Housewares chain Dunelm has benefited from the reopening of its stores in the past three months, with sales up 44% from pre-pandemic levels as the improvement boom habitat continued.
Dunelm reported strong pent-up demand for housewares from customers who wanted to purchase home furnishings in person from its reopened stores, including bedding, curtains, bathroom textiles, cushions, dining room furniture and decorative accessories.
Sales doubled in the 13 weeks to June 26, compared to a year earlier, when stores in Dunelm remained closed during the first coronavirus lockdown. Total sales in the quarter were also 44% higher than in the same period in 2019.
Online sales growth also remained strong even after its stores reopened in England on April 12, up 38% year on year. Click and collect represents around 25% of digital sales.
Due to its strong performance in the last quarter, the retailer expects a full-year pre-tax profit of around £ 158million, slightly above analysts’ expectations, even though its stores have been closed for more than a year. third of the year.
The company’s sales remained strong despite its decision to delay the start of its usual summer sales, which also improved its gross margin.
Dunelm chief executive Nick Wilkinson said the company has invested in its digital capabilities during the pandemic to adapt to the changing environment.
“Based on what we have learned during the pandemic about our customers, colleagues, suppliers and other stakeholders, we are more confident than ever about the opportunity to increase our market leadership and we will invest more in our proposal to support our growth ambitions, ”says Wilkinson.
“With many exciting developments underway to make us the # 1 choice for the home and increase our customer base and frequency, there is a lot to look forward to. “
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However, Dunelm has warned of continued disruption to its global supply chain due to the pandemic, and it expects to increase its inventory levels over the next six months to deal with it. Higher inventory levels will result in additional storage costs.
The chain plans to invest £ 12million in capital on two more distribution facilities over the next year to allow it to continue to grow. A new warehouse is being built in Daventry in the East Midlands – to store heavy and bulky items – and another in Stoke-on-Trent, near its existing warehouse and distribution center.