At this point in the economic cycle, amid high interest rates and depressed consumer activity, one would expect to see furniture and appliance retailers such as Lewis Group struggling. But the company has managed to confound this type of logic for a long time, driven largely by its ability to continue offering credit in such a difficult environment.

The latest retail sales statistics from Stats SA show that spending on furniture and household appliances has stayed remarkably buoyant, despite the difficult economy. For the year to end-September, retail sales in this category rose 0.3%...

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