Founded in Cape Town in 1934, the Lewis Group has been listed on the JSE Limited since 2004. The group employs 8 000 permanent staff and is a meaningful contributor to job creation and support of the local furniture manufacturing sector. The group has 784 stores across all metropolitan areas and in rural South Africa, as well as a strong presence in neighbouring African countries.
Lewis is the country’s largest furniture chain with 489 stores and is a household name in furniture retailing.
Beares, a well respected brand with a history dating back 80 years, was acquired by the group in 2014 and currently has 121 stores.
Best Home and Electric was established in 2008 and sells home appliances as well as furniture ranges through 138 stores.
United Furniture Outlets (UFO) is a luxury brand cash furniture retailer for the higher income market. Established in 2004 and acquired by the group in 2018. UFO has a footprint of 36 stores in South Africa.
INspire is an omni-channel home shopping retailer which is marketed through outbound and inbound call-centres, agents and digital channels including online shopping at www.inspire.co.za. INspire was launched in May 2018 as part of the group’s diversification strategy.
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 (7–8) markets where the group has traditionally had limited exposure. UFO has a value offering to the upper income market, namely LSM 9+. INspire target customers in the LSM 4–8 categories and to extend to the group’s reach in urban areas.
Credit is offered to customers in the traditional retail brands of Lewis, Beares and Best Home and Electric, as well as INspire. The group has a credit customer base of close to 580 000 and credit sales accounted for 58% of total sales in the reporting period.
Monarch Insurance, the group’s short-term insurance subsidiary, offers insurance cover to customers purchasing merchandise on credit.