keyboard_arrow_left See all news

Recent News

22 Jan 2021
John Northwood | Life as a Furniture Agent
Furniture and interiors industry agent, John Northwood, shares an insight into the life ...
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 ...
20 Jul 2020
Dan Oscroft | Whitemeadow
“We’ve made good progression, but we’re far from done yet” says Dan Oscroft, who...
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...
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...
02 Jul, 2020
keyboard_arrow_left See all news

La-Z-Boy UK: Coping with COVID-19

Global upholstery manufacturer La-Z-Boy reflects on how its UK arm has coped with the coronavirus pandemic so far as well as sharing its support to the NHS and the importance of social media.

Since before UK lockdown began, La-Z-Boy has been treating the global pandemic with the utmost seriousness. Guided by the escalating situation in its overseas territories, the UK arm made the decision at an early stage to prepare its head office team for home working, introducing new remote technology, training and trial days to ensure a smooth transition.

While it became necessary to furlough staff members following the closure of retailers, the business ensured a core team remained to plan for reopening and to maintain a communications channel for retailers, suppliers and end users alike.

      We’ve had a lot of enquiries from people who are spending lockdown making plans for their home and who have realised they would like more comfort in their lives.  So in terms of the market that looks very hopeful. 

We are looking at ways to be able to display new products to retailers in a safe environment, says Tristan Pyke, Head of Sales for Independents in the UK and Ireland for La-Z-Boy UK.

“With retailers closed we felt it was vital to reassure consumers that La-Z-Boy was available to answer their queries – through our social media channels, website enquiries and customer services line,” Tristan Pyke, head of sales for independents, said.

He continued: “Social media has been a major part of our communications strategy, with many people spending longer online.  We ran a competition for people to win a La-Z-Boy recliner to gift to a keyworker, a family member or a friend who they thought deserved the gift of comfort.  It was won by a lady for her daughter who is a community nurse in Sheffield, working hard looking after people in their own homes.”

La-Z-Boy UK has also donated furniture to Royal Berkshire Hospital for their staff wellbeing area.

During lockdown, the logistics and storage of incoming stock has been a major focus, as well as planning how to support retailers once stores reopen and how to safely scale up operations within head office, once appropriate.

“Our office itself will likely look different after lockdown and how we use it may well change,” commercial director Mark Draper said.

“Working from home has been successful and by using video conferencing software it has felt like business as normal and we have actually had more opportunities to catch up as a team and with our colleagues worldwide.  We need to ensure our office environment is safe and we can’t overlook the time and emissions saved from reducing our staff’s commutes.”

On working from home, Mark added that the team has a regular schedule for catch ups, which has given them a daily and weekly structure. 

"At 9am we have a half hour call with all the staff who are currently working, to discuss tasks for the day, help manage workload and also have a chat - which is great to keep some normality while working from home. It also helps get to know newer team members better and understand what each person is working on. 

"At midday we have daily management catch ups to discuss projects such as returning to work, new products or how we can support our retailers. And twice a week we have international calls, which has helped boost our relationships with colleagues overseas."

The business has also been using Microsoft Teams to keep in touch, which everyone has found "easy to use". 

"It has some really handy functionality that makes a video call feel like a face to face meeting, such as simple tools to share documents, images, full screens or even annotate or draw to illustrate a point," Mark said.

Future sales are obviously a key priority and the landscape of industry events still remains unclear.

Tristan said: “Of course we are disappointed the Manchester Furniture Show has been cancelled but in the circumstances this was the only feasible decision.  However these are strange times, as we would normally introduce new product at the event, but our January product is only just making its way to showrooms. 

“We are looking at ways to be able to display new products to retailers in a safe environment – be that at our showroom, via a show van or elsewhere – and how we can make better use of technology for remote viewings.  

“Retailers will be at the heart of our future plans so I’ll be working with them to determine priorities, timescales and actions as soon as I am able.”
Processing. Please wait.