DFS and Furniture Village Bosses to go Head-to-Head in Furniture Makers’ Webinar

Two heavyweights of furniture retail are to be the guests in the final episode of the ‘Innovation in times of crisis’ webinar series from The Furniture Makers’ Company.

Tim Stacey, group chief executive officer of DFS, and Peter Harrison, chief executive of Furniture Village, will join Peter Holland, principal of Linear Structure, to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on retail and how the two businesses have navigated the waters.

The ‘Opportunities for furnishing retailers’ webinar is taking place via Zoom on Thursday 11 March 2:00pm – 3:00pm and is free to attend.

The panel will also discuss retail in the online age, how to entice the consumer back into stores post-lockdown, effective leadership in a crisis and more.

Peter Holland said, “I’m delighted to be joined by leaders of two of the most successful and recognised retailers in the country for this unique event focusing on the innovative approaches being used and leadership principles required to deal with crisis.

Their personal insights and practical approaches will be of immense value to leaders across the industry in implementing changes to successfully navigate this period.”

The webinar will culminate with a live Q&A providing attendees an opportunity to question members of the panel.

Please email your questions in advance to george@furnituremakers.org.uk or ask your questions live using the Zoom Q&A function.

Register free now


  Peter Holland, principal, Linear Structure

Peter Holland spent the first two decades of his career in sales and sales management in the Office Furniture industry, working for leading design-led companies such as, Vitra and Fritz Hansen. In 2010, with a keen desire to help sales and management professionals maximise their sales performance he founded Linear Structure Ltd.


  Peter Harrison, chief executive, Furniture Village

Peter started in retail with the department store division of the UDS Group. During a 20-year career with Allders, in which he was store director of both Arding & Hobbs and Allders of Bromley, Peter joined the board as marketing & development director in his early thirties.  He moved on to join the board of Gillows Group in the mid-1980s where he met David Imrie, and together they co-founded Furniture Village, opening their first store in Abingdon, Oxfordshire in 1989. Furniture Village now has 54 stores and a strong online presence and has won multiple awards including Retail Family Business of the Year.


  Tim Stacey, group chief executive officer, DFS

Tim Stacey joined DFS in 2011 has overall responsibility for the DFS Group, which includes the retail brands DFS, Sofology and Dwell having previously held roles including online and business development director and chief operating officer.  Prior to DFS, he spent 12 years working for Alliance Boots, where he was multi-channel director responsible for Boots.com and introducing Order and Collect. He was also commercial finance director and is a qualified chartered accountant, having trained with KPMG.


The Innovation in Times of Crisis series overview

Innovation in manufacturing, 11.00am, 18 February 2021 – Chaired by Peter Holland of Linear Structure, a panel of directors from some of the UK’s leading domestic, contract and office furnishing manufacturers will discuss diversity in manufacturing to beat Covid-19, recovery strategies and the significance of circular manufacturing. Panellists include be Ian Oscroft, managing director of Whitemeadow Furniture; Simon Spinks, group chairman of Harrison Spinks; and Charles Winn-Jones, operations director at Herman Miller.

Engaging with government, 11.00am, 24 February 2021 – Chaired by British Furniture Confederation chairman Jonathan Hindle, a panel of heads of trade associations will be joined by Mike Wood, MP, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Furniture & Furnishings, and Mark Eastwood, MP, vice chair of the APPG, to discuss how to get industry specific government airtime on key UK policy and future trade discussions, engaging with the APPG and life after Brexit. Panellists include Jessica Alexander, executive director, National Bed Federation; Nick Garratt, managing director, British Furniture Manufacturers; and Jeremy Stein, managing director of the British Contract Furnishing Association.

Emergence from lockdown, 11.00am, 4 March 2021 – Chaired by Daniel Hopwood, a panel of experts representing the interior design and design sector will discuss the skills and training requirements needed to survive, usage of marks of accreditation and connectivity with lone, micro and SME interior designers/designer-makers at grass roots. Panellists will be Lester Bennett, British  Institute of Interior Design president; Matthew Burt, award-winning bespoke furniture maker; and Rodney McMahon, Design Guild Mark chairman.

Opportunities for furnishing retailers, 2.00pm, 11 March 2021 – Chaired by Peter Holland of Linear Structure, a panel of leaders from household name furnishing retailers will discuss retail in the online age, how to entice the consumer back into stores, effective leadership in a crisis and more. Panellists will be Peter Harrison, chief executive, Furniture Village and Tim Stacey, group chief executive officer, DFS. Register now


About The Furniture Makers’ Company

The Furniture Makers’ Company is a City of London livery company and the furnishing industry’s charity. It fosters the industry by supporting those in need, nurturing skills and expertise and inspiring excellence. It provides support and assistance to those in need who are working or have worked in the UK furnishing industry. It supports students and young people with grants, training and mentoring in order to foster talent and safeguard the future of the industry. It encourages the highest standards and best practice in the design, making, marketing and selling of all kinds of furniture and furnishings throughout the UK, recognising quality through the award of its Guild Marks and Awards.

For further information, contact George Cooper, marketing@furnituremakers.org.uk  or 020 7562 8522.