ScS sees orders decline as early Christmas shoppers impact footfall

Early Christmas trading has led to a drop in footfall at North East sofa retailer ScS, as it says more shoppers seek to buy presents
ScS's order book is up £71.5m on 2019, but orders have fallen compared to 'unprecedented' demand seen at the start of 2021.
// ScS sees like-for-like orders fall as early Christmas shoppers impact footfall
// The retailer says it has seen total two-year like-for-like order growth of 0.9% for the 16 weeks ending November 20

Early Christmas trading has led to a drop in footfall at North East sofa retailer ScS, as it says more shoppers seek to buy presents instead of ‘big ticket’ furniture items.

ScS said its two-year like-for-like order growth was 0.9 per cent for the 16 weeks to November 20, however the furniture retailer has seen a reduction in store footfall and conversion over the last seven weeks.

In a trading statement ahead of its AGM today, the retailer said it experienced a like-for-like order decline of 10.6 per cent on a one-year basis following an “unprecedented” period of pent-up demand at the beginning of the prior year.


READ MORE: ScS sees strong year of recovery as sales rocket


SCS said the reduction in store footfall and conversion has been driven by a change in behaviour with consumers shopping earlier for Christmas when compared with previous years.

The company is also being impacted by extended product lead times currently being experienced across the furniture sector.

As of November 2021, ScS’s order book stood at £131.9 million, which was £71.5 million higher than the same point two years ago.

The retailer said its online business continues to perform well, with two-year like-for-like order growth for the first 16 weeks of the year standing at 38.5 per cent.

At the AGM meeting, group chair Alan Smith will say: “As previously reported, the group had a strong start to the year, resulting in two year like-for-like order intake growth for the first nine weeks. However, over the last seven weeks, the group has seen a reduction in store footfall and conversion with consumers spending less on big ticket discretionary purchases,”

“This appears to be driven by a change in behaviour with consumers shopping earlier for Christmas when compared with previous years. The extended product lead times currently being experienced across the furniture and wider retail industry are also having an impact on current purchasing trends.

“The group is now preparing for the winter sales trading period, and whilst it remains difficult to predict shopping habits and consumer engagement, the business is planning to approach this key period in a manner consistent with that which has proven successful in previous years.

“We continue to work closely with our existing suppliers to mitigate current supply chain challenges. To broaden our customer proposition, we have recently partnered with new UK suppliers so that we can offer furniture on shorter lead times.

“We believe our continued focus on a promotional, value-led proposition will remain attractive to our target market and the board looks forward to the future with continued confidence.”

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