‘Pleasant surprise’ for DFS as UK sofa sales increase after lockdown | Business

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Post-closing sofa sales increased at retailer DFS Furniture as people bought new furniture after months confined to their homes.Sales in the past six weeks have been £ 100million higher than originally forecast, the company said. The news pushed DFS shares 13% to 170p.

The retailer sells through DFS, Sofa Workshop, Dwell and Sofology branded stores and is the market leader in the UK, with a share of around 30%. It has benefited from the offer of its products in store and online.

“What has been a pleasant surprise for us is that people seem to shift their spending home rather than vacation, recreation or fashion,” said DFS CEO Tim Stacey.

The demand for custom sofas has resulted in longer wait times, which have dropped from an average of 4-6 weeks typically considered this time of year to 11-12 weeks.

“We have 1,000 people in the UK making sofas every day and we’re flat out right now,” Stacey said. The company is actively looking to invest in manufacturing in the UK, he added.

Customer spending is up to 9% higher than before Covid, as consumers trade up to more expensive premium ranges. Consumers are also opting for brighter colors, Stacey said, with popular choices including dark orange and navy blue. “There’s definitely a change from the different shades of gray we’ve had in recent years, moving to a more daring color palette.”

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However, the channel said it was difficult to predict long-term trade, given the continued effect of the coronavirus on consumer confidence and the potential impact of Brexit.

“A boom in sofa sales makes perfect sense,” said Russ Mold, investment director at stockbroker AJ Bell, “After all, if you’re going to be spending so much time at home, why put up with bad seats? condition, peeling wallpaper and flashing refrigerators? ”

However, Mold has warned that consumer spending on household items may not last as people return to their desks worried about their job security or if fall and winter lead to an increase in coronavirus cases. .

“DFS did have an early Christmas present, and maybe saw an increase normally associated with Boxing Day and New Years sales,” Mold said. “But you have to wonder if DFS has already seen its peak in results this year.”

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