Furniture and appliance retailer Lewis Group said on Wednesday the strong demand it saw after its stores initially emerged from lockdown at the beginning of June continued until the end of 2020.

Though a number of SA retailers reported disappointing Black Friday sales, borne out by a 4% year-on-year decline in retail sales in November, Lewis indicated on Wednesday it bucked this trend, with sales jumping 16.6% in its quarter to end-December.

In its interim results, Lewis had said it had developed extensive marketing promotions for its two biggest trading months of November and December, saying it was eyeing an opportunity to gain market share.

Trading conditions are expected to become more challenging into 2021, the group said at the time, with customers in the its lower- to middle-income target market vulnerable to the rising levels of unemployment in the country due to the affect of Covid-19.

Cash sales for the quarter to end December grew 35.9% while credit sales increased 2%, the group said.

Merchandise sales for the nine months to December increased 4%. Excluding the lockdown months of April and May 2020 when stores were closed, sales grew 18.3%, the trading update reads.


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