited choice, focusing on fewer key suppliers, might make the purchase process less confusing for the consumer, and lead to stronger relationships with the core supplier base.” IF YOU COULD ASK RETAILERS TO CHANGE ONE THING WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Embrace change!  There have been many threats to the Independent retailer over the recent past – launch of new multiple retail chains, introduction of new product categories, such as artificial grass, new technology, with the Internet followed by Social Media.  All of these threats present new opportunities for those who are willing to see them in a positive way and face up to the challenges that they bring.” ...continued

SMG News | Summer 2017 | 35

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE INDUSTRY CHANGE IN THE FUTURE? “The industry is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of the consumer. Nobody can state for certain how new technology will impact upon the purchase process when buying a new floorcovering, but there is no doubt in my mind that it will be significant.  As always, those players who recognise the changes and adapt their business to take advantage of them, will be the winners in the long term.” WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCT? “I have to admit a soft spot for Tomkinson Twist. The product was under development when I took over responsibility for the business.  I remember saying that if its success was so crucial in helping to grow the Tomkinson sales, why don’t we call the product Tomkinson Twist? From that day on, the name stuck, and here we are, ten years later, proud owners of the world’s biggest-selling 80/20 wool twist carpet!”

Faroe is a popular Gaskell product

WHICH OTHER FLOORING MANUFACTURER DO YOU MOST ADMIRE? “I have a lot of respect for Cormar. Their approach to market research and product launches is always very professional, and they continue to invest heavily in displays and pos which help the retailer to sell their products.“

OUTSIDE OF WORK, WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS? “I enjoy watching Rugby Union, in particular the Six Nations. I love the passion and friendly rivalry that the tournament creates, and have been lucky enough to witness a number of games personally.  I also enjoy playing golf when time permits, but won’t be giving up the day job any time soon!” IN YOUR WHOLE LIFE, WHAT MAKES YOU MOST PROUD? “A pretty typical answer... my family!  Committing to a partner and then learning how to be a parent are two of the hardest challenges anyone can face.  Whether or not you are ‘successful’ can be very subjective, but when you feel proud of something that one of your children has achieved, there is no better feeling in the world.” DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS? “No.  There have been times when I have been disappointed.  On these occasions, it is important to try to understand why things have not turned out as you wanted them to, and then learn from these experiences for the future.” We would like to thank Mike for taking the time to answer our questions. If you are interested in Gaskell or Manx Tomkinson products please contact 01827 831525.

Mike is delighted that Tomkinson Twist can now be called ‘The World’s Best Selling 80/20 Wool Twist!’ 36

Deacon Jones bandwagon rolls on to BGNFS Following a successful launch at this year’s January Furniture Show, the hard-hitting Deacon Jones by Crown Floors carpet collection was showcased at the Buying Groups’ National Flooring Show in May. Collated by football and movie hard man Vinnie Jones, along with friend and carpet supremo Danny Deacon, this collection comprises no fewer than eight striking styles. Four of these are produced using super strong X-Tron polypropylene, representing Vinnie’s harder side, while four are produced in polypropylenes and polyamides that are extra caring to the touch, demonstrating that Vinnie has a surprisingly soft side too. Whatever the needs of the homeowner, there will be a quality to match and with an extensive colour bank to boot. Geert Vanden Bossche, Marketing Director of Balta Group, explains “The Buying Groups’ National Flooring Show is always a great opportunity for us to further drive the year’s headline collections. The Deacon Jones by Crown Floors concept, as predicted, has seen unprecedented levels of uptake since its

inception, and this is not simply down to Vinnie’s celebrity status. These are some of the highest quality wall-to-wall options to have emerged from the Crown Floors think tank, and with this in mind we were delighted to present them to the audience at The Buying Groups’ National Flooring Show.” The Deacon Jones collection by Crown Floors is backed by a number of innovative point-of-sale options for use in-store, including a double-sided book stand holding a near life size Vinnie Jones. This, along with other Crown Floors carpet and POS updates for 2017, were explored by the Members who headed to the West Midlands for the Buying Groups’ National Flooring Show in May. For further information please contact your local representative or Crown Floors on 0800 898 282. SMG News | Summer 2017 | 39

Watercolours Amulet - Seaglass 40

Latest news from Ulster Carpets Ulster Carpets have been busy developing new ranges and are delighted with the response so far. The first new range launched by Ulster is inspired by natural landscapes and the abstract masterpieces of JW Turner. This latest axminster, ‘Watercolours’ mimics washes of watercolour pigment softly blending into the paper. Two designs ‘Amulet’ and ‘Mineral’ are available in five exciting colour ways which echo the natural elements. Deliberate yet whimsical brush strokes evoke feelings of sky and water as they run and blend into the surface of the canvas. These effortless textures are layered over classic designs to give an antiqued effect - that of a textile treasured over time so that only fragments of the pattern remain. The range is perfect for areas where the pattern does not need to be dominant, instead reflecting the colours and fabrics in the room. The subtle blend of colours creates a calming, earthy mood. Made from an 80% wool and 20% nylon composition, the range has been made for extra heavy wear usage and is available in five colour matching mutli-widths, making it suitable for both small and large family spaces. Introducing ‘Fusion’ The next addition is ‘Fusion’, a unique range with striking patterns and colour ways, designed to make an impact. As the name suggests, the inspiration for this range is a fusion of re-discovered classic designs that have a resonance in many different areas of interior design. The chevron ‘Reverb’ has roots in architecture, parquet flooring and embroidery, the dogtooth design ‘Tone’ originates from tweed fabrics and is a staple of both furnishings and haute couture, while ‘Sonic’ echoes ikat textiles and slub yarn designs. The Fusion designs maintain their familiarity but have been re-visited to have a completely modern feel with blues, greys and neutrals that are perfect for current colouring, whilst the scale of the bold designs are tempered by the use of texture which accentuates the softness and practicality of the axminster pile.

Open Space (Laneve) - Auckland Sidewalk

Available in a 4 metre width, this range is perfect for larger family spaces, reducing the need for seams. Its 80% wool, 20% nylon combination makes it suitable heavy wear within the home or a commercial setting. New Colours Auckland & Queenstown Following the overwhelming success of their Open Spaces Auckland and Queenstown ranges, Ulster are boosting their offering by adding new colourways to each of these Laneve ranges. Auckland, a plain rib, will be complemented with five new colourways; Sidewalk, Ermine, Glint, Concrete and Parafin while Queenstown, a textured two-tone rib will also be enhanced with seven additional colourways; Delft, Baltic, Cadet, Ink, Gull, Urban and Whale. The array of contemporary grey tones offer a comprehensive colour bank within each range which answers ‘of the moment’ interiors trends. Made using 100% Laneve Wool these ranges offer unrivalled quality and clarity of colour. The wool is traceable back to individual farmers in New Zealand who operate using the highest standards of animal welfare and environmental management. Combine this with the unique ultra light action back which does not delaminate and is almost impossible

Fusion - Tone Alloy

to crease and you truly have a collection that ticks all the boxes. Available in five colourmatching widths Open Spaces Auckland and Queenstown are suitable for heavy residential wear. Manufactured in Denmark by danfloor (an Ulster Group Company specialising in the manufacture of tufted products) the Auckland and Queenstown ranges utilise a dense loop pile texture to create a natural contemporary floor covering that is also soft, warm and durable. For more information on any of these ranges please contact your local representative or Ulster Carpets on 028 3833 4433. SMG News | Summer 2017 | 41

Deco Collection Relaunch... Following on from the successful re-launch of Durham Twist, Hugh Mackay will be re-launching the New Deco Collection. Like Durham Twist, they hope it will become a ‘one stop shop’ for this particular product sector. The 100% British Wool, three ply loop pile is made up of 15 multicoloured Zig Zags, 15 multicoloured stripes, 19 contrasting plains and 10 two tone stripes. The collection received very positive comments at the recent Buying Groups’ National Flooring Show and will be displayed on a new lectern supplemented by an innovative presenter style book. Don’t forget SMG Members can take advantage of a superb rebate scheme on all sales of Hugh Mackay. See your Membership Handbook for details.

New Premium High Density Underlays to top Interfloor’s PU Range Interfloor is launching its highest density PU underlay range in response to market demand for firmer and more luxurious products suitable for use in all areas of the home. The three products in the new Premium High Density (PHD) range are all 180kg/m³ and offer superior protection for carpets that is longer lasting and better performing as well having impressive ‘green’ credentials. Interfloor CEO John Cooper comments “The trend for increasingly luxurious and comfortable interiors means that many of our retail customers are keen to add firmer PU products to their offer. Now with our new Premium High Density range they can.” “This latest product development demonstrates our commitment to providing customers with the very best choice of quality and value for money flooring products as well as outstanding

service. We pride ourselves on offering a one-stop-shop for all their flooring needs.” New PHD Chromium 9mm, the standout PU underlay in the range, has high performance Textron backing to give it more dimensional stability and cleaner cutting during installation as well as exceptional ‘shock absorber’ properties to help give it a longer life. PHD Titanium 8mm and PHD Palladium 10mm have a polyethylene with reinforcing scrim backing, as featured on Tredaire Titanium, Flamecheck and FR7. This backing also helps increase dimensional stability, is resistant to tearing and is easy to cut and trim.

“Consumers will love the high performance features of our new PHD underlays, while fitters can’t fail to be impressed with how easy it is to install. We are sure the range will be first choice for professional installations in all areas of the home,” added Mr Cooper. The PHD underlays boast superior heat insulation properties and have high acoustic ratings to reduce noise. They are also made from 100% recycled foam, giving them excellent ‘green’ credentials. For full technical specifications or general information, please contact Interfloor on or telephone 01706 213 131.

SMG News | Summer 2017 | 43

TT Collection

Power Up Your Painted Furniture with Kettle Interiors As the trend for painted dining and occasional furniture continues unabated, Kettle Interiors now has four different collections, giving retailers scope to meet any request. With the well-established DG Dining collection, the supplier provides classic English country style, while in the new for 2017 TT White and TT Grey, a more modern influence is found in two different paint finishes. Rounding out the painted dining and occasional collections comes NR, another new introduction for 2017 and a range owing much to French provincial style with its flag pattern grey lime-washed oak tops. All painted dining and occasional collections are available with fast delivery right across the UK through Wholesale, Stockist and Container services; each offering a combination of quality and value that is sure to appeal. Upholstered Dining Chairs New for 2017, the Upholstered Chair Collection brings four exclusive styles that add luxury to any painted or oak dining range available from Kettle Interiors. Featuring Luxury, Curved Button Back, standard Button Back and the impressive Winged Button Back styles; the chairs are available in grey and beige fabric finishes. Providing an elegant aesthetic, these neutral colours work with most interior styles ensuring these fabric chairs remain incredibly versatile. Available in pairs and supplied fully-assembled, each chair is available in any quantity and can be mixed with popular oak ranges through Wholesale, Stockist and Container packages, enabling retailers to build a tailored dining package for customers.

WIT Collection

Perfect Pine Beautifully crafted bedroom furniture with a traditional edge, the WIT collection is the latest pine range from Kettle Interiors. With a natural wax look finish, this fully-featured collection features items perfect for smaller bedrooms, as well as a variety of wardrobe and chest sizes. Thanks to neutral styling that works well in any setting, the collection can add the warmth of pine to modern and traditional homes alike, bringing a quality finish that is both beautiful and enduring. Available with highly competitive pricing from UK stocks, WIT can be delivered right across the UK through Wholesale, Stockist and Container packages from Kettle Interiors. Delightful Danish Style The NT Collection was launched at the start of the year, picking up on the rise of Scandinavian interior style in homes throughout the UK. With a natural oak finish, tapering legs and curved edges; the NT collection takes the hallmarks of Nordic furniture design, reinventing it in a range of items designed to fulfil the needs of UK homeowners.

NT Living Collection

“The NT Collection really offers something unique,” says Simon Ainge, Sales Director. He continues “Bringing a clean and minimal contemporary style that is elegantly proportioned and sized for UK homes. NT is an exciting step for Kettle Interiors and marks our intention to stay right on top of the latest interior trends.” Featuring a total of 31 items across dining and occasional furniture, NT is now available through Wholesale, Stockist and Container services with fast delivery covering every corner of the UK. For further information contact Kettle Interiors on 01536 444960 or email

Upholstered Chairs SMG News | Summer 2017 | 45

Edel Telenzo Expands Greater London Collection Brand new Hoxton and Primrose Hill join Edel Telenzo’s Greater London broadloom carpet collection, signalling the brand’s intent for 2017 and were shown for the very first time at this year’s Buying Groups’ National Flooring Show in Solihull. The Greater London collection, including Chelsea, Burford Bridge and Bloomsbury, has proved an Edel Telenzo favourite since its inception, and now customers can now enjoy the high quality 100% 3-ply New Zealand wool loop-pile in the form of Hoxton and Primrose Hill. Hoxton offers this fibre in six striking two-tone designs including Cape Wrath, Marl Stone and Nordic Walk, ready for combination with Spring Air, North Cape and other coordinating stripes found in sister stable, Primrose Hill.

Hoxton 139 Marl Stone with Felt Binding

“When modern colour combinations combine with the unique lustre that only 100% wool can offer, it really is something quite special,” explains Annemarie Hadders, Marketing Manager, Edel Telenzo. “Hoxton and Primrose Hill reaffirm our position as a leader in wool broadloom design, a worthy way to enhance a Greater London offering and generated high levels of interest at the Buying Groups’ National Flooring Show.” The softness and luxury found in Hoxton and Primrose Hill allows them to sit neatly alongside existing Greater London choice, and makes them perfect candidates for use in Edel Telenzo’s bespoke Rugs & Runners collection that was also on show at Solihull. Both Hoxton and Primrose Hill are available to purchase in four and five metre widths (colour 189, 4m only) and are rated as suitable for heavy domestic use. For more information on Edel Telenzo or if you are interested in opening an account please contact 01422 374417.

Hoxton 139 Marl Stone with Felt Binding SMG News | Summer 2017 | 47

The Art of Design Adam Carpets have launched six new colours into their Castlemead Twist range, bringing the total to 60. These six new colours have been carefully researched and selected over the last twelve months to showcase current and future interior trends. This has been borne out with colour ‘Adam’s Apple’ reflecting the latest Pantone Colour of the Year for 2017 - Greenery. Adam Carpets are also delighted that The Little Greene Paint Company have agreed to coordinate their wonderful paint colours with both our Castlemead Twist and Fine Worcester Twist ranges. Each carpet will have three paint colours to offer customers various colour scheme options. “It is great news that we have started to work with The Little Greene Paint Company” comments Eamonn Prescott, Sales and Marketing Director at Adam Carpets. “They have recommended paint colours to coordinate with each of the 60 Castlemead Twist carpet colours, meaning a luxurious, soft floor can be a true focal point for interior designers.”

Castlemead Twist - Country Cottage 48

Castlemead Twist - Riverstone

Castlemead Twist also carries further significance as the plain colours have been certified Platinum by British Wool. This is a guarantee that the wool content is 100% British Wool, widely regarded as the best fibre for durable and beautiful carpets.

For more information please contact your local representative or Adam Carpets on 01562 822247.

Castlemead Twist - Yellow Submarine

Castlemead Twist - Moonshadow SMG News | Summer 2017 | 49

Levitating beds and dream-reading apps? The future of sleep is revealed as part of bold new report from leading expert! Levitating beds, dream controlling apps and a mattress that destroys body odour? These are the sleep technologies we are likely to see in the future, according to a world-leading expert, in a bold new report. Sealy UK, in conjunction with renowned futurologist and author, Dr Ian Pearson, undertook the Future of Sleep study, to help it gain an insight into the trends shaping the world of sleep over the next 20 years. In compiling the report, Dr Pearson studied a combination of factors; including emerging technological, social and economic trends. The results are certainly eye-opening, and include: • Levitating mattress: Graphene, a new material with amazing properties, will allow for near-sci-fi mattress technology, such as magnetic levitation. Electronic magnetic ‘muscles’ could even be used to convert body movement into electricity to power other devices and sensors.

• Smart beds: Electrical nerve activity monitoring will allow alarms to wake someone at the optimal part of a sleep cycle instead of disturbing dreams and waking someone feeling groggy. This will also allow for thought recognition, which can recognise what a person is dreaming. • Clean Sleeping Beds that remove odours: Circular or elliptical micro-holes would change a fabric’s porosity if stretched in one direction and can be used to diffuse scents or other chemicals. Similarly, micron-sized spikes vibrating up and down could rupture bacteria to offer electrical sterilisation function. • Muscle-like contracting fabrics: Electroactive can emulate muscles contracting when a voltage is applied. These will be woven into smart fabrics that can alter shape or tension, allowing a mattress to vary in firmness to each customer’s preference. These can even be app-adjusted or automatically reactive to enable personalised support.

• Bio-sign monitoring: Smart pillowcases or sheets incorporating electronics circuits will monitor body temperature and skin moisture levels – in turn revealing sleep phases or dream states, allowing for a more natural flow of sleep. Neil Robinson, Sales and Marketing Director at Sealy UK, comments “The advances in technology, particularly in the sleep sector are mind-blowing and we’re incredibly excited about the innovations and developments soon to be at our fingertips. As leaders in sleep technology and innovation, Sealy is committed to designing products that deliver on comfort, support and most importantly, provide a great night’s sleep. We’ve been amazed by the findings Dr Ian Pearson has uncovered and we look forward to incorporating certain elements into our progressive research and development department.”

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Timeless Plains and Stripes 52

New Ranges from Balta A dovetailing duo and a spectrum of choice. Balta Broadloom is delighted to be introducing two new ranges this summer; Timeless and Spectrum Sound. The new Timeless and Timeless Stripes collections that not only make full use of 100% Stainsafe® Leonis® PP fibre for softness and stain protection, but also dovetail one another beautifully for a coordinated look in residential spaces. Timeless and Timeless Stripes might be super soft and easy to clean, but talents extend well beyond practical credentials, with a spectrum of colours that keep the collections at the tip of the trend curve. Timeless is adorned with 15 plains, with colours including pink, green and trending grey, primed and ready for combination with the four coordinating stripes found in its sister range.

Also using the latest in yarn technology to deliver a unique aesthetic, Spectrum Sound is another Balta Broadloom carpet to redefine the way consumers look at residential carpet. The new addition makes full use of the brand’s new 100% PP Stainsafe® Spectrum fibre to deliver not only enviable performance and practical benefits, but also a striking multi coloured effect. This is achievable thanks to the high contrast colour separation that only this new high-tech fibre can provide, ensuring Spectrum Sound a place among very best trend-leading collections.

Geert comments “We are delighted to introduce our customer network to Spectrum Sound, a collection that offers not only a beautifully colourful, but still understated design bank, it also comes with impressive practical qualities and an extended wear warranty to boot. The latter shows how much confidence is placed in the manufacturing methods used, and critically the 100% PP Stainsafe® Spectrum fibre that stars in the carpets’ construction.” Spectrum Sound, rated as suitable for heavy domestic use, is available on its own striking POS lectern, demonstrating that Balta Broadloom places careful

“The arrival of Timeless and Timeless Stripes demonstrates Balta’s continued drive for the most complete PP stable possible, offering solutions for all kinds of residential environment,” explains Geert Vanden Bossche, Marketing Director, Balta Group. “We are known for putting a practical spin on our carpets, but equally we pride ourselves on touch and feel, as well as colour choice; this is epitomised by our new introductions, and we look forward to gauging reaction over the coming months.” Timeless and Timeless Stripes bring the chance to recreate this season’s look-of-the-moment: stripes run up the staircase, with coordinating plains used in adjoining hallways and landings. Crucially, once fitted, this is an aesthetic that will last, with 10 year wear and 15 year stain promises arriving as part of the Timeless and Timeless Stripes package, testament to the confidence placed in 100% Stainsafe® Leonis® PP fibre. Timeless is available to purchase in four and five metre widths, meaning fewer seams if the location’s hallways, landings and living rooms represent a larger expanse. Timeless Stripes’ quartet of designs are available in four metre only.

Spectrum Sound

The result is a portfolio packed full of 11 multi-toned flecked effects, meaning a variety of home spaces can be brought into 2017 in stylish fashion. Further to smart looks, Spectrum Sound offers significant 15 year wear and 20 year stain promises, while easily cleanable by bleach solution; in essence, an underfoot option holding multiple talents, and one that will maintain its aesthetic for time to come.

emphasis on ‘route to market’ as well as the output produced. This ensures the customer experience is one of the highest order, from first contact through to time of purchase. For further information please visit or contact Balta on +32 56 62 22 11.

SMG News | Summer 2017 | 53

Wicker Merchant Makes a Mark The Wicker Merchant is making its mark at a series of events this year as it looks to spread the word of its high-quality wicker baskets, pet houses, storage units, hampers and furniture to retailers. Exhibiting as part of its parent company, Kettle Interiors, at the members-only Minerva Spring Exhibition earlier this year, The Wicker Merchant will also bring its quality wicker and exclusive show offers to the Autumn Fair at the NEC, from the 3rd to the 6th September. For those involved in the garden and outdoor living sector, the brand will be exhibiting at GLEE, between the 11th -13th September, again at the NEC. With a range of new items introduced at the beginning of the year, including

picnic baskets and hampers, the brand already has more trend-based launches in the pipeline and will be holding promotional offers to ensure as many retailers as possible can benefit from its wicker lines. Thanks to reliable supply from UK stocks and with over 123 items to choose from, The Wicker Merchant is making its mark as the UK’s leading supplier of wicker goods.

The Best Way to Bag Wicker Baskets As mentioned previously the country’s leading wicker brand has started the year with a range of new items. Expanding key lines, such as laundry baskets sets with a whitewash finish, as well as introducing seasonal sellers in picnic baskets and hampers, the brand now carries huge UK stock. Within the 24 new items released for 2017, also comes a new grey ash finish and willow basket designs in the shape of a plastic-lined planter and gardeners’ baskets. Made from high-quality materials, all items come carefully packaged to arrive in perfect condition and The Wicker Merchant offers free wholesale delivery on orders over £300. Selected small items are also available through parcel delivery and there is bulk discount available on orders of £2,500 or more.

The Wicker Merchant is exclusively available through Kettle Interiors, for more information please contact your local representative or Kettle Interiors directly by email on or telephone 01536 444960.

SMG News | Summer 2017 | 55

Marmoleum Solid - Slate 56

Marmoleum Solid... Pure design. Pure material. Pure emotion. Marmoleum Solid is the contemporary new linoleum collection by Forbo Flooring Systems. Authentic in nature, its five individual ranges provide the foundation for creating pure, distinctive and modern spaces. “Marmoleum Solid shows that linoleum floor coverings have the capacity to move beyond the classic marbled structures and encourage designers to consider using it in spaces such as retail, leisure and hospitality and offices, where other finishes are often more predominant.”

Building on its exemplary natural ethos, Marmoleum remains the most sustainable resilient flooring product available and its new Cocoa range supports this profile further by introducing a new upcycled natural raw material. Created from 97% natural, raw materials including linseed oil and wood flour, 72% of which are rapidly renewable, and with a 43% recycled content, Marmoleum already achieves a natural high performance. The introduction of the Marmoleum Cocoa range goes one step further by adding a seventh natural ingredient, upcycled cocoa shells from a Dutch chocolate producer. An innovation in construction and aesthetics, the result is a rich organic scattering that introduces a completely new tactility for Marmoleum. This has led the range to win the 2017 IF Design Award for product design – adding to the many accolades and Ecolabels Marmoleum already holds, such as Nature Plus, Blue Angel and the Nordic Swan. Adding an entirely innovative dimension in embossing is the new Marmoleum Slate range. It features a naturally inspired texture that exudes sophistication, offering the timeless aesthetic of stone, with the warmth

Marmoleum Concrete has a new counterpart, which introduces a flash of colour shimmer to bring the distinctive material to life. Providing opposite visual expressions, the range is made of 12 brightly coloured concretes with subtle grey details and muted concrete shades featuring highlight tones that appear to glisten across the surface. Marmoleum Solid - Cocoa

and purity of linoleum. The strong natural shades available provide visual interest, whilst remaining understated, the perfect natural backdrop to any environment. Julie Dempster, Marketing Manager at Forbo Flooring Systems explains further “Marmoleum Solid is a contemporary collection that sits perfectly with today’s desire for more solid visuals and raw tactility. The concept of which is designed to combine beautifully with other building materials such as wood, glass and metal.”

Completing the collection is a variety of plain to semi-plain aesthetics running across the remaining Walton and refreshed Piano ranges, ensuring Marmoleum Solid provides a large choice of honest and pure designs that give the collection a strong, modern identity. The Marmoleum collection is a prime example of Forbo’s ‘Committed to the Health of One’ programme, which strives to create better indoor environments. It is naturally bacteriostatic, does not harbour allergens and holds the Allergy UK Seal of Approval. Marmoleum has extremely low VOCs contributing to positive indoor air quality and has high LRV’s which help create positive environments in which to work, live and play. Marmoleum is also protected by a unique water based finish ‘Topshield 2’, which ensures no hiding place for dirt or bacteria. What’s more, the inclusion of the seventh natural ingredient from another industry into the Marmoleum Cocoa range, Forbo continues in its efforts to reduce waste and improve recycling. For more information please contact your local representative or visit

Marmoleum Solid SMG News | Summer 2017 | 57

Axminster Carpets win another award! Axminster Carpets wins Best Residential Carpet of the Year at the International Wool Flooring Awards 2017. Commenting on the awards, Gary Bridge, Design Director said, “We’re so happy that our latest collection has won this prestigious award, even more so that it is the second year we have won with a new design.”

dirt, is easy to clean and has the added benefit of excellent acoustic qualities. Keeping your home warm in the winter, wool also naturally insulates whilst remaining breathable to control damp and moisture.

With over 250 entrants across the categories Axminster Carpets was awarded the accolade for the second year running – this year for the new Hazy Days range, which features stunning patterns and hushed pared-back tones.

He continues “The Hazy Days designs are a collection of designs spanning all tastes from contemporary to classic styles all inspired by interior trends of muted colours and pattern. The collection exudes sophistication and charm and is perfect for those seeking a timeless yet contemporary feel to their room.”

Proud recipients of a Royal Warrant, Axminster Carpets is the UK’s leading carpet manufacturer, weaving beautifully designed carpets for the Royal household, stately homes, luxury hotels and homes around the world.

Offering elegant geometrics to charming botanical patterns, Hazy Days is a versatile collection of grey and soft dove carpets with a twist. Blending an assortment of exquisite designs with a subtle neutral palette, this modern range delivers a stylish and timeless look as well as the luxury and durability of a pure wool carpet.

Woven in Axminster, Devon using only the highest quality wool, each carpet delivers beautiful crisp design as well as unmistakable Axminster Carpets luxury under foot. Woven in 100% wool this collection is not only elegant and luxurious but will provide a long-lasting look and superior performance. This fantastic natural material actively repels

The latest collection from Axminster Carpets, Hazy Days, has won Best Residential Carpet of the Year at the International Wool Flooring Awards which took place in London on the 15th March 2017 . They also were named finalists for best commercial carpet and also the award for design innovation.


Axminster Carpets were also highly commended for ‘Best Commercial Woven Design Carpet Installation of the Year’ and their new Shoreditch Collection was also a finalist in the ‘Homes and Gardens Award for Design Innovation’ earlier this year. For more information please contact your local representative or Axminster Carpets on 01297 32244.

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New Additions to Leonis Range Balta introduces two new lines to its Leonis broadloom stable, Kesari and Simba set to be a roaring success with their perfect combination of practicalities, softness and lasting looks. Leonis Kesari makes the most of super soft Leonis Stainsafe® PP fibre, meaning even the toughest household stains can be vanished using a diluted bleach solution. Holding a 20 year stain and 15 year wear promise, Leonis Kesari might stand toe-to-toe with the best in the market for durability and maintenance, but also provides 11 trending colourways, including greys and silvers with a silken sheen, to bring our homes in line with 2017. Holding a number of similar credentials is sister line, Leonis Simba, again manufactured using Leonis Stainsafe® PP fibre for super softness and hot looks that can stand up to the most hectic of family environments. This time, 12 multi-tonal colours are presented to the homeowner, including striking red, green and pink, for those spaces requiring an injection of life as we prime our interiors for the summer season. Geert Vanden Bossche, Marketing Director at Balta Group, explains “We are proud to introduce retailers to the latest lines found in Leonis, a collection that is performing exceptionally well in the UK market. The Kesari and Simba duo represent luxury, softness and vast colour choice, but they are also produced with modern living in mind, bringing exceptional soil protection and strong wear promises as well as wide-ranging aesthetics.” Since its full introduction at Domotex, Leonis has led the way for the Balta portfolio in 2017, but developments in broadloom output are not the only reason why this is an exciting period for the Balta brand. This month, the Balta Group has also revealed a change in its corporate identity, with a new logo that represents the company’s continued drive for success. For further information, visit or view the Leonis video on Balta’s YouTube channel. Alternatively, contact Balta on +32 56 62 22 11. SMG News | Summer 2017 | 61

Energy Saving Tips from Annex Solutions If you’re not used to saving energy you won’t have noticed the waste that takes place, day to day from office equipment. Start thinking of it as just another great opportunity to save. Some great tips include: • If you’re gone from your desk for a while, switch off your computer and monitor, and you’ll be taming the appetite of one of the biggest energy consumers in the office. • Myth number one - Screen savers save power when computers are not in use. Originally these were designed to prevent screens from being burnt by a constant image, but they aren’t needed for modern screens. In fact a complicated screen saver can be a significantly greater draw on energy. It is better to set screen savers to ‘blank screen’ or ‘none’. • Myth number two - Computers in standby mode are essentially off. Behind the scenes it’s more a case of the lights are still on but no one is at home – standby is a convenience that eats up valuable energy. • Laptops typically use less electricity over a year than desktop PC’s. So it’s good news if you’re already using them. If not, in future, why not consider one as an alternative to a desktop PC? • Train yourself to turn off those twinkling lights on your office peripherals. Many office products and phone chargers continue to draw power even when they’re in standby mode. Multi-socket extension leads (power blocks) that include an on-off switch make it easier to reduce ‘phantom’ power use. ‘Smart’ power blocks automatically shut off the power for you if there is no activity for a while. • It is worth mentioning again... Switch off at night - it’s the simplest way of cutting energy waste and saving money.

• Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s) are already widely available in a broad range of shapes and sizes. They use less energy and last longer than incandescent lighting. • Light-emitting diodes (LED’s) – these are even more efficient, and the ideal replacement for halogen downlights. Heating & Cooling... Most of us take heating and cooling for granted. Come rain or shine we simply expect our buildings to be at a comfortable temperature. Many of the best practice principles are the same for both situations i.e. use the heating or cooling system sparingly, think of the building as a container and make sure it leaks as little as possible. Air conditioning can make up to 30% of your energy use when in constant use. • Most heating and cooling systems are fitted with regulators and most of us don’t know how to use them properly so get to know your controls.

Bright Ideas... Approximately 40% of all energy consumed in buildings is used for lighting, so here’s your chance to save energy all year round.

• Set temperature controls to match season & weather conditions

• Simply switching off lighting when you don’t need it (in spaces that you are not using and switching off out of hours) is a great place to start.

• Enemy number one is overriding system controls. Check to see that temperature settings are correctly adjusted.


• Set time controls to match occupancy

• Keep windows and doors closed if you can and check to make sure they are properly sealed. • You don’t need to turn your thermostat up when it is colder outside; your building will heat up to the set temperature whatever the weather. If it takes a little longer on colder days, set your heating to come on earlier in winter. • Save money by not overheating parts of your building that are unoccupied or need lower temperatures. • Keep heaters, radiators and air vents clear. Putting furniture in front of radiators and vents can obstruct heat output, meaning less heat is available to heat a room. Never obstruct electric heaters as this is a fire hazard. • Check that air conditioning filters aren’t blocked. Without regular maintenance energy consumption in air conditioning systems can increase. • Lower your thermostat by even one degree and you’ll save on heating costs. To save even more contact Annex Solutions today on 01274 551 550!

A Carpet fit for The Queen Alternative Flooring with Liberty Fabrics at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show collaborated with Alternative Flooring, to create a glorious entrance carpet fit for The Queen at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017. The Queen walked on Flowers of Thorpe carpet at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Charity Gala Preview. This alternative red carpet is a famous Liberty floral pattern expertly woven into glorious carpet for the first time by Alternative Flooring. “It is fabulous to see great British brands coming together, to celebrate great British craft, pattern and flowers.”

“We knew this Liberty carpet was going to be special and we are delighted to be involved in the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The Palace requested a carpet sample so the Queen could decide on her outfit for the day. How special is that?” commented Lorna Haigh, Head of Creative and Marketing, Alternative Flooring. The range Flowers of Thorpe is a typical classic Liberty floral, created in the 1970s but emulating the wonderful small flower designs, which were so popular at Liberty in the 1930s, and a style the brand has become synonymous with. This beautiful floral has now been brought to life for the first time on a carpet. For more information please contact your local representative, Alternative Flooring directly on 01264 335111. Queen Elizabeth on Flowers of Thorpe at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017. Photo Credit: RHS Special Events.

Duchess of Cambridge on Flowers of Thorpe at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017. Photo Credit: RHS Special Events.

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BGNFS REVIEW THE BUYING GROUPS’ NATIONAL FLOORING SHOW IN SOLIHULL HAS JUST DRAWN TO A CLOSE AND WHAT A FANTASTIC AND VIBRANT EVENT IT WAS. The main hall was buzzing both days with retailers spending time with their favourite suppliers and getting to know those that they would like to develop relationships with in the future. With over 50 top class suppliers present there was certainly plenty to see! There were new products, new unitary, new ideas and even Vinnie Jones made an appearance on Tuesday to publicise the new Deacon Jones range. He posed for pictures and chatted to retailers. There was grass and fluffy toys on the Ball & Young stand and as always, the Associated Weavers stand was a showstopper. We had Love Stories with Abingdon, Sensations with Cormar, colour and texture with Brockway, Cavalier and Victoria, as well as subtle patterns with Brintons, Ulster, Edel Telenzo, Whitestone Weavers and Axminster. There was a strong representation of wool products as well as the super soft on trend synthetics. There was even foot testing on the Interfloor stand and Gaskell Woolrich won the ‘Best Stand’ award. As well as carpet, Woodpecker had an amazing display of hard flooring and with rugs a plenty the products on display for retailers were diverse and plentiful. With all this and free refreshments, parking and lunch, what was not to enjoy?! It was great to see so many SMG Members there and thank you to those who visited the team in the SMG Suite. I’m sure those that attended will agree that the business support aspect of our presentation was particularly well received. Warren Duckett from Annex Solutions was on hand to explain to Members how much saving they could be making on their utility bills with his no hassle brokerage where he sorts out all the price comparisons and contracts with no cold calling involved.

SMG’s Finance Manager, Judy Cole, Mike Reed, Head of Group Operations and Business & Marketing Manager Linda Thomas (not pictured) welcomed Members to the SMG Suite at the event.

Adrian Wilson was also in attendance representing Ford who talked about the new simplified offer SMG Members can enjoy from Ford whereby they have one point of contact who can offer them discounts of up to 20% and arrange for the vehicle to be delivered to them for a test drive and for purchase or lease options. SMG Insurance were at the show again, with Matt Gowing chatting with Members about how they can save 10% on their retail insurance - one of the visiting Members discovered he could make an £800 saving there and then! With offers on displays from Brockway, Crown Floors, Home Foundations, Interfloor and Distinctive Flooring, there was certainly plenty to see and chat about. It was great to meet so many Members and put faces to the names. James from County Carpets reported that he’d had a great time at the show and had placed a huge order for rugs which were a fraction of the usual trade price and ordered some new unitary for his shop. Congratulations too to Northants Flooring who were the lucky winners of the draw for one year’s free membership. It was definitely a worthwhile trip for them!

Warren Duckett from Annex Solutions. 66

If you missed the Show this year – make sure you register your place in 2018 – you’ll be very glad you did... It really is becoming the number one show for the flooring industry!

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SMG News - Summer 2017  
SMG News - Summer 2017  

The official publication of SMG The National Furnishing Group.