Strong order book delivers strong start at upholstery retailer

Upholstered furniture and floorings retailer ScS has reported growing sales during its first half of the year.

According to its latest trading update for the 26 weeks ended 23 January 2021, total sales increased 13.9% to £182.3m (2020: £160.1m).

This increase is due to the significant order intake growth seen in June and July 2020 following the first lockdown, together with the strong trading in the first quarter of the current financial year.

Unlike the first national lockdown, and in line with government guidelines, ScS’ distribution centres have remained operational throughout the period and continue to deliver goods to their customers.

As at 23 January 2021, the Group’s order book is £90.5m, £16.8m larger than at the same point in the prior year.

The Group had a positive start to the year, seeing order intake growth over the first 21 weeks despite the impact of further temporary regional and national store closures across the UK, as a result of COVID-19.

Due to increased restrictions across the UK, ScS commenced its winter sale with 57 of its 100 stores trading on Boxing Day. Following further restrictions, 37 stores then closed on 30 December, with the remaining 20 closing on 4 January. Performance in these stores was strong whilst they remained open.

The Group’s online sales channel continues to make good progress, with the half year seeing an increase in order intake of 98% when compared to the same period in the prior year.

Looking ahead, ScS added: “Whilst it is too early to provide clarity on the outlook for the weeks and months ahead, we remain cautiously optimistic given the strong trading experienced by the Group following the first and second lockdowns.

“Given the tactile nature of our products, the majority of customers chose to wait until stores re-opened to try our products in person before making their purchasing decision. This resulted in the business benefiting from pent-up demand, coupled with an increased level of investment by UK consumers in their homes.

“The Group has built a robust balance sheet and continues to focus on cost and cash management to ensure we maintain this resilience in these challenging times.”