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Wednesday 26 September 2018

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Dunelm revenues boosted by online growth

Written by Peter Walker
12/07/18

Homewares retailer Dunelm Group has reported broadly flat (0.1 per cent increase) total like-for-like revenues during the last quarter were broadly flat year-on-year, saved by “continuing strong performance” from its online channel, which achieved growth of 41.8 per cent.

The trading update for the 13-week period ended 30 June 2018 revealed weak footfall in physical shops, leading to a 4.6 per cent decline in sales.

The number of active customers for Dunelm.com was up by 18 per cent over the previous year, read the update.

Overall revenue for the quarter showed a 1.4 per cent decline year-on-year. For the year as a whole, the group delivered like-for-like revenue growth of 4.2 per cent and overall growth of 9.9 per cent.

“Whilst we benefited from the strong store opening programme earlier in the financial year, this was offset by decisions to rationalise the offer in our acquired businesses of Worldstores.co.uk and Kiddicare.com - having divested Achica.com during the previous quarter,” the updated noted.

The group is completing development of the Worldstores technology platform prior to migrating the Dunelm.com website onto this platform in the course of 2019.

“This will enable rapid improvements in our online proposition - such as the implementation of click & collect functionality - and we will retain the ability for continuous development of the website.”

Having tested the Kiddicare brand both an in-store and online, the group concluded that it will now be developed under the Dunelm brand, with the Kiddicare website retired in the first quarter of next year.

The transfer of Worldstores and Kiddicare lines to Dunelm.com should complete in the coming weeks, with around 5,000 further lines transferring, making 20,000 transferred in total, and bringing the total online assortment to over 60,000 lines.

There were no new store openings in the latest quarter, leaving the group’s superstore footprint at 169 stores, with two new stores (one of which is a relocation) due early in the new financial year.

Full year profit before tax is expected to be approximately £102 million - down from £109.3 million for the full year 2017 - including trading losses related to the Worldstores businesses estimated at £8.5 million.

Dunelm chief executive Nick Wilkinson commented: “We have expanded our customer reach and digital capabilities significantly over the last twelve months and will continue to do so as we exploit the technology assets which we acquired with Worldstores.”



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