Bed Show Gala Dinner & Awards Reaches New Heights With This Year’s Host

Former rugby star and TV presenter, Martin Bayfield, has been confirmed as the host of this year’s NBF Bed Show Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony.

Taking place on the evening of 18 September at the Telford International Centre, during the Bed Show, Martin Bayfield will host the ninth Gala Dinner, welcome and entertain the 400 plus guests and present this year’s Bed Industry Awards.

At an impressive 6’10”, former police officer, Martin Bayfield was one of the tallest men in rugby – a gift he used to full advantage as one of England’s most potent forwards winning 21 England caps and two Grand Slams. After retiring, his height helped him secure the part of Robbie Coltrane’s body double as the giant Hagrid in the Harry Potter films.

Martin’s brush with Hollywood was the start of a new career, with more acting roles and a move into TV presenting. He’s since become an established member of the BT Sport and ITV Sport commentary teams. He’s fronted coverage of the NFL and The World’s Strongest Man contest, and joined the presenting team on Crimewatch. He’s even tried his comedic skills at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Tickets for the Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony, which includes fundraising for the industry charity, The Furniture Makers’ Company, are now available here.

New Online Categories For This Year’s Bed Industry Awards

With new online retail categories, this year’s National Bed Federation ‘Bed Industry Awards’ are set to be bigger and better!

Taking place at the Bed Show Gala Dinner (18 September) for the eighth consecutive year, the Bed Industry Awards are a credible celebration of what’s good about the industry and provide a great opportunity for manufacturers, suppliers and retailers of all shapes and sizes – from big brands to small niche players – to highlight their fantastic achievements.

Bed Manufacturer of the Year (split into two awards – over £10m turnover and less than £10m turnover) and Bed Component Supplier of the Year categories remain the same. This year bed retailer entrants will be split across Large/Online Large Retailer (bed turnover over £5m) and Small/Online Small Retailer (bed turnover under £5m).

“We have run the Bed Industry Awards for eight years and over the years the retail selling market has changed,” said Jessica Alexander, executive director of the NBF. “We have re-introduced an online retail category but have differentiated between large and small and online versus traditional bricks and mortar.

“Retailers will only be able to enter one category. Larger retailers should choose the category that best describes where most (50% plus) of their sales take place. Smaller retailers may choose either category, depending on where they think their strength lies for the 12 months being considered for the award.”

The independent judging panel remains in place – Peter Mallinson, AIS; Roy Beagent, Minerva; Bernard Eaton, Greenwood Retail; Richard de Melim, Furnishing Report and Jessica Alexander, NBF. Once again, the judges will be looking for companies who have excelled in the past year (June 2017 to June 2018) and the data that backs that up. Closing date for entries is Friday 20 July.

Last year’s winners were Hypnos for Bed Manufacturer of the Year (over £10m turnover); Duvalay for Bed Manufacturer of the Year (under £10m turnover); John Cotton for Bed Component Supplier of the Year; Bensons for Beds for Bed Retailer of the Year (over £5m beds turnover); Prestige Beds for Bed Retailer of the Year (under £5m beds turnover); and BekaertDeslee for the Judges Choice Award.

Winners will be announced at the Bed Show Gala Dinner on Tuesday 18 September and tickets are now available.

More details on the 2018 awards, including how to enter, are available here.

Bed Champions Celebrate Award Wins

Six bed industry champions were celebrating last night as they scooped the top awards at the National Bed Federation (NBF) Bed Show Gala Dinner in Telford.

The winners were Hypnos for Bed Manufacturer of the Year (over £10m turnover); Duvalay for Bed Manufacturer of the Year (under £10m turnover); John Cotton Group for Bed Component Supplier of the Year; Bensons for Beds for Bed Retailer of the Year (over £5m beds turnover); Prestige Beds for Bed Retailer of the Year (under £5m beds turnover). The Judges’ Choice award went to BekaertDeslee.

Now in its seventh year, the highly sought after Bed Industry awards recognise the companies considered to be ‘best in class’ in the last 12 months.

The winners were chosen, from a bumper crop of entries, by an independent panel of judges including Richard De Melim (Furnishing Report), Roy Beagent (Minerva), Peter Mallinson (AIS), Bernard Eaton (Greenwood Retail) and Jessica Alexander, executive director of the NBF.

Said Jessica Alexander: “The standard of entries, in all categories, was very high and the gap between winners, runners up and other entrants was very small. Everyone who entered should be very proud of their achievements whether or not they were winners.

“The determination to do better, the innovation, investment and progress being made demonstrates just what a vibrant and exciting industry this is and why we should all be justly proud of it!”

The awards were announced to the winners by Meera Syal at the Bed Show’s Gala Dinner (19 September) at the Telford International Centre, attended by more than 500 people from the industry.

New for this year was the split of Bed Manufacturer of the Year into two categories – those with a turnover over £10m and those under £10m.

This year’s Bed Manufacturer of the Year (over £10m turnover) prize went to Hypnos which was praised for continuing to strengthen and build on its domestic and export business in both the hospitality and retail sectors, securing Approved Supplier status with six international hotel chains, appointing new distributors and agents in Spain, Benelux South Africa and Germany, and winning a prestigious Queens Award for Enterprise.

There were two runner ups in this hotly contested category: Highgrove Beds and Harrison Spinks.

The judges felt Highgrove Beds deserved recognition for its recent, successful growth strategy and the three distinct brands that have been created in the past year to cover the value, mid and premium markets – all of which are performing well.

Harrison Spinks has had another prosperous year that has seen, among many other developments, further significant investment in new R & D, production and warehousing facilities – and the intriguing launch of virtual reality headsets as part of its retail POS armoury.

Taking the Bed Manufacturer of the Year (under £10m turnover) trophy was Duvalay, who won the backing of TV Dragon Hilary Devey back in 2011. From starting out as a caravan mattress manufacturer it has launched itself into the mainstream bed market with the HD collection, designed by Hilary Devey, which last year won The Independent’s Best Mid-Priced Mattress award. It has earned the Good Housekeeping Institute endorsement and has signed a deal to sell the HD Collection in the Asian market through Chinese distributors.

Highly commended went to Vogue Beds for impressing the judges with its solid performance and the successful launch of a new concept in pocket spring technology – found forgotten in a suppliers’ catalogue.

Winning Bed Component Supplier of the Year was John Cotton Group. From launching the UK’s first foam free Monobloc mattress core for cots, to achieving the ISO/TS16949 certification, the first bedding company in the UK to hold it, the company has had a great year.

Praise was given to Rawson Fillings which came highly commended in the category for securing an exclusive deal to manufacture a new filling material which is breathable, easy clean, eco-friendly and made from recyclable resin.

Scooping Bed Retailer of the Year (over £5m beds turnover) was Bensons for Beds. Its megastore concept has continued to roll out across the country and this year has seen the introduction of Design Centres, offering customers access to interiors specialists to help them design their ideal bedroom space. More than 1000 sales staff have also completed additional independently accredited sleep training.

Runner up awards went to two family businesses – Archers Sleepcentre and Leekes.

With a trademarked brand, investment in software, staff training, store refurbishment programme and new initiatives, Archers Sleepcentre was praised for its move away from a discount, ‘beds to take away today’ business model to embrace a much deeper bed specialist approach.

Leekes was also a worthy runner up. The general furnisher has opened new-look mini sleep centres, introduced new ranges, developed improved, benefit-focused POS, invested in extra training, and provides all sales staff with tablets so they can access specification sheets, videos, buying guides and links to useful websites.

Competition was strong for the Bed Retailer of the Year (under £5m beds turnover) category with entries from up and down the country.

Winner of this year’s award went to Preston-based Prestige Beds which was chosen for reinventing itself over the past 12 months to push business growth, engage with new customers and improve the customer experience through in depth market research, refurbished stores and better staff training. The company has also invested in increasing its online presence and deploying smart phone technology on POS, all which has led to a massive increase in online reviews, greater instore conversion rates, increases in turnover and better sales margins.

The Carriage, based in Burley in Wharfedale, came second for taking over an ailing business, with no retail or bed industry experience and turning it into a profitable business that has seen turnover treble in the first 15 months while maintaining healthy gross profit margins.

And finally, the Judges’ Choice award went to BekaertDeslee. The award, based on one outstanding element of an entry, was given in recognition of the company’s new product development – SKIN+ – that the judges felt was really breaking new ground.

Said Simon Spinks, president of the NBF: “We’ve been holding these awards for seven years now and yet it never fails to amaze me what our industry is capable of. The awards just go to show that we are all constantly innovating, strengthening and adding to our offerings – it’s fantastic to see, and be a part of. Well done to all the winners.”

Seventh Heaven For Bed Industry Awards

It’s ‘Seventh Heaven’ for the National Bed Federation as it calls for entries for the 2017 Bed Industry Awards.

Taking place at the Bed Show Gala Dinner (19 September) for the seventh consecutive year, the Bed Industry Awards identify and reward manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in the bed sector who are ‘Best in Class’.

“The awards are a credible celebration of what’s good about the industry and provide a great opportunity for businesses of all shapes and sizes – from big brands to small niche players – to highlight their fantastic achievements,” said Jessica Alexander, executive director of the NBF.

Bed Component Supplier of the Year and Bed Retailer of the Year (split into two awards –over £5m beds turnover and less than £5m beds turnover) categories remain the same. This year Bed Manufacturer of the Year will also be split into those with a turnover over £10m and those with a turnover under £10m. The Judges’ Choice Award will run for a second year.

“Over the years, we’ve lost some categories, added new ones and tweaked them to reflect the changing nature of the industry,” said Jessica. “What the judges are looking for is who has excelled themselves in the past year and how they’ve done it – they want cold, hard facts that demonstrate and back up the entry. Good quality, clear entries are key, the judges won’t be fooled by a fancy presentation.”

This year’s independent judging panel is made up of Peter Mallinson, AIS; Roy Beagent, Minerva; Bernard Eaton, Greenwood Retail; Richard de Melim, Furnishing Report and Jessica Alexander, NBF.

Last year’s winners were Kaymed for Bed Manufacturer of the Year; Vitafoam for Bed Component Supplier of the Year; Mattress Online for Bed Retailer of the Year (over £5m beds turnover); Sussex Beds for Bed Retailer of the Year (under £5m beds turnover); and Dreams for the Judges Choice Award.

Winners will be announced at the Bed Show Gala Dinner on Tuesday 20 September and tickets are now available. More details on the 2017 awards, including how to enter, are available on the website.

Bed Champions Celebrate Award Wins

Bed Champions Celebrate Award Wins

Five bed industry champions were celebrating last night as they scooped the top awards at the National Bed Federation (NBF) Bed Show Gala Dinner in Telford.

The winners were Kaymed UK for Bed Manufacturer of the Year; Vitafoam for Bed Component Supplier of the Year; Mattress Online for Bed Retailer of the Year (over £5m beds turnover); Sussex Beds for Bed Retailer of the Year (under £5m beds turnover). The Judges Choice award went to national retailer, Dreams.

Now in their sixth year, the highly sought after awards are designed to recognise the companies considered as ‘best in class’ over the past 12 months.

The winners were chosen, from a bumper crop of entries, by an independent panel of judges which consisted of editors from the industry’s trade journals (Keely Portway, Cabinet Maker; Richard de Melim, Furnishing Report; Paul Farley, Furniture News; Andrew Kidd, Interiors Monthly) along with Bernard Eaton, md of Greenwood Retail.

The awards were announced to the winners by Marcus Brigstocke at the Bed Show’s Gala Dinner (20th September) at the Telford International Centre.

This year’s Bed Manufacturer of the Year prize went to Kaymed UK which was praised for its winning strategy of product innovation, substantial marketing investment and impressive sales results across a range of retail customers.

Runner up in this hotly contested category was the Steinhoff Bedding Group, which deserved recognition for placing great emphasis on investment in new fleet and warehousing, training amongst its employees and driving sales points upwards.

Winning Bed Component Supplier of the Year was Vitafoam. With manufacturer testimonials speaking volumes for its Revo concept plus a sustained investment in plant made Vitafoam a worthy winner.

Praise was given to John Cotton Nonwoven division which came highly commended in the category for taking the lead on sustainable manufacturing and continuing high standards.

Scooping Bed Retailer of the Year (over £5m beds turnover) was Mattress Online. Showing demonstrable top and bottom line performance with average order values rising, the judges also recognised the high customer feedback despite operating in the value segment market.

Runner up went to Bensons for Beds which continues to lead the market and show steady improvement and refreshment while also making significant investment in training.

Competition was strong for the Bed Retailer of the Year (under £5m beds turnover) category with entries from up and down the country.

Winner of this year’s award went to Hailsham-based Sussex Beds which was chosen for its sheer determination in turning around a business with falling sales and footfall. This family owned company took drastic steps to change its approach and challenge the directors to drive the business forward and it has succeeded. It’s now a retailer that is consistently producing great figures, improved its branding and is set to expand further.

Sound Sleep, based in Diss, Norfolk, came second for showcasing how a ‘shop in a field’ can drive business forward with great marketing initiatives.

And finally, new for this year, the Judges Choice award went to Dreams. The award, based on one outstanding element of an entry, was given in recognition of the company’s multi-million pound ‘Replace Every Eight’ marketing campaign which has not only increased like for like performance and changed consumer perception but has also benefited the whole industry.

Said Ebrahim Patel, president of the NBF: “Now in their sixth year, the bed industry awards are the pinnacle of excellence and this year the competition was stronger than ever with the quality of entries improving year-on-year, giving the judges an ever harder task. Once again the awards demonstrate that the bedding industry has some brilliant companies doing very brilliant things – and it’s great to be a part of that. Well done to our winners!”