Lewis Group continues to operate a decentralised, store-based business model which has ensured sustainable performance through all market conditions. The foundation of the model has evolved over many years and is consistently applied throughout the business.
The model is based on the principle that in relation to the group’s target market, the sale of furniture and the granting of credit are largely interdependent.
The business model is well suited to the group’s lower to middle income target market where customers are reliant on credit to buy products.
All aspects of the customer relationship are managed by the staff in the stores, except
for the granting of credit which is managed centrally to ensure consistent decision-making and prudent credit risk management.
The personal and relationship-based interaction with customers in the stores creates trust and conﬁdence while also generating high levels of loyalty and repeat sales.
This process is supported by sophisticated IT systems which remove the administrative burden at store level and enables real-time management reporting.
Lewis Group launched a specialist call centre in April 2016 to further enhance compliance, transparency and oversight of its in-store sales and credit application process and limit any potential misunderstandings of the costs, services and fees to be paid by customers.
The new call centre is housed at the company’s head oﬃce and employs 60 consultants who are able to engage with customers in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, Sepedi. Sesotho, Setswana and Xitsonga.