18 June 2024, 15:48
By Furniture News Nov 09, 2017

Judging panel for The Furniture Awards 2018 confirmed

As well as the UK’s largest collection of domestic furniture suppliers, the forthcoming January Furniture Show will feature the fourth edition of The Furniture Awards.

Created to recognise the suppliers of some of the most striking and commercially promising furniture and furnishing ranges launched at the show, The Furniture Awards shine a spotlight on the best dining, living, bedroom and décor products.

The 2018 judging panel, chaired by awards co-ordinator, Furniture News magazine’s Paul Farley, comprises a wealth of buying and design expertise.

New to the panel are Jacquie Benedukt and Debbie Watmore. Jacquie is the furniture buyer for the Colchester and Canterbury branches of family-owned department store, Fenwick, and has also worked at Queensway, ELF and House of Fraser. Jacquie takes a fashion-first approach to specifying products and pricing structures to suit her stores’ local audiences.

Debbie Watmore is responsible for all beds, bedroom and cabinet furniture buying at Anglia Home Furnishings (AHF). Having joined the UK’s largest employee co-operative in 2004, Debbie has contributed significantly to the retailer’s impressive growth in the home furniture and flooring retail sector.

Returning from last year are Malcolm Walker and Diana Celella. Malcolm is the director of buying for the UK’s largest independent furniture retailer, Furniture Village, and brings more than 45 years of retail expertise to the table. Malcolm is an expert in identifying the commercial potential of a range, based on its cost, material quality and supply chain, and boasts significant background knowledge of the trade and its players.

Also returning to the panel is Diana Celella, an award-winning interior designer, and the president elect - due to become president at the end of January 2018 - of the Society of British and International Design (SBID). Diana has a keen eye for design and a working knowledge of the industry across the residential, hospitality and retirement living sectors.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how this year’s panel responds to the entries,” says Paul Farley, “from the shortlisting process through to on-site judging. The panel has more buying experience than we’ve ever deployed, so I’m certain the 2018 winners will truly reflect the cream of the UK furnishing crop.”

Companies exhibiting at the January Furniture Show can enter their star range or product via the form in their online exhibitor manual. They can take a look at the 2017 winners here, and read more about why these entries succeeded in the March issue of Furniture News.

The deadline for entries is Friday 8th December.

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