Listed in the General Retailers sector on the JSE Limited since 2004, the group has 716 stores across all metropolitan areas and has a strong presence in rural South Africa. The group targets customers in the fast growing middle to lower income market in the living standards measurement (LSM) 4 to 7 categories.
Founded in 1934 in Cape Town, Lewis is now the country’s largest furniture chain with 508 stores and is a household name in furniture retailing. Best Electric, launched in 1998 to sell branded electrical merchandise, was rebranded as Best Home and Electric in 2008 and the product range was expanded to include furniture lines which now account for 37% of sales.
Sixty-one Beares stores were acquired by the group in November 2014. The chain, which now comprises 67 stores, provides exposure to customers in higher LSM markets where the group currently has limited exposure. Beares is a well established brand in South Africa, with a history dating back over 80 years. The My Home chain is being incorporated into the Beares business.
Monarch Insurance, the group’s short-term insurance subsidiary, provides insurance cover to customers purchasing merchandise on credit.
Credit is offered to customers across all the brands and the group has a credit customer base of close to 690 000. Credit sales accounted for 69% of total sales in the 2015 financial year.
Lewis was one of the first South African retailers to expand into neighbouring southern African countries from the late 1960s. There are now 62 stores located outside South Africa in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland which collectively account for 14% of the group’s revenue.
The group is committed to service excellence and offering quality, exclusive merchandise. High levels of repeat sales to existing customers are evidence of service satisfaction, trust and customer loyalty. As part of the commitment to service excellence, Lewis strives to be an integral part of the communities in which it operates. Shoppers are served by staff from their local communities, with stores being located close to the places where Lewis customers live, work, shop and commute.
Our values are echoed in the Lewis Group pledge, which presents a code of behaviour that we stand by, having invested much time and focus in bringing it “to life” throughout the business.
We place excellent customer service first
We honour the highest standards of integrity
We value and are committed to our customers
We are totally dedicated to offering quality merchandise
We take pride in belonging to the Lewis Group