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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...
15 Oct 2019
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03 Oct 2019
JFS SPONSORS YOUNG FURNITURE MAKERS AWARDS EVENT
For the first time JFS is sponsoring the awards ceremony for The Furniture Makers’ Com...
03 Oct 2019
REGISTRATION IS LIVE FOR JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW 2020
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...
05 Sep 2019
JFS SPONSORS YOUNG FURNITURE MAKERS AWARDS EVENT
For the first time JFS is sponsoring the awards ceremony for The Furniture Makers’ Com...
06 Jun 2019
JFS - the show that keeps on giving
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19 Feb 2019
JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW 2019 DELIVERS GREATER RETURNS
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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 SIGNS FOR JFS
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
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03 Dec 2018
CONTRACT TRAIL INTRODUCED AT JFS
New in 2019 will be the JFS Contract Trail.  Over 150 of the 2019 exhibitors either reg...
30 Nov 2018
CALEX HOLLAND AT JFS
Dutch LED lighting specialists CALEX Holland will show in LIGHT the new lighting section...
15 Nov 2018
Introducing The Furniture Awards 2019 judging panel
The Furniture Awards will return to the January Furniture Show in a few weeks’ time. ...
31 Oct 2018
PRE REG AT RECORD LEVEL
The number of pre-registered visitors for the 2019 January Furniture Show is at a record...
30 Oct 2018
Orla Kiely Upholstery Collection to launch at JFS2019
Instantly recognisable, the Orla Kiely collection of upholstery and beds will exclusivel...
02 Oct 2018
REGISTRATION LIVE FOR JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW 2019
The 4 day January Furniture Show 2019 runs from 20th to 23rd January.  Held at the NEC ...
20 Aug 2018
January Furniture Show Sponsors Gallery Bike Ride
January Furniture Show (JFS), which next takes place at the NEC in Birmingham, 20th-23rd...
27 Jun 2018
New Exhibitors and Developments for January Furniture Show
Now well established as the principal furniture and interiors trade show in the UK calen...
17 May 2018
Silentnight Sign for JFS 2019
Organisers of the January Furniture Show (JFS) are delighted to announce that Silentnigh...
21 Mar 2018
January Furniture Show and LIA announce LIGHT for 2019 ​​​​​​​
January Furniture Show and the LIA (Lighting Industry Association) are pleased to announ...
22 Dec 2017
IN CONVERSATION WITH CLEERE SCAMELL, EVENT DIRECTOR AT THE JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW
"With the launch of our new interactive website, combined with the exciting visitor/exhi...
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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