Lewis plans to expand amid growth

FURNITURE retailer Lewis Group plans to ramp up expansion after full-year results showed customers are slowly beginning to spend again.

FURNITURE retailer Lewis Group plans to ramp up expansion after full-year results showed customers are slowly beginning to spend again.

Local retailers have been squeezed as their customers battle with unemployment and high debt.

"We have 690000 active customers. Of these, only 3percent are unemployed, and that in itself motivates us to believe that the coming 12 months will be easier," said Johan Enslin, the company's chief executive.

Lewis, which targets the low-end furniture market through stores of the same name, also runs separate electronics and household goods outlets.

The company plans to open 10 more furniture stores and six other outlets this financial year, bringing its total to 548 at the end of March 2011.

It will accelerate that expansion in the following year, opening 40 to 45 new stores, Enslin said. - Reuters

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