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Saturday 18 January 2020

Dunelm defies retail downturn to post surging sales

The home furnishings retailer said like-for-like sales surged 5% to £313 million in the three months to December 28.

Dunelm posted higher sales in its second quarter (Dunelm/PA)
Dunelm posted higher sales in its second quarter (Dunelm/PA)

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

Homeware retailer Dunelm has shunned the high street downturn to post surging Christmas sales.

The soft furnishing company said like-for-like sales surged 5% to £313 million in the three months to December 28 as it was buoyed by rapid online growth.

As a result, Dunelm held firm on performance forecasts and said it expects annual profits and sales to increase for the full year.

Nick Wilkinson, chief executive officer at Dunelm, said the company was “really pleased” with its performance over the first half of the financial year.

First half sales jumped 5.6% to £568.6 million despite a slightly slowdown in like-for-like sales in the second quarter.

Mr Wilkinson said: “The second quarter was particularly strong in terms of sales and margin growth, on both one-year and two-year bases.

“Our ambitious growth plans are centred on extending and enhancing our customer proposition, helping more customers than ever create a home that they love.

“We are excited by the significant opportunities ahead of us.”

Sales in Dunelm’s stores grew 1.2% on a like-for-like basis to £265.3 million in the festive quarter, it said.

The company’s growth was particularly driven by soaring online sales, with revenue from rising 32.1% to £47.7 million during the quarter.

During the quarter, Dunelm transitioned onto a new digital site which it said was able to host more customers during its pre-Christmas trading peak than it was able to on its previous system.

The retailer added that it plans to open three new superstores during the next six months.

Meanwhile, rival John Lewis sacked its managing director Paula Nickolds on Thursday after it reported a 2% life-for-like sales slump over the past seven weeks, including a notable decline in home furnishing sales.

Shares in Dunelm rose 0.4% to 1,147p on Thursday morning.

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