If you live the UK then you will be aware of DFS. The company’s adverts are shown on billboards and TV channels around the country, with their products seemingly being in a never-ending state of sale. Through years of hard work, they have risen to become the No.1 furniture retailer in the United Kingdom. In March 2015 the company took its next major step when it issued an IPO of DFS shares. Looking at the IPO itself may not make for impressive reading, as it seemingly fell flat in most markets. However, the story of DFS is actually one of great achievement, which will give those who have purchased DFS shares hope for the future.
DFS was originally known as Northern Furniture. A company that had its heart in the north and was formed by former furniture builder and now Baron, Graham Kirkham, Northern Upholstery would turn out to be the company that would change the face of furniture retail in the UK. Founded in 1969, the company would grow leaps and bounds in the 1970s, posting regularly profits and making major waves in the process. In the 1980s DFS would rise to the national stage by buying failing national entity Direct Furniture Supplies. Seeing the countrywide appeal of the name, Northern Upholstery would become DFS and following that there was an outcry for DFS shares to be released.
Under a new name and building upon sturdy northern foundations, DFS would continue to post annual profits heading into the 1990s. Due to such success it was only a matter of time before a stock market arrival and by 1993 DFS shares had landed on the stock market and proved to be a big hit with investors. The company was valued at almost £272 million and could seemingly do no wrong. However, the good times wouldn’t last forever, as trouble was looming. In 1998 DFS suffered its very first dip in profits, which saw many DFS shareholders rush to cash out. Times were changing for DFS and DFS shares and it can be argued that the company was failing to keep up.
Even though the company saw a brief revival in 2000, it was just that. Their focus on a younger client based had come a little late in the day and the brand had found itself lumbered with a dated image. Fast-forward to 2004 and DFS shares had seemingly lost their appeal as a stock option and the company was re-privatised, before eventually being sold to new owners Advent International in 2010.
Since the sale DFS have reaffirmed their position in the market and by 2015 they re-entered the stock market. It may not have been the launch that company executives had in mind, but looking back at the history of DFS and DFS shares it is clear that they are stock option that you’ll never be able to count out.
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Alexander Bowring is a London based writer and a Southampton Solent University Screenwriting graduate. He has worked alongside TV personality and Telegraph feature writer Alison Cork, whilst also having produced content for ITV, This Morning, Canvas8, Who’s Jack, Alison at Home, and Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors. Alexander also has a keen interest in investments.