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Lewis buys Ellerines, Beares stores to expand African footprint

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(iStock)
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Cape Town – Furniture retailer Lewis Group [JSE:LEW] announced on Monday that it has acquired 62 Ellerines and Beares stores in southern Africa for a purchase price of about R250m.
 
The stores are located in Botswana (25 stores), Namibia (21), Lesotho (10) and Swaziland (6).
 
According to Lewis CEO Johan Enslin, the acquisition of these Ellerines and Beares stores will enable Lewis to expand and diversify its southern African footprint. The group will then have a total of 786 stores.

"We will not only gain access to new segments of the furniture retail market, but also expand our existing customer base in each of these countries. Both Ellerines and Beares are well established retail furniture businesses across southern Africa," explained Enslin.

He added that Lewis was one of the first South African retailers to expand into neighbouring countries in the late 1960s. The group currently has 62 stores in these four countries, which generate about 20% of the group’s operating profit.
                           
“We believe Beares is a scalable brand with good growth prospects. The acquisition of the Beares business in South Africa from Ellerines in late 2014 has allowed the group to attract customers in higher income segments,” he said.

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