Furniture and appliances retailer Lewis Group saw a meagre increase in merchandise sales as high inflation, rising interest rates and unemployment levels squeezed consumer spending, leading to more customers buying on credit.

Merchandise sales grew 2%, the company said in an update for the nine months to end-December on Friday, while overall credit sales rose 7.4 percentage points year on year to account for 58.3% of total sales. Meanwhile, cash sales dropped 13.5%...

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