DFS holds record market share

Furniture retailer DFS has achieved a record market share of 38 per cent despite the market shrinking by 15 – 20 per cent.

In a trading update, DFS said that pre-tax profit in the year to 25 June was in line with guidance at slightly above £30 million.

Gross sales at the retailer dropped by four per cent year-on-year, but were up 15 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The company added that gross margin rate had improved due to effective cost control and freight costs returning to pre-pandemic levels.

DFS predicts that market volumes will decline in the coming year and said that it is confident that it will deliver £1.4 billion of revenue in line with its targets.

Commenting on the news Tim Stacey, chief executive at DFS, said: “We are in the strongest position we have ever been as a Group in terms of market share, and when the market recovers, we will be well placed to deliver our strategy and grow our earnings and cash flows towards our longer term plan.”

In March, DFS announced that revenue dropped by 2.2 per cent to £544.5 million in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period of 2023. The company blamed the decline in profits on “a weak trading environment” and large cost increases which it was “unwilling to pass on to the customer”.

Earlier this month, DFS launched an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot called Sofia.

The chatbot includes dialogues, intent and a Q&A database, as well as ‘Where’s My Order’ requests, delivery status updates, and product information.

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