Dunelm online sales up by over a third
Written by Peter Walker
Dunelm has reported a “strong year” of trading, with in-store sales up by 7.7 per cent year-on-year, while online sales grew by 35.1 per cent.
Profit before tax was £125.9 million, up 23.4 per cent on last year’s figure, based on total sales of £1.1 billion during the year to 29 June.
A statement put the growth partly down to ongoing development of the homeware and furniture retailer’s digital platform, based on the technology provided by Worldstores, an e-commerce business bought at the end of 2016 and gradually absorbed into group operations.
A beta version of the new website was launched to some customers this summer, with a full roll-out expected later this year. Features include the ability to transact a mixed basket of items with different fulfilment options, and the ability to pay for store-stocked items for collection.
Chief executive Nick Wilkinson stated: “This is a major milestone following two years in which we have transformed our technology capability, bringing in more engineering talent and developing new ways of working, to create a scalable suite of retail services founded on the latest cloud-native technology.
“The transition to the new platform brings sales risks, but our tests to date give us confidence that users will experience material improvements to site speed, search effectiveness and checkout functionality.”
Wilkinson added: “We view digital development as driving store sales as much as our online sales and will continue to invest in developing our offer across all channels.”
The trading update also mentioned that Dunelm is increasing the number of customer hosts - members of staff who use tablet devices to help shoppers - in its stores to 1,200.