Dunelm this week reported a 23.2% growth in home delivery sales – which are predominantly made online – in a year in which it developed a new website and emphasised a better customer experience across its sales channels.
The fast growth helped to lift overall sales to £880.9m, up by 7.1% in the year to July 2. Like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of store openings and closures, grew by 2.5%, while pre-tax profits of £128.9m were 6.2% ahead of last year.
Chief executive John Browett said the business had outperformed the homewares market in the last year. "My first year as chief executive has been extremely busy and we're working hard on initiatives across the business," he said. "Not least, we are investing in our stores to make them much easier to shop, whilst making sure our vast range of product maintains the value for money proposition which lies at the very heart of the Dunelm offer. We remain particularly focused on extending the Dunelm offer to more customers."
Dunelm, a Top100 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, currently trades through 152 superstores, and aims to grow its estate to 200. Today it said it believed in a multichannel world for homewares, in which online remained "a critical part of our shopping trip". To that end it is working to make its website easier to access, enabling customers to order and browse in-store as well as at home. It aims to make the range and relevant content broader, and to improve the site experience, while boosting convenience through improved collection points, times and availability. It is working towards a full click and collect service, and over the next year will also extend its service through a dropshipped vendor service.
The business also aims to improve the in-store experience, and says recent new stores in Nottingham and Sheffield have featured a lighter and more open environment with easier navigation and lower shelving.