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Customer Behaviour

Sofa seller DFS says it has seen a surprise jump in sales as people splash out after spending more time at home in lockdown.

The retailer reported that orders since the end of June were £100m higher than expected, having initially predicted demand would fall.

Boss Tim Stacey said people seemed to be spending less on holidays, going out and clothes and more on their homes.

Although DFS warned that the surge may impact the rest of the year.

“While positive trading momentum currently remains we do note that some consumers may be bringing forward spending decisions and this may impact trading later in the financial year,” it said.

In a trading statement covering the last six weeks, the retailer said it had seen year-on-year order intake growth of £70m.

Having previously forecast that sales would fall as consumers spent less, it said that was now “significantly ahead of our initial expectations” and in effect up by £100m.

“We believe that this trading performance reflects a combination of consumers currently spending more on their homes relative to other sectors [and] latent demand caused by the nationwide lockdown,” the firm said.

It suggested the sales had come both through its stores – all of which were temporarily closed earlier this year – and its website.

However, it said it was “exceptionally difficult” to assess the long term outlook for the business due to uncertainty around the pandemic and the potential impact of a hard Brexit.

Shares in the business closed more than 10% higher in London.

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