// ScS says like-for-like orders jumped 79% higher on 2019 pre-pandemic levels between April & June 12
// Orders stood at £116.6m as at June 12 – 50% higher than a year ago
// ScS says its performance will be ahead of expectations for the year to July 31, and also “substantially better” for 2021-22
ScS has hiked its outlook for this financial year and next after seeing orders soar since stores reopened after the third nationwide lockdown.
The furniture retailer, which has 100 stores across the UK, said like-for-like orders jumped 79 per cent higher on 2019 pre-pandemic levels between April and June 12, boosted by the reopening of non-essential shops that started on April 12 in England and Wales.
Orders stood at £116.6 million as at June 12 – 50 per cent higher than a year ago, according to the group.
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Shares in ScS soared 10 per cent higher after the retailer declared that its performance will be ahead of expectations for the year to July 31, and also “substantially better” for 2021-22.
It also cheered investors by restarting dividends with a 3p a share interim payout and confirmed it had repaid £3 million of worker furlough support as trading has proved resilient.
Home furnishing retailers are enjoying booming trade as Brits have turned to revamping their homes during lengthy lockdowns and with little else to spend their money on.
ScS’s rival retailer DFS recently said its orders nearly doubled in the past 10 weeks compared with 2019 since shops reopened.
ScS also said online orders had been strong throughout the year as stores have been disrupted by lockdown closures, up 95.3 per cent in the year so far and 165 per cent higher against 2019 levels.
The launch of a new website has also helped boost online trading.
“The board is encouraged by the group’s strong trading performance since reopening,” ScS said.
“Whilst some uncertainty persists relating to the end to all Covid restrictions, the board believes the group is well positioned to maximise opportunities for growth.”
New chief executive Steve Carson has now taken over day-to-day running of ScS after a handover with predecessor David Knight.
Knight remains available for support when required, ScS added.
with PA Wires