SA’s furnisher retailer Lewis said on Friday its merchandise sales rose a modest 4% in the nine months ended December — an indication of the squeeze in consumers’ discretionary spending. Same-store sales grew just 1.5% over the reporting period.

Lewis targets predominantly lower-income consumers through the Lewis, Beares and Best Home & Electric brands. But it also owns United Furniture Outlets (UFO) that caters to the upper-income market...

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