Furniture Village surges ahead

Privately-owned retailer Furniture Village is benefiting from the trouble at the top of listed rivals such as DFS and MFI and has made market share inroads over the past six months.

'It has been a fantastic six months,' said merchandise and buying director David Imrie. 'We have been posting big increases on last year and have made margin improvements. We are feeling confident and part of the reason we are doing well is because so much of the competition is in disarray.'

The 29-strong chain, which also owns the London Furniture Co flagship in the capital's Duke of York development, will open its 30th store, in High Wycombe, next month. Stores in Manchester and Milton Keynes will follow in time for the Boxing Day stampede and up to 10 more are planned over the next two years.

'We need to build up a presence in areas of the country where we are not represented,' said Imrie. 'We are not in Wales or Scotland yet.'

Imrie said the retailer, which clocked up sales of£120.9 million in the year to March last year, had almost completed its 'right-sizing' initiative.

The project has reduced the average footprint to between 15,000 sq ft (1,670 sq m) and 18,000 sq ft (1,395 sq m).