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ScS reports rising sales, online and offline, despite lower industry-wide footfall

ScS today reported rising sales and profits in full-year results. The sofa specialist, a Top350 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, said order values were rising as customers did more research online, a factor that may also account for the lower footfall seen across the industry.

Revenue of £333.0m in the year to July 29 was 4.9% up on the same time last year, although like-for-like orders were 0.7% down on last time against what the retailer said were “strong comparatives”. In the first nine weeks of the current year, like-for-like orders were 3% ahead. Online sales reached £11.3m, 12.3% up on last time. Pre-tax profits of £12m were 9.9% up on last time.

ScS now trades from 100 ScS stores and has 27 concessions in House of Fraser stores. Sales in those concessions grew by 8% over the year.

ScS chief executive David Knight said: “We are delighted to be reporting continued sales growth across all areas of the Group for the third year in a row. The core ScS business has continued to focus on providing excellent choice, value and quality for our customers, and I am pleased to see this delivering record results in furniture and flooring sales.”

We took a look at what ScS said in its full-year statement about its multichannel strategy. Here are the highlights.

The strategy

Increase sales densities: ScS is focused on boosting sales per square foot at stores. Last year this figure came in at £226, 3.2% up on the previous year, thanks to a focus on products, average order values and investment online. Customers ordered both through the website and, said ScS improved the quality of footfall, since customers had already done their research before coming to the store. “This has ensured that despite decreases in footfall noted industry-wide, customers are more engaged and more likely to place an order”. The retailer also saw its Trustpilot satisfaction score improve, as it maintained its 5-star rating – something it put down to an improved customer journey and experience.

Make the most of House of Fraser concessions

ScS says that its House of Fraser concessions put its wares in front of customers who prefer to shop in town centres and department stores. What is effectively another sales channel puts it before a wider demographic. It says it works closely with House of Fraser to “recognise the ongoing potential” of the partnership.

Optimise online presence

ScS has invested £1.8m in its website over the year, up from £1.4m a year earlier. Digital marketing spend has increased, improving website visitor count and conversion. The ScS website is a place for customers to research before visiting the store. But, it said, “as the group continues to improve its online presence and provide a higher quality responsive web platform, an increased number of customers are choosing to make their purchase directly online.”

Open high performing new stores

The retailer opened four new stores, at Aberdeen, Thanet, Edinburgh and Plymouth, on Boxing Day 2016. All have met their targets and made a contribution to business profitability. Almost all its owned stores are in out-of-town retail parks, and it plans to open a new one in Chelmsford on Boxing Day 2017.

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