Dunelm today says more than a third of its sales were through digital channels in the second half of its financial year, as revenues grew through the period – and especially in the Christmas quarter.
The multichannel homewares retailer today reports sales of £835m, in the half-year to December 31 2022, of which 34% took place through digital, whether made online for home delivery or collection, or placed through in-store tablets. Sales were 5% higher than a year earlier, and 43% higher than in pre-pandemic 2019.
In the second, Christmas, quarter alone, sales of £478m were 18% up on last time, and 48% higher than in 2019. Some 35% of sales were via digital channels. That’s both two percentage points (pp) up on last year and 14pp up on 2019.
The retailer says it remains on track to deliver full-year profits that are ahead of market expectations of £172m, within a range from £131m to £186m.
Dunelm says that seasonal products including its ‘winter warm’ range proved popular in a strong second quarter as customers looked for ways to mitigate higher heating costs. The second quarter was also boosted by the winter sale, which last year fell in the third quarter of a 53-week year. Six days of sale activity during the quarter pushed growth up by about 4pp.
Dunelm chief executive Nick Wilkinson says: “We have delivered another strong performance and the relevance of Dunelm’s value offering has really come to the fore. Customers have enjoyed shopping our ‘Winter Warm’ ranges as they find innovative ways to manage rising heating costs. Our Christmas assortment also proved popular as customers prepared their homes for the festive period.
“It is a difficult time for many people in our communities, so we were delighted to significantly grow our ‘delivering joy’ campaign this year, resulting in over 60,000 Christmas gifts being donated by customers and colleagues to local causes. We are deeply conscious of the challenges which everyone is facing and remain focussed on making every pound count across our entire offer, so customers can feel confident in receiving outstanding value whatever their budget or taste.”
Commenting, Nicholas Found, senior consultant at Retail Economics says: “Dunelm has outperformed with sales up an outstanding 18% year on year in its second quarter, as it drives a multichannel value proposition in tune with the times. Consumers are turning to energy-saving products such as blankets and heated indoors airers to save on heating bills, which Dunelm marketed well through its Winter Warm ranges.
“Although home-related spend is at risk this year from squeezed discretionary budgets, compared to some mid-market rivals Dunelm is well placed to secure market share. Its established multichannel proposition and value ranges chime with shoppers adopting recessionary behaviours, including scrutinising non-essential spend and switching between normal shopping channels to find the best deals.”
Dunelm sells through 179 superstores, mostly in out-of-town locations, and online. It is a Leading retailer in RXUK Top500 research.