The chance for exhibitors at the forthcoming January Furniture Show to enter The Furniture Awards has now passed. Co-ordinating the award, Paul Farley, editor of Furniture News, comments: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of entries we’ve received. It’s an incredibly positive start to The Furniture Awards, and gives a great indication of the high level of product that’ll be on display at the show.”

With the show’s organiser celebrates 25 years of furniture shows at the NEC this month, the time was right to launch a new initiative to recognise the stars of the event. Consequently, the January Furniture Show joined forces with Furniture News magazine to launch The Furniture Awards, an accolade created to shine a light on the stand-out products within its huge offering of new furniture and furnishings.

“It has long been my wish to support a credible, representative industry awards scheme,” says Paul, “and the debut of the January Furniture Show provides the perfect opportunity to put the best of new product in the spotlight.”

The Furniture Awards have been designed to recognise the best in new product unveiled at the event, across a range of price points.

A team of prominent figures from the world of furniture retail has been assembled to assess the creative and commercial value of the shortlisted entries, before highlighting those considered best in class before the entire industry. Boasting a strong complement of vision and experience, this year’s judging panel comprises Robert Shotton, Tristan Lynch and Rob Scarlett.

Robert Shotton is the chairman and owner of independent retailer Cousins. The first Cousins furniture store was opened in Birmingham in August 1985, and since then Robert has opened stores in Dudley (1996)  and Manchester (2006). Robert’s main areas of focus are marketing, upholstered furniture and beds.

Tristan Lynch is the ecommerce director of leading UK e-tailer WorldStores.co.uk, a £100m business with many ambitions yet to be fulfilled. With over nine years’ experience of buying, ecommerce and online sales, Tristan specialises in the commercial side of the business, overseeing and managing business development, contract and pricing negotiation and product advancement. His principal role at WorldStores is to ensure sustained growth from the multiple product categories within the brand’s portfolio.

Completing the line-up is established middle-market designer and developer Rob Scarlett, the founder of Scarlett Design UK. Over a career spanning 11 years of producing commercial furniture designs for the high street, Rob worked with the likes of John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Wills and Gambier, Heals and Yini Home.

The judges will assess the shortlisted entries on the second day of the show.