About MFI

If you have come here looking for MFI unfortunately they have now ceased trading. MFI.co.uk was the UK’s number one kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and home office furniture retailer with over 30 years retail experience. They offered quality products from manufacturers such as Hygena, Schreiber, Bosch, Smeg and Silentnight. We recommend a visit to B&Q instead.
BANDQ Kitchens
MFI have now gone out of business we recommend B&Q
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MFI FLAT PACK FURNITURE

What MFI Sold

This furniture retailer offered an extensive range of quality furniture, including home office furniture, bedroom furniture, dining furniture, beds, kitchens and bathrooms. All our furniture is at unbeatable value for money with exceptional customer service and free delivery. Site visitors can also plan their dream MFI kitchen with our new Free Online Planning service and put their design talents to the test with the Design Online service. Top brand products from Hygena, Schreiber, Bosch, Smeg and Silentnight were on sale all with FREE UK delivery. They had a lowest UK price guarantee.

MFI LOGO
The MFI Group was a British flatpack furniture diy store. They were one of the biggest suppliers of kitchens and bedroom furniture in the UK at one point. Selling from large stores in retail parks and towns across the country.
A Little About

History of Mullard Furniture Industries (MFI)

Mullard Furniture Industries (MFI) was founded in 1964 by Donald Searle and Noel Lister. Both men had traded in surplus government stock from the second world war. This is where they met at a surplus stock auction. They decided on a partnership pooling their cash in addition to their buying and selling skills and opened MFI. It initially started out as a mail order furniture company but after three years in 1967 they opened a shop in Balham south London. This was the start of considerable growth and a revolution in affordable flat-pack furniture in the UK. MFI purchased other household furniture brands these included Schreiber a well regarded fitted kitchen and furniture maker. Hygena kitchen cabinet company was another acquisition they were market leaders in fitted kitchens. Very successful periods followed for MFI like the 1980’s when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher allowed council tenants to buy their homes. This created great business for home improvement stores like MFI and B&Q. MFI could never get their supply chains sorted out and this did created a reputation for order errors and being unreliable with delivery times.

MFI Downfall

Competition from B and Q and Homebase who started selling flat pack kitchens and furniture more reliably made a big dent in the profit margins. This was without the Swedish juggernaut IKEA’s UK market growth selling stylish ready-to-assemble furniture and kitchens. Fluctuations in the housing market would also directly effect the companies profit line. It went through a management buyout but this did not change the fortunes of the once great flat pack furniture giant. By 2008 it was the end of the road, there was no way back and the famous furniture seller collapsed into administration. The website and MFI brand is now owned by Victoria Plumb have said they are going to reassemble the MFI name.

What happened to the two chaps who started it all.

Noel Lister sold what shares he had left in MFI for just short of £60 million in 1985. He was a sailing enthusiast and went on to sail the world eventually settling in the Bahamas. He died January 2015 aged 87 leaving behind his wife Sylvia Scales and two children. Donald Searle who was also yachting enthusiast tragically died in a gliding accident in 1976 aged 52. In his will he left money to set up a sail training organisation which gives people the chance to sail that otherwise would never get the chance. It was decided to build a sailing yacht for the Rona Sailing Project (RSP) instead. The boat is called the Donald Searle and is the biggest boat in the RSP fleet.

Questions Asked

Hygena are a furniture and fitted kitchen cabinet brand established in Liverpool in 1925. They were bought out by MFI in 1987 but the rights to the brand are now owned by Sainsbury’s.

It was purchased by wheeler and dealer business man Chris Dawson who owns The Range store. It was estimated to be worth £70m and the deal to buy it all from the administrators was for less than £3m, what a bargain.

There was around 1,400 job losses and 111 MFI furniture retail stores that closed when they went into administration. It is also estimated 30,000 customers had outstanding orders at the time but were promised refunds from a £30m contingency fund.

DIY stores like B&Q and Homebase who sold all the flatpack furniture for bedrooms and kitchens as well as all the other materials for diy projects plus the tools needed to complete the jobs. Not to forget Ikea who had a massive impact on the UK flatpack furniture culture in the UK.

Good uses for flatpack furniture

DIY Flat pack furniture

Years before Ikea came on the scene in the UK MFI was the main destination for yourself-assembly furniture they also went into selling some very stylish flatpack fitted kitchens and bedrooms. The major reason for buying ready to assemble furniture is the price it’s cheaper to manufacture and costs less to transport so makes it very affordable to the customer. It’s also great for furnishing hard to access bedrooms with small staircases. Assembling it in situ is convenient until you have to move it again. It will have to dissemble when you need to move home! If you want someone to blame as you stand scratching your head staring at a load of odd screws and pieces of flat pack wardrobe on the floor its Gillis Lundgren. He’s the Swedish inventor of flat-pack furniture and one of Ikea’s first employees.