keyboard_arrow_left See all news

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
ACID | Dids Macdonald on IP Protection
Dids Macdonald, OBE Chief Executive - Anti Copying in Design (ACID), shares an overview ...
10 Jul 2020
Real Business Rescue's Keith Tully on COVID-19
Real Business Rescue is a restructuring and turnaround service for businesses in financi...
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 ...
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 st...
11 May 2020
COVID-19: The Furniture Industry Responds
We’ve been inspired by stories about these suppliers and retailers that are using thei...
21 Apr 2020
Manchester Furniture Show postponed to 2021
As a consequence of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Manch...
30 Mar 2020
Manchester Furniture Show Venue Update
Organisers comment on commissioning of Manchester Central Convention Complex as NHS ‘N...
16 Mar 2020
Furniture Shows | James Howard
It may be a trial by fire, but there’s nothing like going out on-site when you’re st...
05 Mar 2020
The Global Outbreak of COVID-19
Following the global outbreak of COVID-19, Clarion Events is continuing to monitor the l...
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...
12 Dec 2019
Edward Tadros | Centenary Statements
Edward Tadros, Ercol chairman since 1993, says the manufacturer plans to hold a serie...
19 Sep 2019
Tom Hughes | Kesterport
Preparations for the next January Furniture Show begin almost as soon as the last one en...
21 Aug 2019
So Much More than Furniture
As the largest furniture and interiors event of the summer, MFS is an industry event tha...
23 Jul 2019
Furniture Industry Gathered at Largest Summer Event
Manchester Furniture Show 2019 came to a close with exhibitors reporting positive reacti...
12 Jul 2019
Manchester Heats Up
The mercury will finally rise as summer comes to Manchester for the 2019 Manchester Furn...
11 Jul 2019
Tim Robinson | Gala Collezione
​​​​​​​Poland has emerged as the largest European exporter of upholstery t...
20 Jul, 2020
keyboard_arrow_left See all news

Dan Oscroft | Whitemeadow

Dan Oscroft“We’ve made good progression, but we’re far from done yet” says Dan Oscroft, who was recently promoted to Sales Director at Whitemeadow Furniture following the long-planned retirement of Paul Wesson earlier this year.

The Sutton In Ashfield, Nottinghamshire company has been growing consistently in recent years, and it is testimony to its success that it will have taken a global pandemic to put that long run of growth under threat.

“Over the past 3-4 years our consistency and persistence has paid dividend for us,” says Dan. “We have been able to inspire our customers with the right type of product, at the right time.” But it has not happened by chance, he adds.

“If you look at the handwriting of our designs, you might attribute us to a trend led, yet commercially minded manufacturer. We've steered away — in the main — from some of the more traditional ranges, focussing our efforts on growth markets.

“With the housing market booming throughout 2017 and 2018 a lot of new developments were bought by first time buyers, people who might have been shopping for a sofa for the first time, or those making the step up to a larger property, and I’d like to think our type of product caters to that customer perfectly. It has been a combination of the right product at the right time and years of persistence to hit that sweet spot.

Exhibiting at the NEC for the January Furniture Show for the past six years has also played its part. Before then, Whitemeadow was an under-the-radar maker of upholstery for a select few of Britain’s sofa retailers.

Those customers remain key clients, bearing witness to the excellence of Whitemeadow’s products and service, but the business is now far wider known and spread across not just a broader range of retailers, but different categories too.

Upholstered beds are now a significant part of the business, says Dan, with the January Furniture Show a key driver in making that happen.

“Many bed category buyers operate independently to the upholstery buyers. The show has enabled us to talk to new people in a totally separate product category, so that has been a significant breakthrough for us.”

It has also given oxygen to ventures such as its greater engagement with brands. For example, people now know it is the manufacturing partner to the Orla Kiely upholstered furniture offer.

People understand where Whitemeadow sits in the market, aided by it becoming a staple fixture in Hall 1 of the industry’s leading furniture exhibition.

“The show is our chance to really inspire. All our key group and independent customers come to the event looking for inspiration and to see who's doing what. It is an opportunity to demonstrate who is the most forward-thinking, commercial and most innovative in terms of their products.”

At the January Furniture Show, the new eco-sofa, the Neptune, was both a conversation starter and a barometer of where the business is headed.

“Part of the draw is that it’s a great product and we hope to sell plenty, but just as important is what it says about our company ambitions moving forwards. It is not something that we plan to do once and then it goes away, this is the start of something far bigger for our industry.”

It is our ambition as a business to be a more sustainable supplier. That one product, the Neptune, opened up so many conversations with group and independent customers. Where can we go next with this sustainable route? There are many opportunities, and it has generated wider discussion with our supply chain, with us challenging them on more sustainable solutions to common upholstery components.”

It is, then, Whitemeadow’s showcase of not just what it is doing, but what it plans to do. “The show always triggers thought provoking ideas, we really value the feedback we get from our customers, ultimately it is they who understand the end consumer best. We always hope that they recognise an opportunity in our designs, commit to them for their shop floor and backed by our broad fabric offering, hopefully have great success.”

The pandemic has also further focussed minds. 

We've completely reimagined what we are doing as it has given us a chance to review all existing developments. We've dropped a few, and where we have some real key relationships with customers, we've pushed our development forward.

“We have had two of our designers working the whole time throughout the lockdown period, and we have managed to do an awful lot in terms of new designs and new concepts. From a creative standpoint, it has given us some breathing space, and a real opportunity to break from the regular day-to-day and drive forward innovation.”

Expect to see more of that come January 2021.
Processing. Please wait.