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

The Group's footprint of 840 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 9 000 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 15 years the Group has expanded its portfolio beyond the traditional Lewis chain by developing brands internally and acquiring established retail chains, while following a strategy of diversifying across income groups, market segments and product offering


Lewis is the country’s largest furniture chain with 492 stores and is a household name in furniture retailing.


Beares, a well respected brand with a history dating back 92 years, was acquired by the group in 2014 and currently has 151 stores.


Best Home and Electric was established in 2008 and sells home appliances as well as furniture ranges through 154 stores.


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 43 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.

The Group’s 134 stores outside South Africa collectively accounted for 18.3% of the group’s sales 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 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 594 000 active customers, and credit sales accounted for 59.9% 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. A compliance call centre ensures that all governance and regulatory issues relating to credit contracts are explained to customers. Stores are responsible for cash collections and payment follow-up with customers that have defaulted. The introduction of the debit order strategy has further supported collections.

Customers purchasing merchandise on credit are offered insurance cover by Monarch Insurance Company Ltd (Monarch) which offers direct insurance in South Africa and reinsurance in Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini. The insurance product is optional for customers purchasing goods on an instalment sale basis and provides cover for death, disability, loss of income or theft or damage to the goods

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. Stores are responsible for all aspects of the customer relationship. Customers in the traditional retail brands are served by staff from their local communities in their own languages, 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.