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04 Feb 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...
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
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...
12 Nov 2019
Morris Hamburger | Searchlight
2020 marks the 75th anniversary for privately-owned lighting company Searchlight Electri...
01 Nov 2019
The Furniture Awards 2020 judges revealed
The Furniture Awards, which returns to the January Furniture Show 2020 to celebrate the ...
23 Oct 2019
Championing the best in the business
The Furniture Awards are returning to the January Furniture Show in 2019 to recognise t...
03 Oct 2019
For the first time JFS is sponsoring the awards ceremony for The Furniture Makers’ Com...
03 Oct 2019
Visitor registration is now live for the 2020 January Furniture Show.
27 Sep 2019
LIGHT returns to January Furniture Show
Lighting came home to January Furniture Show this year as the dedicated sector for indoo...
18 Sep 2019
Tom Hughes | Kesterport
Preparations for the next January Furniture Show begin almost as soon as the last one en...
05 Sep 2019
For the first time JFS is sponsoring the awards ceremony for The Furniture Makers’ Com...
23 Jul 2019
Tim Robinson | rep. Gala Collezione
Gala Collezione is one of Poland’s largest sofa producers with four factories in the K...
06 Jun 2019
JFS - the show that keeps on giving
Thank you to all of you who completed the post JFS 2019 surveys, which were carried out ...
06 May 2019
Caroline Henchcliffe | Rowico
How do you follow up a show where your order intake grew year-on-year by 63 percent?
30 Apr 2019
Richard Smart | Ashwood Designs
Ashwood Designs, the South Wales sofa maker formed in 2005 and known for its high-qualit...
11 Mar 2019
Jo Slaven | Collins & Hayes
“In many ways the second year,” says Jo Slaven — sales and marketing director at l...
19 Feb 2019
Strong results were reported across all five halls of the UK’s biggest furniture buyin...
09 Jan 2019
Chris Thomas | Mlily
This month’s January Furniture Show marks the third successive outing for Mlily, in a ...
08 Jan 2019
The Furniture Awards 2019 shortlist revealed
The Furniture Awards 2019 shortlist revealed The judging panel for The Furniture Awar...
11 Dec 2018
Millbrook Beds are the latest company to sign up to show their bed collections at the ne...
04 Dec 2018
Orbital pledges to bring award winners to life
The 2019 January Furniture Show is approaching fast – and there are just a few days le...
03 Dec 2018
New in 2019 will be the JFS Contract Trail.  Over 150 of the 2019 exhibitors either reg...
03 Oct, 2018
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The Future is Bright

It was another record year for the industry in 2017, with the value of furniture and lighting retail sales growing by 2.9 percent year-on-year to pass £14 billion for the first time ever, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That represented a fourth straight year of growth for the sector and has given many businesses a strong base for when markets demand tightened, as was the case during the summer of 2018.

But while the England team’s run deep into the World Cup and record hot weather might have conspired to occupy the minds of consumers through June and July, the period since has seen a pickup in retail sales again as the important winter season approaches.

January 2019 sees the return to the NEC, after a multi-year absence, of bedding giant Silentnight, and it was the mattress market that performed best in the past 18 months.

2017 beds and mattress sales in Britain advanced 5.0 percent to reach close to £2 billion, with market-leaders such as Silentnight enjoying elevated growth. Its 2016–17 sales jumped 11 percent to over £150 million as the bed maker booked its strongest result since the turn of the century.

The group — which also owns the Sealy UK and Rest Assured brands — is sure to be a major drawer to buyers as it showcases from Hall 5 at the January Furniture Show (Jan. 20–23, 2019).

Year-on-year beds retail sales from January to June 2018 are also ahead, in low single-digit percentages, suggesting the category can achieve more growth over the full year given a fair autumn/winter tail wind.

Of the main furniture categories, upholstery is second behind beds in terms of performance over the past 18 months. The sofa and sofabed market grew 0.5 percent in the UK in 2017 according to HMRC and ONS data.

The acquisition of Tetrad to a group already boasting respected sofa maker Westbridge helped bedding, furnishings and upholstery group Belfield to grow group turnover to £189 million in 2017, with its rivals also building out their businesses.

G Plan and Parker Knoll owner Sofa Brands acquired and relaunched the heritage Collins and Hayes brand back into the UK market this January, while other important Hall 1 companies including Ashley Manor and Alstons — whose 2017 sales rose 4.0 percent to £29.7 million — underpin the solid strength of Britain’s sofa sector.

Indeed, the Colchester manufacturer is a great exemplar for the underlying strength of British upholstery production. While sofa imports — largely the result of a decline from China — are down nearly 9 percent in the first six months of 2018, the overall category at retail is flat. Interim figures from Alstons’ parent company show its growth has escalated to near double-digit percentages in the first half of this year.

Even those import declines tell only half of the story, with Italian and other European nations’ sofa sales to Britain maintaining year-earlier levels so far this year, with Premium Design exhibitors showing from Hall 2 sure to have been at the forefront.

The cabinet sector has been the weakest performing of the main furniture categories in financial terms, according to ONS and HMRC figures, though exciting stories still prevail as companies transition towards of-the-moment vintage styles or make large investments, such as importer Seconique, which has moved to impressive new West Midlands premises.

Image from Whitemeadow Furniture.
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