Online boost helps sales at DFS Furniture

Online sales at DFS Furniture soared by more than three-quarters over the last nearly six months, the company has revealed.

Gross sales in the retailer’s online channels rose 76% over the 24 weeks to December 13, compared with the same period a year earlier.

It helped push up overall sales by 19% compared with last year, DFS said in an update to shareholders on Tuesday.

However, the business is facing a tough environment, being forced to close 52 of its showrooms that fall into Tier 4 areas of England. It has also closed seven in Wales, and six in the Netherlands.

The company runs 212 showrooms in total.

Online orders and manufacturing are continuing in Tier 4 areas, DFS said, although problems at the borders are causing delays to deliveries.

“I want to thank every colleague in our group for their resilience, spirit and determination to overcome the many and varied operational challenges that we have faced since reopening our business after the first lockdown,” said chief executive Tim Stacey.

“We are working all hours focusing on what we can control to look after our people and our customers. I want to thank our customers for their patience given the ongoing disruption to our deliveries due to port congestion and raw material shortages, as well as apologise to those that have experienced delays.

“While the current environment is clearly unpredictable, our business model is resilient and we are well set for medium-term growth.”

DFS said it has made preparations for a no-deal Brexit, but it is likely to be less affected than other UK businesses.

Upholstered finished goods are not subject to tariffs under the World Trade Organisation that will apply on trade between the UK and the EU after Brexit, unless a deal is struck in time.

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