ScS Records 146% Ecommerce Growth As Shoppers Shopped Canapes Online During Lockdowns – Strategy & Innovation
ScS saw a 146% increase in online sales in its last fiscal year, as shoppers turned to e-commerce to purchase sofas during Covid-19 store closings.
Sofa and upholstered furniture retailer, ranked Top350 in RXUK Top500 research, says its investment in digital – including the launch of a new website at the start of the year – has helped increase its online sales , especially during times when its stores had to close for lockdowns. More and more shoppers are shopping online and those who visit ScS stores are arriving after researching its website beforehand. Online, therefore, is “key to improving the quality of our store visits and subsequent conversion”.
The website launch took place at the start of the third lockdown and resulted in a period of web-only sales that “provided valuable information that supported the company’s plans to continue with further web improvements”. These include the launch of an online-only product line and the launch of MyScSlive, offering video calls with in-store staff for product demonstrations. Floor surveyors also set up virtual appointments, helping clients measure their own homes – a service that remains available now.
ScS today reported revenue of £ 310.6million in the 53 weeks leading up to July 31, 2021. That’s a 21.6% increase from the previous year. Online sales rose 146% to £ 46.9million, from £ 19.1million, with shoppers buying online as its stores were closed for Covid-19 closures – and as centers ScS distribution systems continued to operate throughout the year.
The retailer says orders, measured at constant scope that exclude the effect of store closures and openings, were only down 1.5% from 2020, even though containment closures lasted 17 weeks in 2021, compared to nine weeks in 2020. They are down 6.5% compared to pre-Covid 2019.
Pre-tax profits of £ 22.7million were up from a loss of £ 3.1million the previous year. ScS has repaid £ 3million in leave grants, while paying staff 100% of their salary during store closings.
In the first nine weeks of the fiscal year through October 2, LFL orders are down 21% from the same period last year – when ScS recorded high order levels after the end of the first foreclosure in 2020 – and up 11.9% over the same period in 2019. The retailer is positive about its outlook for the full year – but warns of a supply chain disruption.
Steve Carson, Managing Director of ScS, said: “Trading since the start of the new fiscal year has remained strong, with two-year order intake growth of 11.9% for the nine weeks to October 2, 2021. – Like-for-like, orders fell 21% due to the significant rebound from the previous year’s lockdown. We are delighted with the good performance of orders since the start of the new financial year. However, we are aware of the ongoing challenges that we, and many other businesses, face with respect to the supply chain, including driver shortages, increasing raw materials, and shipping costs and delays. “
Going forward, the retailer now plans to focus on the customer experience in its showrooms, website, delivery and after-sales service teams, using customer data to improve the service it provides. he proposes.
ScS will also invest in its digital team and leadership, adding digital marketing tools to improve its analytics, modeling and targeting, while improving the online user experience, with the goal of delivering a seamless omnichannel experience, that customers browse online and buy in-store, or vice versa. The showrooms will be refreshed to create a “simpler and more inspiring experience to showcase the latest developments in the range and brands”. The merchant will consider moving from less profitable locations and actively manage their rental costs.
ScS joined the Furniture Industry Sustainability Program during the year and hired a dedicated Supply Chain Sustainability Manager. It now obtains its electricity from renewable sources and recycled or diverted from landfill 99.9% of its waste. Over the next year, he plans to establish a roadmap for sustainability.