Sofa specialist DFS is set to integrate its offline and online marketing activity in the months ahead by working with affiliate marketing business Affilinet, it was announced today.
The furniture retailer’s new marketing partnership comes after it yesterday reported a small sales decline of 0.7 per cent but underlying profit growth of 3.1 per cent to £56.2 million for the nine months to April 30th 2011, impressive results in comparison to the performance of many other homewares companies.
DFS’s marketing strategy will play a key role in the company’s growth strategy in the coming years as it looks to add 20 new stores to its 80-strong portfolio by July 2013, and online ads have been earmarked as a particularly crucial sales driver.
Richard Thirsk, Head of Marketing at DFS, commented: “Working with Affilinet allows us to greatly extend our online reach beyond our traditional online media buys and search activity.
“We are collaborating with specific Affilinet publishers on a performance basis offering them unique telephone numbers to display on their websites so that consumers can immediately call our customer support team without having to leave the publisher site.
“This approach means that customers benefit from researching what they want online and then making their bespoke orders with one of the team over the phone.”
Yesterday’s trading statement showed that sales excluding VAT at DFS in the nine months to the end of April totalled £486 million, with the slight year-on-year decline attributed to a “softening in overall consumer spending”.
When compared to other businesses that trade in household goods, however, these figures make for encouraging reading.
Flooring specialist Carpetright yesterday reported a more than 70 per cent decline in annual profits, while furniture retailer Habitat went into administration last week and kitchen & bathroom seller Homeform Group looks set to enter administration in the coming days.
CEO of DFS Ian Filby said: “We are pleased to report that our financial performance remains firmly on track, despite the challenging trading environment.
“Although trading conditions remain exceptionally demanding for all UK retailers, we were fully prepared for that outcome in our plans for the year, and our good performance to date reflects our tight focus on the areas within management’s control.”