Interest free credit again delivered sales for John Lewis, in the run-up to Easter, including record bed sales.
Upholstery fabric manufacturer Bute Fabrics has been awarded a top export award.
The equivalent number of full-time retail jobs rose by 1.8% in the first quarter of 2014, driven by non-food stores.
John Lewis's At Home stores were its star performers last week, with five branches posting sales increases of more than 40%.
Ulster Carpets is to invest £30m modernising and expanding its production facilities at Portadown, County Armagh.
One of the country's top student design competitions is to be expanded for May Design Series 2015.
The number of companies expecting economic growth in the next quarter is at its highest level for more than a decade, while the balance of companies experiencing growth grew in April.
Konstantin Grcic's PRO collection of chairs has won this year's Design Museum Furniture Design of the Year award, being praised for its 'state-of-the-art ergonomics and pioneering design'.
Woodstock Furniture has become the latest company to be awarded a prestigious Manufacturing Guild Mark, available only to the top 50 furniture and furnishing manufacturers in the UK, demonstrating excellence in furniture manufacturing.
Furniture retailer John Butler will face trial for the murder of his estranged wife in October a court ruled yesterday.