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Dunelm reports fast-growing sales and multichannel investment

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Dunelm today reported growing multichannel sales in its latest financial year – and said it would continue to invest for the future.

In an end-of-year trading statement, the homewares retailer today reported sales of £730.2m in the year to June 28, with total sales up by 7.8%, compared to the same year, and like-for-like sales up by 2.1%. In the final quarter of the year growth was more striking, with sales of £178.4m in the 13 weeks of the fourth quarter, up by 12% on last time, and like-for-like sales up by 5.5%.

Dunelm said the strong fourth-quarter growth came in part as a reaction to the summer 2013 heatwave, which had held back sales in the first part of the year, but also as a result of investments including multichannel.

Those investments include a new multichannel investment operation, introduced in October, while this summer will see Dunelm complete an upgrade of its front-end web platform with the aim of improving the customer experience. Over the full year, multichannel sales represented 6% of total sales, rising to 7% in the final quarter.

The company now has 136 superstores, and plans to have 200 in the medium-term. Twelve new stores opened during the year, contributing to 5.7% growth from sales from new space.

Chief executive Nick Wharton said: “We have continued our strategy of increasing scale through new store openings and multi-channel growth whilst investing in our customer proposition for the future. During the period we have increased the rate of that investment, ensuring we continue to provide our customers with market leading choice and expertise, helping us to maintain our differentiation from competitors over the long term.

“With a strong pipeline of new stores, further enhancements to our multichannel capability and a positive response to the continuing development of our customer proposition, the board remains confident in the Group’s long-term growth prospects.”

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