Lewis Group's merchandise sales drop by close to a third during first quarter

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The lockdown cut the into the Lewis Group's merchandise sales.
The lockdown cut the into the Lewis Group's merchandise sales.
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Furniture retailer the Lewis Group says merchandise sales for the three months to end June 2020 fell more than 30% due the Covid-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown. South Africa's nationwide lockdown began in the final weeks of March in response to the health crisis.

Despite the fall in sales the group, which includes the brands Lewis, Beares, and Best Home and Electric, said that it did not need to access any borrowings during the lockdown period.

"Following the country’s move to lockdown level 3 with effect from 1 June 2020, all South African stores reopened their doors to customers. The group experienced strong customer demand across all brands and increased merchandise sales for June by 22.3% year-on-year. The collection rate for May and June was 74.8% compared to 83.3% in the prior year."

In a trading update on Friday, the group said it increased merchandise sales by 4.7% to R3.7 billion for the financial year ended March 31.

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