The winners of The Furniture Awards 2023, delivered by Furniture News in partnership with the January Furniture Show, have been revealed.
Each year, the awards set out to identify the show’s most inspiring suppliers, says the awards' co-ordinator, Furniture News' Paul Farley: "It's great to see so many examples of businesses that are not just surviving, but thriving."
Late last year, the show’s exhibitors were invited to make their case in one of five categories: Sustainability; Best of British; Design Innovation; Global Player; and a new bracket, Superior Service.
The entrants were shortlisted and assessed by a judging panel chaired by Paul, and comprising: Malcolm Walker (the owner of consultancy FIRST MW); Suzy McMahon (CCO of Oak Furnitureland); Sheetal Sachdev (a tech innovator, and the founder of interiors network Treniq); and Andy Stockwell (the senior retail manager of homewares retailer Gardiner Haskins, which operates from stores in Bristol and Cirencester).
Together, they selected their chosen winners in each category, plus highly commended entrants. This year's winners are:
Sustainability: Westbridge Furniture Designs
Building on a long history of sustainable manufacture, Westbridge has chosen to get ahead of the curve and truly futureproof how it operates – with Full Circle, a new manufacturing technique that delivers easily recyclable upholstery, which the judges described as “the future of furnituremaking”.
Best of British: GNG Group
GNG Group demonstrated impressive growth, underpinned by significant investment, job creation, enviable green credentials and a good eye for brand delivery – with advanced R&D innovation helping it get ahead of the crowd, and a palpable sense of ambition.
Design Innovation: Citibed
With living space at a premium, furniture designers are increasingly tasked with creating multifunctional solutions that let people make the most of their homes. The judges had not seen anything like Citibed's clean, flexible and very commercial hideaway bed, which builds on what has gone before, and does it with style.
Global Player: Wiemann
Wiemann is an overseas manufacturer that boasts impeccable business credentials. Designing and making high-quality, attractive bedrooms in its native Germany, before deploying its product through a top-notch delivery and installation network, this supplier knows that customer service is key. As the judges put it, “They have all their ducks in a row, consistently exceeding expectation.”
Superior Service: Sci-Net
Sci-Net boasts a proven track record in helping retailers become more efficient, reduce costs and maximise profit. It designs and delivers various IT solutions, led by a tailored ERP system for the retail sector – which has helped the likes of Tapi Carpets upscale successfully.
"Well done to this year’s very deserving winners," concludes Paul, "and to the finalists, and the businesses which were highly commended by the judges in each category: in Sustainability, Think Rugs; in Best of British, RH45; in Design Innovation, Gallery Direct; in Global Player, Tomasella; and in Superior Service, Iconography."
The March issue of Furniture News will feature a detailed round-up of this year’s awards programme. In the meantime, these industry champions are among the hundreds of furniture businesses showcasing their latest offers at the January Furniture Show, which runs until Wednesday 25th this month at the NEC Birmingham.