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Lewis Group is a leading retailer of furniture, home appliances, electronic goods and homewavers through its trading brands Lewis, Best Home and Electric, Beares and UFO

The Group's footprint of 819 stores covers major metropolitan and rural areas in South Africa as well as neighbouring African countries.

Founded in Cape Town in 1934, Lewis Group has been listed on the JSE Limited since 2004. The Group employs over 8 952 permanent staff and is committed to promoting socio-economic change through its retail operations and supply chain being a strong supporter of the local furniture manufacturing sector.

Expanding brand portfolio

Over the past 14 years the Group has expanded its portfolio beyond the traditional Lewis chain by developing brands internally and acquiring established retail chains with good growth prospects.

LEWIS

Lewis is the country’s largest furniture chain with 485 stores and is a household name in furniture retailing.

BEARES

Beares, a well respected brand with a history dating back 92 years, was acquired by the group in 2014 and currently has 143 stores.

BEST HOME & ELECTRIC

Best Home and Electric was established in 2008 and sells home appliances as well as furniture ranges through 146 stores.

UNITED FURNITURE OUTLETS (UFO)

United Furniture Outlets (UFO) is a luxury brand cash furniture retailer which targets the higher income market. Established in 2004 and acquired by the group in 2018. UFO has a footprint of 45 stores in South Africa.

Lewis and Best Home and Electric target customers in the middle to lower income markets in the living standards measurement (LSM) 4 to 7 categories. Beares attracts customers in higher LSM (7–9) markets where the group has traditionally had limited exposure. UFO has a value offering to the upper income market, namely LSM 9+.

Monarch Insurance, the group’s insurance subsidiary, offers insurance cover to customers purchasing merchandise on credit.

AFRICAN STORE FOOTPRINT

The Group has 129 stores outside South Africa which collectively accounted for 17.9% of total revenue in the reporting period. Lewis was one of the first South African retailers to expand into southern African countries from the late 1960s. In 2016, the Group acquired a portfolio of 56 stores in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Eswatini which at the time doubled its store presence outside of South Africa.

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

Credit is offered to customers in the traditional retail brands of Lewis, Best Home and Electric and Beares. The Group has a credit customer base of over 576 000 active customers, and credit sales accounted for 51.4% of total sales in the reporting period.

Credit is granted centrally at head office to ensure that credit risk policies are consistently applied and to remove subjectivity in the credit granting process. Stores are responsible for cash collections and payment follow-up with customers.

Customers purchasing merchandise on credit are offered insurance cover through Monarch Insurance, the Group’s insurance subsidiary.

CUSTOMER COMMITMENT
The Group is committed to offering quality, exclusive merchandise, with high levels of repeat sales to existing customers being 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 in the traditional retail brands are served by staff from their local communities, with stores being located close to the places where customers live, work and shop. Convenient store locations make it easy for credit customers to pay their accounts in-store, and regular engagement with customers creates further sales opportunities.