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January Furniture Show at NEC Birmingham has come to an end

The January Furniture Shows at the NEC Birmingham has come to an end, with a 25%
annual increase in attendance, 400+ exhibiting brands, 20,000+ buyers and 50,000+
products on display.

At an after-party at the NEC Birmingham convened for the January Furniture Show’s exhibitors and attendees, the winners of The Furniture Awards 2024 were revealed. Exhibiting suppliers were asked to put forward their case in one of five categories, and their entries were assessed by a panel chaired by awards co-ordinator Paul Farley (editor-in-chief, Furniture News), and comprising Malcolm Walker (owner, FIRST MW), Sarah Bianchi (MD, Arighi Bianchi), Alice Rowan Hall (founder, Rowen Homes), Peter Harding (MD, Fairway Furniture), and furniture designer Adam Daghorn.

The following entrants came out on top:

Best of British

Winner: Alpha Designs Upholstery

Alpha Designs is a rare example of how a relative newcomer can make an impact in an industry dominated by long-established names. Having started life in a unit in Bilston in 2010, Alpha Designs now runs two fully operational factories, employs some 200 people and makes around 2000 sofas each week, fuelled by an in-house design and development team. Flying the flag for British-made upholstery, and demonstrating that young blood and fresh ideas can make a difference, Alpha Designs is an inspiration.

Highly Commended: Lebus Upholstery

Lebus is the UK’s largest manufacturer of value upholstery. Based in Scunthorpe, Lebus makes over 10,000 seats each week, and employs close to 500 members of staff. In 2021, it become employee owned. Admirable for its progressive outlook, Lebus has embraced a new attitude and design handwriting, ensuring it remains an industry favourite.

Global Player

Winner: Qualita

Qualita’s story has it all – cost engineering, manufacturing efficiency, effective fulfilment partnerships, and eminently commercial product. Supplementing its modern manufacturing facility in Lithuania, Qualita works closely with third-party manufacturers across the globe, enabling it to meet demand in the most appropriate manner. In the UK, its Qualita, Stockholm and Shadows collections represent a varied cabinet furniture portfolio with oak at its heart – and the business also operates across Europe, and further afield, fuelled by its impressive licensing deal with Laura Ashley.

Highly Commended: Tomasella Industria Mobili

Highly commended in this category for a second year running, Tomasella boasts a tradition of innovation and excellence dating back to 1948, and today offers custom-built, well-marketed furniture on rapid turnaround times. The Italian company recently opened a 110,000 sqft automated facility and distribution warehouse specifically for the US and UK markets, demonstrating significant scalability potential.

Superior Service

Winner: Iconography

A technical agency specialising in web-based business solutions, Iconography boasts a growing roster of satisfied customers, and its recent project for Haskins Furniture demonstrates just how much the operations behind furniture retail can be streamlined by embracing an integrated IT system with the right partner. With capabilities spanning ecommerce, operations, store and stock management, and a view on front-end performance as much as back-end efficiency, Iconography also shines for its excellent customer service and industry-specific expertise.

Design Innovation

Winner: Whitemeadow Furniture

Classy, high-spec and functional, Whitemeadow’s latest models reflect just part of what makes Sutton-in-Ashfield’s upholstery giant a design powerhouse. Whitemeadow’s design studio has a knack for creating commercially viable product that hits the right price points, often putting new slants on old ideas, but always among the first to embrace new approaches, with an eye on the next generation of furniture designers.

Highly Commended: A.L.F. UNO

The stylish new Hera collection from A.L.F. is just the tip of the iceberg. At its impressive factory and design centre, the Italian innovator employs modern materials and components to deliver cost-effective furniture fit for many of today’s homes.

More information:
January Furniture Show

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