Sunderland sofa firm ScS appoints new CEO

Sunderland-based furniture and floorings retailer ScS Group said on Wednesday it appointed former Holland and Barrett boss Steve Carson as its new CEO following David Knight’s planned retirement next year.

“Steve will join the group on 6 January 2021 for a period of handover before David leaves the group in July 2021,” said ScS.

“Steve brings deep knowledge and experience in retail and leadership after an extensive career in the sector, most recently as group managing director of Holland and Barrett.

“Prior to this, Steve held a number of roles at Home Retail Group plc (HRG), which owned a number of well-known brands such as Argos, Homebase and Habitat …”

ScS also published a trading update for its AGM on Wednesday, saying like-for-like order intake was up 31.7% for the 14 weeks to October 31 — but like-for-like order intake then fell 65.2% over the three weeks to November 21, after its stores in England were forced to temporarily close.

ScS said: “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.

“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.”