Dunelm today said its multichannel strategy was helping it to look towards a ‘post-internet’ age, as it reported a double digit rise in sales and profits. Chief executive John Browett said the homewares retailer was “constantly improving the shopping trip” through an evolving store and online format.
“The web enables us to engage with customers before they leave home, in store and when they make a final decision,” he said. “It enables us to service our customers far more effectively; whether through offering an extended range, walking through all of the options, tracking orders or following up appointments.”
The homewares retailer said growing sales, new stores and online sales via home delivery would be key to its business in coming months. It plans to expand its store estate, which currently includes 157 stores including 151 out-of-town stores, to 200 stores as it works toward a “post-internet” age in which online (via dunelm.com) would be a “critical part of the shopping trip”.
The update came as Dunelm reported sales of £448.1m in the first half of its financial year, 10.3% up on the same time last year, and pre-tax profits of £75.5m, 10.7% up on last time. Home delivery sales, with transactions taking place online, rose by 24.4% to £28m in the 26 weeks to January 2. Growth in this area, said Browett, was improving following the launch of a new web platform in July. “while growth initially slowed as we got used to a new robust platform, sales growth has started to accelerate and we are now able to develop our offer far more rapidly,” he said. “We have lots of ideas to implement and online has significantly expanded the reach for our great product.”
“Our focus,” said Browett, “remains on growing the business for the longer term. After making good progress so far, we are continuing to work towards our three-part growth strategy and are now focused on eight core projects that will enable us to achieve this. This will allow us to improve our business substantially for our customers and, as we increase both our store network around London and our online presence, to develop Dunelm into a truly national homewares brand.”