16 April 2024, 01:13
By Furniture News Nov 07, 2023

The Furniture Awards 2024 judges revealed

The Furniture Awards 2024 are now open for entries, and organisers Furniture News and the January Furniture Show (JFS) have put together a stellar panel of industry professionals to select this edition’s winners.

Panel mainstay Malcolm Walker, owner of consultancy business FIRST MW, returns to lend the programme his formidable expertise. Malcolm’s career has revolved around retail and home furnishings for the best part of 50 years. The former director of product for Furniture Village now works on retail strategy, product design, development and concept realisation with various retailers and suppliers.

He is joined by Sarah Bianchi, MD of renowned independent retailer, Arighi Bianchi. Sarah has worked for the family business for 25 years, and her ascension to MD in 2021 coincided with a concerted ecommerce drive, building on record sales during the pandemic. Sarah is currently leading a growth strategy and significant investment in the brand and shopper experience, with the aim of cementing the brand's legacy in 2024 – when Arighi Bianchi celebrates its 170th anniversary – and beyond.

Entrepreneur extraordinaire Alice Rowen Hall shot to fame in the furniture industry following the 2020 launch of her luxury homeware brand, Rowen Homes – having already taken her fashion start-up to a turnover of £25m. Alice oversees a team of around 70 employees in Newcastle upon Tyne, with a focus on creative, marketing and product, and a keen eye on cutting-edge trends and evolving social media.

Peter Harding is the MD of five-store independent retailer Fairway Furniture, based in the South West. In 2007, he became the sixth generation to run the family firm since its founding in 1856, and since has led the business through credit crunch recovery and the rise of ecommerce, while finding time to help direct AIS, make regularly contributions to Furniture News, follow Plymouth Argyle FC, and fly hot air balloons.

Award-winning furniture designer Adam Daghorn completes the line-up. Adam boasts 17 years’ experience across retail, hospitality, and interiors, working for some of the industry’s biggest brands, and in 2017 he founded his own design studio. Time spent working in the US, Europe and the UK offers Adam a unique perspective, enabling him to develop aspirational products for a range of clients.

Chaired by Furniture News’ editor-in-chief Paul Farley, the panel will convene later this year to choose the winning entries, before the winners are revealed at the JFS show party, taking place in Hall 1 at the Birmingham NEC from 5.30pm on 21st January.

Established in 2015 by Furniture News in partnership with the UK industry's principal trade exhibition, The Furniture Awards are now an integral part of the show. Exhibiting suppliers are invited to explain what makes them a champion in one of five categories: Sustainability; Best of British; Design Innovation; Global Player; and Superior Service. Read all about 2023’s winners here.

Confirmed JFS exhibitors can find the entry form here, and must apply by Friday 1st December 2023 at the latest.

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