The newly-formed Nathan Group, which already has the Nathan and Sutcliffe brands in its portfolio, has acquired Morris Furniture Brands Ltd, owner of Morris, Zone and Relaxateeze, from H Morris and Co.
Nathan Furniture, Sutcliffe Furniture and the new Morris Furniture Brands company (featuring Morris, Zone cabinet and Relaxateeze upholstery, but not G Plan Cabinets) will all operate under the Nathan Group portfolio. The new Nathan Group’s combined turnover will rise to £20m and will supply over 600 independent retailers together with multiple retailers across the UK.
Each of the three brands will remain as independent operations, led by MD Andrew Cochrane, who has been part of the Nathan team since 2005, but all will benefit from the group’s combined strengths of offshore sourcing and expertise in UK manufacturing. The distinctly different product and brand offering of Morris, Nathan and Sutcliffe remain unchanged.
Andrew comments: “I am delighted to be heading up Morris Furniture Brands, which has an established presence with its extensive living, dining and upholstery offer. We intend to build on the existing successful products within the portfolio and to continue to develop the individual identities and propositions of each of the three Morris brands. The existing sales team will continue its outstanding work in representing us and use its extensive product and market knowledge to ensure that we closely meet the needs of our loyal and longstanding customer base.”
Operations for the three Morris Furniture Brands will be brought into Nathan Group’s base in Todmorden, Lancashire.
Paul Lamb has been appointed MD of Nathan Furniture and will lead and develop this part of the enlarged group. Paul has worked in a number of businesses within the industry including Sweet Dreams and the Airsprung Group.
Paul comments: “This is an exciting chance to work with one of the most established names in British furniture and I’m looking forward to be working with the already successful Nathan team and its retail customers.”
Nicholas Radford, who boasts a long track record in the industry, becomes chairman of the new Nathan Group. He started out at his family business, Stag Furniture, and stayed until the company was sold to Spring Ram in 1992. Nicholas then launched his own successful business which became the largest importer of American furniture to the UK. In 2004 he acquired Nathan from Silentnight and, with a small team, successfully acquired and rejuvenated Sutcliffe in 2011. Nicholas adds: “The acquisition of the three Morris brands is a unique opportunity to bring together three great British names, to strengthen each brand as part of a new Nathan Group which has such heritage in the industry. Together we can provide our retail customers with the best quality cabinet and upholstery.”
As part of the acquisition, H Morris and Co will take a 20% shareholding in the Nathan Group. Robert Morris, who brings over 40 years’ experience to the table, joins the new Nathan Group board to continue his family legacy.
Robert comments: “This is an exciting time and we’re delighted that Nicholas and his team have acquired the business and will be continue to invest and evolve the name of Morris within British retail.”
The Morris and Zone cabinet brands and the Relaxateeze upholstery brand will continue to be managed independently by the existing sales teams headed by their respective sales managers, Kevin Barfoot and Alan Weir. The G Plan Cabinets brand has not been acquired by Nathan Group, but has, according to The Furnishing Report, been sold to Sofa Brands International, owner of the G Plan Upholstery brand, giving the sofa group sole ownership of the G Plan monicker.