Our profile

Lewis Group is a leading retailer of household furniture and electrical appliances through its trading brands Lewis, Best Home and Electric, Beares and United Furniture Outlets (UFO).

Founded in Cape Town in 1934, the Lewis Group has been listed on the JSE Limited since 2004.

The group employs 8 248 permanent staff and is a strong supporter of the local furniture manufacturing sector. The group has 794 stores across all metropolitan areas and in rural South Africa, as well as a significant footprint in neighbouring African countries.

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 80 years, was acquired by the group in 2014 and currently has 127 stores.

BEST HOME & ELECTRIC

Best Home and Electric was established in 2008 and sells home appliances as well as furniture ranges through 141 stores.

UNITED FURNITURE OUTLETS (UFO)

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 41 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 (7–8) 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.

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

AFRICAN PRESENCE
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 doubled the store presence outside of South Africa. There are currently 125 stores outside South Africa which collectively accounted for 14.9% of group revenue in the current financial year.
CREDIT MANAGEMENT
Credit is offered to customers in the traditional retail brands of Lewis, Beares and Best Home and Electric. 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. The group has a credit customer base of 595 919 active customers and credit sales accounted for 56.9% of total sales in the reporting period. Customers purchasing merchandise on credit are offered insurance cover through Monarch Insurance, the group’s short-term insurance subsidiary.
CUSTOMER COMMITMENT
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 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 the regular engagement with customers creates further sales opportunities.