Dunelm recovers in first quarter thanks to online focus


Dunelm has posted a positive first quarter following what it called a “difficult and disappointing” year with both like-for-like sales and gross margins showing healthy growth.

For the 13 weeks to September 29 the homewares retailer reported like-for-like sales growth of 4.2 per cent, including a 1.3 per cent rise in-store sales and a 33 per cent jump in online sales.

These contributed to revenue growth of £0.3 million to £248.2 million, while gross margins increased 130bps compared to the same period a year earlier.

This was understood to have been bolstered by a rise in tablet-based home delivery sales, which alongside online revenues and reserve-and-collect sales accounted for 14.8 per cent of overall revenues.

Despite the positive results, which saw its share prices jump four per cent in morning trading, chief executive Nick Wilkinson said he remained “cautious about the months ahead due to the level of market and customer uncertainty”.

This follows news last month that Dunelm had seen pre-tax profits drop 6.7 per cent to £102 million for the year to June 30, blaming the acquisition of WoldStores and unforgiving trading conditions for a “difficult and disappointing” year.

Wilkinson, who was appointed in February, added: “We delivered a good trading performance in the first quarter. We continue to improve the multichannel experience for our customers and our stores play a vital role in this.”

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