Belfast Telegraph

Brexit and election uncertainty keep ScS sofa sales under pressure

The group reported a 7.1% fall in comparable sales in the 17 weeks to November 23.

General view of an SCS furniture store in Wednesbury, West Midlands, as the group saw orders continue to tumble amid Brexit and political uncertainty.
General view of an SCS furniture store in Wednesbury, West Midlands, as the group saw orders continue to tumble amid Brexit and political uncertainty.

By Holly Williams, PA Deputy City Editor

Sofa chain ScS has seen orders continue to tumble as shopper demand remains under pressure amid Brexit and political uncertainty.

The group reported a 7.1% fall in comparable sales in the 17 weeks to November 23.

But the Sunderland-headquartered firm – which is holding its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday – said this was an improvement on the first nine weeks of its financial year when comparable orders dropped 7.6%.

ScS is the latest firm to reveal the impact of falling consumer confidence, with Topps Tiles reporting on Tuesday that demand had taken a big hit in the month since the General Election was called.

Retailers have reported slower sales of big ticket items, in particular those linked to house sales as property prices stagnate due to uncertainty over the election and Brexit.

Alan Smith, chairman of ScS, said: “It is clear that the ongoing economic and political uncertainties are continuing to impact consumer confidence and spending.”

ScS’s recent sales woes were compounded by warm late summer and early September weather, which dented demand for furniture.

Retail expert Nick Bubb, an independent analyst, said ScS’s recent sales performance “implies that the last eight weeks have still been pretty bad for ScS, despite more helpful weather”.

ScS said on reporting full-year sales last month that it was on the lookout for other acquisitions after its failed attempt to buy rival Sofa.com earlier this year, which was instead snapped up by Sports Direct.

The group posted a 5% rise in annual pre-tax profits to £14.3 million, with like-for-like sales up 4.2% in the year to July 27.

PA

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