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DFS sees sales soar thanks to ‘physical-digital’ approach, warns of uncertainty ahead

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Furniture retailer DFS has seen sales soar during and post-lockdown, logging £70 million in extra revenues over the last six weeks compared with the same period last year, adding to a £100 million boost earlier in the summer.

The retailer posted a loss of £58 million for the year ended in June, with the initial lockdown hitting it hard.

However, with consumer stuck at home, many have looked to DIY and home improvement to fill their days. DFS has seen significant gains as a result.

The retailer has also attributed much of its success to creating a successful hybrid physical-digital approach, which it says in a trading statement is “particularly relevant in this consumer environment”.

But the retailer has sounded a note of caution. The statement says: “The financial year has started strongly, however we do note that significant uncertainty related to COVID-19 on UK consumer confidence and the potential impact of Brexit exists and it is exceptionally difficult to assess the outlook beyond the short term.”

DFS adds: “While positive trading momentum currently remains we do note that some consumers may be bringing forward spending decisions and this may impact trading later in the financial year.”

While many retailers have been hit hard by the lockdown, with M&S shedding thousands of jobs and Debenhams and many others going into receivership or closing down altogether, the DIY sector has seen some success. DFS joins Kingfisher Group – owner of B&Q and Screwfix – in logging a positive summer. It recently saw ecommerce sales up 200% across May and June.

Home furnishings have also been the only sector to see positive growth in July, with analysts at Bloomreach seeing +8.75% month-on-month growth, translating to impressive 48.30% year on year.

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