Online sales drives Dunelm’s Christmas quarter

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Dunelm Christmas

Dunelm has reported like-for-like sales growth in its second quarter, which included the Christmas trading period, driven by a surge in online revenues despite margin pressures.

In a trading update for the 13 weeks to December 30, the furniture retailer said total second quarter like-for-like sales increased 3.4 per cent to £255 million, boosted by a 30.5 per cent jump in online sales to £26.2 million.

Meanwhile, same store sales inched up 1.1 per cent to £228.8 million and Dunelm’s overall company revenue rose 13.6 per cent to £297.5 million.

However, on a first half basis Dunelm experienced a sales mix hit on margins from more seasonal and end of season products.

Dunelm, which agreed to buy the Worldstores, Kiddicare and Achica brands in November 2016 for £8.5 million, also had its margins hit by focusing on growing its online offerings to attract new customers.

Nonetheless, the retailer said it expected a margin improvement in its second half.

“This performance is driving our continued market share gains,” Dunelm chairman Andy Harrison said.

“We are now up to 169 superstores having successfully opened five in the quarter.”

He added: “Overall, we remain on track, with good sales growth and market share gains, offset by margin mix.

“We are well positioned to deliver good full year profit growth, after a small reduction in the first half, largely due to the consolidation of Worldstores losses.”

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