ScS today reported online sales up by almost a fifth following a year that saw it invest in developing its ecommerce platform and trading website.
Internet sales reached £10m, up from £8.4m a year earlier – up by 19.8%. The furniture-to-floorings retailer, a Top 250 company in IRUK Top500
research, says it will continue to invest in its online capability and offer while also improving the customer journey and experience. Last year it spent £1.4m on the site, up from £0.7m the previous year, and website marketing spend increased "significantly" at the same time.
"Evidence indicates that customers are increasingly researching online prior to making a purchase and our websites are an integral tool to support our customers," said Knight in his report to investors today. "Given the high-ticket and bespoke nature of the items we sell, a high proportion of our customers will visit our stores before they make their final purchase decision. However, the group recognises that the investment in our website is critical and that it is an ever increasing part of the customer journey."
Today's update came as ScS reported gross sales of £334.7m in the 53 weeks to July 30. That's 14.5% up on the previous year. Pre-tax profits of £10.9m were up from a loss of £1.7m last time.
""We are delighted to be reporting significant growth across all areas of the Group for the 2016 financial year," said David Knight, chief executive of ScS. "Our sales order intake is the highest ever and is up 14.8% on a like-for-like basis. These results demonstrate that the group has made significant progress in developing ScS into a strong national brand with three very clear retail offers - upholstered furniture, flooring and our House of Fraser concessions, all supported by an online platform that has seen continued investment."
He said trading performance in the new financial year was in line with expectations.