Rent-to-buy specialist BrightHouse has bucked the retail downturn to reveal a 13.6 per cent jump in like-for-like sales for the six months to September 31.
The furniture and electricals retailer – aimed at lower income households – said part of its success is due to the fact that many of its customers are “to some extent less affected by the turmoil in the economic cycle”.

Chief executive Leo McKee said: “A large proportion of our customers do not have mortgages. Whether inflation goes up 1 per cent or down 1 per cent does not make a great deal of difference to them. An element [of our success] is that the proposition is right for these times.”
McKee said there is potential to up its store portfolio from 177 to more than 600 in the UK. BrightHouse has 140,000 customers at present and “plans to push this figure to half a million” within five years.

“The size of the market opportunity is huge,” said McKee. “But we have to be aware of the macroeconomic situation and would be foolish to say we were immune from it.”

The retailer opened 20 stores in the past six months and plans to open at least 30 next year.

BrightHouse has also linked up with Learndirect, the online learning organisation, to trial in-store information points in nine of its stores. It said providing its customers with access to learning and basic skills is a “core priority”.

The retailer sells and rents products to households without easy access to credit. Customers are not credit checked and pay at their local store on a weekly basis.