ScS is finding new ways to engage with customers through digital channels as it grows its online business.
The sofa-to-carpets retail brand is deploying visualiser technology, visual bundling – where website visitors can add several items into one image to see how they will look together – as well as online wish lists and Q&A sections on its product pages. On social media, it is collaborating with influencers and running competitions that have driven engagement – its Facebook engagement, for example, is now at record levels.
ScS also plans to learn from the digital team at Snug, following its £875k acquisition of the digital-first sofa business out of administration in January. ScS now plans to launch Snug concessions into its ScS showrooms in coming months in order to build brand awareness and presence beyond its current single Leeds store.
Those concessions will feature in ScS’ three new concept stores, the first of which was opened in Coventry in July 2022, where it trials new technology, ideas, and improvements to the look and feel of showrooms. So far its concept stores have all outperformed the rest of the ScS estate, and investment is now planned in eight further stores.
The update comes as ScS today posts revenues of £147.9m in the six months to January 28 2023. That’s 2.6% up on the previous year. Online sales grew by 16.7% on a year earlier to represent 10.1% of sales, up from 8.9% last time.
Its top-line pre-tax losses of £4.7m narrowed from £5.6m a year earlier. But net one-off costs of £1.6m, including a £2m write down in the value of its stores, an £849k cost related to buying Snug, and a £1.25m business interruption insurance credit, meant that at the bottom line its losses widened to £6.3m from £3.6m last time. Last year it had also benefited from business rates relief to the tune of £1.9m.
ScS chief executive Steve Carson says: “The macroeconomic environment continues to be challenging, and we are mindful of the pressures face by many of our customers. Therefore continuing to focus on our value-driven proposition is more important than ever so that everyone is able to create the home they love.”
ScS, ranked Top350 in RXUK Top500 research, sells online and through 100 UK stores, following two Boxing Day openings.