- Furniture retailer ScS said its order intake in its financial year to date had grown overall, though orders had dropped off precipitously in recent weeks due to fresh national lockdowns.

Order intake growth in the 17 weeks between 26 July and 21 November was 15%, including growth of 32% in the first 14 of those weeks.

In the final three, however, order intake had plummeted 65%.

'As expected, the Welsh firebreak and the second lockdown currently in operation in England has impacted trading over the recent weeks,' ScS said.

Temporary store closures included seven in Wales from 23 October to 8 November and 81 in England from 5 November to 2 December.

'Trading since the second lockdown commenced has been similar to that experienced during the initial lockdown, where, given the tactile nature of our products, the majority of customers waited until stores re-opened to try our product in person before making their purchasing decision,' ScS said.

'Unlike the first national lockdown, and in line with government guidelines, our regional distribution centres have remained operational and continue to deliver goods to our customers.'

'Whilst it is too early to provide clarity on the outlook for the weeks and months ahead, we are encouraged by the trading pattern the group experienced following the first lockdown, when the business benefited from significant pent up demand and an increased level of investment by UK consumers in their homes.'

'Whether this trend repeats itself following the second lockdown remains to be seen, however, the group has built a strong balance sheet and has worked hard to ensure it is as resilient as it can be.'

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