What do you think? From emerging trends to the latest business principles, Furniture News gauges the trade’s feelings on a variety of industry-specific topics. Today, we’re asking: “Can you name a business that really came through for you in 2020/21?"

Adam Ashborn (Reborn Marketing & Design): Credit where credit is due, I think all businesses who have survived this pandemic need to be acknowledged for their efforts throughout the year. I would also like to give praise to the local suppliers who have gone above and beyond to support the industry throughout the lockdown to ensure production kept rolling. With international shipment delays and long lead times, our local suppliers have really stepped up to keep the industry alive

Adam Hankinson (Furniture Sales Solutions): All our furniture customers paid us on time or even ahead of time, even before furlough help was announced. There isn’t one I would single out, but they all kept in touch and were a pleasure to work with (as they always are!). That’s why it’s a great industry to be part of

Andy Stockwell (Gardiner Haskins): I could name some that didn’t come through for us in 2020/21, but not in the furniture industry. I can’t think of an individual company that stands out in this respect, but I could name a number of sales agents who have been outstanding over the last 12 months – that’s no surprise though, as these agents have been outstanding over the last 10 years. Hopefully you know who you are

Anne Davies (Room to Grow): Kids Avenue was one of the stand-out businesses for us last year. They managed the challenges of stock shortages really well and were able to offer alternatives. We managed to retain orders and keep our customers happy

Dids Macdonald, OBE (ACID): I think, collectively, our amazing UK manufacturers who immediately responded to the current crisis through adaptive manufacturing helping the NHS with, for examples, mattresses, specially designed beds and PPE equipment – and retailers who have had to nimbly respond to online trading

Emma Leeke (Leekes Retail): John Lewis – just reassuringly solid!

Gavin Boden (Rhenus Home Delivery UK): Furniture News

Henrik Pontoppidan (S2U Design Containers): MFC Group managed to come out stronger by launching all-new activities and products very rapidly, following the loss of a big chunk of their sales through the demise of their biggest customer

Lee Ness (Global Upholstery Solutions): 3D Ply. They kept us going throughout lockdowns 1 and 2 as we are a healthcare supplier – they really went the extra mile for us

Mike Murray (Land of Beds): Ocado automatically pre-booked our usual delivery slot for us during lockdown so we never missed our weekly slot, even due to increased demand – talk about going that extra mile to provide great service for existing customers

Peter Harding (Fairway Furniture): Buoyant Upholstery have been fantastic throughout, despite the repeated lockdowns – unlike many others, whose performance has been lamentable!

Rob Scarlett (Scarlett Design): House of Kojo (plants)

Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): That’s a tricky one, as all our key wholesale partners supported us really well given all the challenges we had – but Vida, World Furniture and Annaghmore went above and beyond at times, and they are genuinely nice people to deal with

Steve Adams (Mattress Online): My local Korean restaurant kept me well fed, pivoting their business to a premium takeaway model!

This Q&A was published in June 2021's issue of Furniture News magazine (see related). Discover which suppliers our readers felt made all the difference when the results of our Readers' Choice Awards are published in August's issue.