Group profile

Lewis Group is a leading retailer of household furniture and electrical appliances through its three trading brands: Lewis, Beares, and Best Home and Electric.

The group has 760 stores across all metropolitan areas and has a strong presence in rural South Africa, as well as an expanding footprint outside the country.

Lewis is now the country’s largest furniture chain with 526 stores and is a household name in furniture retailing.
Best Home and Electric was established in 2008 and sells home appliances as well as furniture ranges.

Beares, a well established brand with a history dating back 80 years, was acquired by the group in 2014. The chain has been expanded to 107 stores.

Lewis and Best Home and Electric target customers in the fast growing middle to lower income markets in the living standards measurement (LSM) 4 to 7 categories. Beares attracts customers in higher LSM markets where the group has traditionally had limited exposure.

Credit is offred to customers across all the brands and the group has a credit customer base of close to 670 000.
Credit sales accounted for 64.3% of total sales in the reporting period.

Monarch Insurance, the group’s short-term insurance subsidiary, provides insurance cover to customers
purchasing merchandise on credit.

African expansion

Lewis was one of the first South African retailers to expand into neighbouring Southern African countries from the late 1960s. During the reporting period the group expanded its African presence with the acquisition of a portfolio of 56 Ellerines and Beares stores in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. This doubled the store presence outside of South African to 119.

The newly acquired stores will be fully integrated early in the 2017 financial year and are expected to make a meaningful contribution to the group’s profitability in the medium-term. Stores outside South Africa collectively accounted for approximately 14% of group revenue in the current financial year.

Commitment to service

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.

Founded in Cape Town 82 years ago, the Lewis Group was listed in the General Retailers sector of the JSE Limited in 2004 and has a proud record of growth. The group employs 8 400 permanent staff and is a meaningful contributor to job creation through its store opening programme and support of the local furniture manufacturing sector.

Further detail on the group’s history is available on the website, http://www.lewisgroup.co.za//corporate-profile/history/