The undisputed lord of the sofas has struggled along with the rest of the furniture world in the past year.

But more than most, market leader DFS has kept its head above water. The straight-talking Yorkshireman has seen rivals such as Land of Leather and Sofa Workshop hit the wall, while ScS Upholstery was bought by Sun European Partners after collapsing in July.

Yet DFS is still going strong and celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. And it has a lot to do with the famously hands-on boss, who takes a keen interest in all areas of the business, reportedly even writing scripts for TV ads himself. But while DFS has almost single-handedly kept some TV stations afloat in the past 12 months through its giant ad spend, it has scaled back this back - a sign of the times - but it still remains one of the most visible retail brands in Britain.