Dunelm says the launch of its new digital platform in the run up to Christmas will be an “important milestone” in the development of the multichannel business.
So far, the retailer, ranked Top50 in IRUK Top500 research, has tested its new platform on a small percentage of customers and says it is pleased with the results so far. All traffic will move to the new websites before Christmas, although the retailer will retain some flexibility so that it can ensure customers have a good experience during the peak sales period.
Chief executive Nick Wilkinson said: "The launch of our new digital platform will be an important milestone in this phase of Dunelm’s development. Once fully live, we can really begin to enhance and extend our offering and customer experience."
The update came as the retailer reported group sales of £262.6m in the first quarter of its financial year – up by 5.8% on the same time last year. Store sales reached £219.9m in the 13 weeks to September 28, growing by 2.9% on a like-for-like measure that strips out the effect of store openings and closures. Online sales via dunelm.com came in at £35.7m, 34.7% up on last time. Overall LFL sales were 6.4% ahead, while total Dunelm sales were 7.5% up.
It said the the beginning of the quarter had been particularly strong but that September trading was more mixed, “in part reflecting a software homewares market.”
Dunelm said: “Despite the recent softness in the homewares market and the increased political uncertainty we are confident we can continue to win market share and our expectations for the full year remain unchanged.”
The retailer also opened a new store at Boston in Lincolnshire, taking its total superstore count to 170 by the end of the quarter. It is also to open a store at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, head of Christmas.
Image courtesy of Dunelm