Ad campaigns build DFS business

Furniture retailer DFS has notched up record sales densities and market share, partly on the back of marketing designed to distinguish the retailer from rivals.

Sales per sq ft reached more than£500 - more than double that of rivals such as ScS - and sales per retail employee were£500,000.

Lord Kirkham, the colourful founder of the business and one of Britain's richest men, said that in recent years DFS had shifted from its traditional price-driven marketing focus to 'one which underlines the real value of the DFS brand'.

Choice, value and track record are now being promoted, and helping DFS to claim a market share up from 14 per cent to 15.2 per cent.

DFS reported an 8.7 per cent increase in preliminary operating profit to£53.1 million on turnover up 15 per cent to£462.2 million. There was a like-for-like uplift of 7.2 per cent for the second half and 4.7 per cent for the year.

Kirkham said: 'Providing there is no fundamental change in the overall economic climate, I take a positive view of our prospects.'

Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner said: 'These are excellent numbers. DFS is an extremely well run, cash-generative company.'

DFS has 60 stores, and sees potential for 100.