Furniture and appliance retailer Lewis Group’s push into cash sales has paid off with the group managing to shrug off the effects of a sluggish local economy. The group, which had previously relied heavily on credit transactions, delivered strong sales growth of well over 20% over the festive season. The group attributed its growth for the quarter to end-December in large part to the performance of its recently acquired United Furniture Outlets (UFO) chain.

Lewis, which traditionally focuses on low-income earners and runs 799 stores, said UFO, which sold goods for cash to middle- to upper-income customers was the main reason merchandise revenue had risen 22.8% for the quarter. Revenue was up 24.6% in the nine months to end-December. The acquisition of UFO formed part of its strategy of increasing its proportion of cash sales and selling more goods to middle-to upper-income customers. Lewis CEO Johan Enslin said in November that this strategy was part of his efforts to reduce r...

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