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Recent News

09 Nov 2020
January Furniture Show Dates Moved
January Furniture Show organiser postpones the event to 25-28 April 2021, due to extende...
21 Sep 2020
Time to Do More Online?
Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director at IMRG, talks about the importance of onlin...
11 Sep 2020
Furniture Digest | BFM Industry  Support, Appointment Systems & Retail Sales Increase
Nick Garratt gives an insight into how the BFM is supporting the industry. There's acqui...
04 Sep 2020
Appointment System Weeds out Browsers
A look into how an appointment-based system can help businesses such as Artertons and Fu...
13 Aug 2020
The Furniture Makers': Here to Help
Jonny Westbrooke, CEO of The Furniture Makers' Company, the long-standing furnishing ind...
31 Jul 2020
Dids Macdonald on IP Protection | ACID
Dids Macdonald, OBE Chief Executive - Anti Copying in Design (ACID), shares an overview ...
31 Jul 2020
January Furniture Show 2021 to go ahead
January Furniture Show 2021 is going ahead, with doors set to open 24-27 January at the ...
20 Jul 2020
Dan Oscroft | Whitemeadow
“We’ve made good progression, but we’re far from done yet” says Dan Oscroft, who...
03 Jul 2020
Furniture Digest | La-Z-Boy on COVID-19, Backing British Furniture & Uncertainty for Harveys
Insight from La-Z-Boy, and Barker and Stonehouse’s new campaign supporting the British...
02 Jul 2020
La-Z-Boy UK: Coping with COVID-19
Global upholstery manufacturer La-Z-Boy reflects on how its UK arm has coped with the co...
19 Jun 2020
Furniture Digest | Footfall up 40%, Advice from Retailer Vic Smith Beds & VAT Reduction
We caught up with Vic Smith Beds to find out how they are opening safely. Footfall was u...
17 Jun 2020
Vic Smith Beds: Coping with COVID-19
Independent mattress retailer Vic Smith Beds shares an insight into how they have coped ...
05 Jun 2020
Furniture Digest | Advice from Financial Consultancy & Consumer Demand
We spoke to an expert from Financial Consultancy Begbies Traynor to get advice and insig...
03 Jun 2020
COVID-19: Independent Advice from Professional Financial Consultancy Begbies Traynor
Gary Lee, North West Partner and a specialist in Business Rescue & Recovery at Begbies T...
29 May 2020
Furniture Digest | Financial Support & More Retail Reopening
The Furniture Makers' Company increased the support available, while Arlo & Jacob has be...
28 May 2020
Trend: Sustainability
COVID-19 has presented governments, businesses and individuals with unprecedented challe...
22 May 2020
Furniture Digest | BFC Inquiry & Guidance for Retailers
More information has emerged from the British Furniture Confederation (BFC) Inquiry into...
21 May 2020
How Retailers Can Prepare to Reopen
As several large-scale retailers begin to open their doors, many local retailers are sta...
11 May 2020
COVID-19: The Furniture Industry Responds
We’ve been inspired by stories about these suppliers and retailers who are using their...
04 Feb 2020
January Furniture Show is Home to the Industry’s Market Movers
The value of the U.K.’s furniture and lighting retail market looks primed to advance a...
03 Feb 2020
Furniture Makers Exceeds Target of 100 One Step at a Time Companies
The Furniture Makers’ Company has surpassed its target of 100 companies signed up to i...
31 Jan 2020
January Furniture Show 2020 Attracts Key Buyers in Every Sector
Exhibitors in all five halls of the UK’s biggest furniture buying event reported stron...
19 Jan 2020
The Winners of The Furniture Awards 2020
The results are in for The Furniture Awards 2020, as the UK’s top suppliers present ...
16 Jan 2020
One Step Champion Campaign
The Furniture Makers’ Company is encouraging visitors and exhibitors at the January Fu...
14 Jan 2020
The January Furniture Show is home to the industry’s market movers
The value of the U.K.’s furniture and lighting retail market looks primed to advance a...
14 Jan 2020
BEDS at January Furniture Show increases
Introduced to January Furniture Show in 2019 and returning by visitor request in 2020, B...
13 Jan 2020
3D Modelling and Leading Technology at January Furniture Show
January Furniture Show 2020 will take a step into the future with three advanced technol...
10 Jan 2020
New Brands Add Depth to January Furniture Show
Each year January Furniture Show seeks to introduce new brands to the exhibitor list add...
10 Jan 2020
The Furniture Awards 2020 Shortlist
The shortlist for this year’s edition of The Furniture Awards has been confirmed.
16 Dec 2019
Edward Tadros | ercol
The January Furniture Show marks the beginning of 12 months of celebration for Ercol, t...
10 Jul, 2020
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Real Business Rescue's Keith Tully on COVID-19

Real Business Rescue is a restructuring and turnaround service for businesses in financial distress. We spoke to Real Business Rescue partner, Keith Tully. In addition to providing long-term support, Keith and his team are providing urgent consultancy services to businesses hit by COVID-19, including negotiating HMRC Time to Pay arrangements and raising emergency finance.

What can you do if trade doesn't pick up after lockdown?
If your furniture store or manufacturing business is feeling the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic and the associated economic decline, you may be biding your time until trade picks up again, hoping to regain financial health, boost cash flow and experience customer demand. As lockdown measures begin to ease and non-essential retailers in the UK reopen, businesses are playing catch up on orders and encouraging new trade, however, this cannot be done at 100 per cent capacity as social distancing measures remain in place, writes Keith Tully of Real Business Rescue. 

Furniture retailers are coping with a backlog of orders due to supply chain delays and staggered payments following the COVID-19 lockdown which continues to disrupt sectors including hospitality, tourism, health and leisure. As consumer demand has been pent up throughout the lockdown period, similar to the housing sector, demand is due to soar as home delivery services resume and products become available following a long pause during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Is the furniture sector regaining footing?
As the furniture sector begins to lift online purchase restrictions due to the development of socially distanced deliveries and furloughed staff members returning to work, trading conditions are showing some positive signs, but remain far from normal. In between a nervous customer base and providing a ‘COVID-19 secure’ environment for shoppers, your furniture business may be struggling to repair the financial damage caused by the pandemic. It’s vital to adapt to the current trading landscape and seek professional advice to ensure your business can operate efficiently if that is the case. 

Adapting to the COVID-19 Era
Many furniture retailers are finding new ways to adapt to trading in harsher conditions, such as opening up delivery options to offer click and collect, socially distanced home delivery services and operating on an appointment-only basis. Non-essential retailers in the UK can now open their doors, providing that they comply with COVID-19 secure guidelines. This consists of complying with social distancing measures at work, increasing the frequency of cleaning surfaces, minimising contact between colleagues and installing barriers between workplaces, such as customer consultation areas and payment stalls. 

If you’re unable to overcome the trading challenges of COVID-19, act early before jeopardising your relationship with suppliers due to late payment and trading wrongfully. 

Risk of Wrongful Trading  
If you’re aware that your business is unable to fulfil payments to suppliers and you continue to trade, you run the risk of wrongful trading. It’s worth noting that as a reaction to COVID-19, a temporary moratorium is in place for wrongful trading which means that company directors will not be held personally liable for trading with the knowledge that they are going out of business. If your balance sheet and cash flow test shows that you’re on the brink of collapsing, it’s time to rethink your strategy. 

Rescue and Restructuring 
If your business is experiencing financial strain and you require specialist advice to help it survive after the lockdown if trade fails to pick up, here are some rescue measures which may assist you: 

Time to Pay Arrangement – Following COVID-19, HMRC opened the doors to Time to Pay arrangements, making them more accessible. A Time to Pay arrangement is an agreement between HMRC and the end party to restructure VAT, PAYE and Corporation tax payments into affordable instalments. 

Business Funding – Commercial finance can offer the helping hand needed to unlock working capital and cash flow for your business to survive COVID-19 and the aftermath of the pandemic. This may include the likes of invoice finance, asset-based lending and loans. 

The government has also announced additional COVID-19 business support measures such as the VAT deferral, the coronavirus business interruption scheme and the coronavirus job retention scheme. 

Company Voluntary Arrangement – A Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) is a rescue route for struggling, yet viable businesses with real prospects of recovery. A CVA opens up the channel to renegotiate terms with creditors to reduce monthly outgoings, making them more affordable. 

Company Administration – If your business is insolvent, taking the administration route could help facilitate recovery. If you’re experiencing cash flow problems and creditor pressure, company administration can protect your business from legal action, such as liquidation. Company administration is suitable for businesses with significant asset worth or value. 

If your business is past the point of recovery, turning to closure options such as company liquidation may be the answer to facilitate an efficient exit, maximising value from inventory, stock and assets. 

This unprecedented and volatile period of trading as a result of the coronavirus pandemic continues to weaken businesses across the furniture industry; however, seeking early advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner can help avoid business deterioration. As furniture retailers and homeware stores adapt to new ways of operating and adjust to customer behaviour, the future looks less bleak and gives a peak into the ‘new normal’.
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