Housewares stockist Dunelm reports that its total sales for the 13-week period ending 26 December 2020 were up 11.8%. This was despite the retailer’s classification as a non-essential retailer leading to store closures during the period.
The majority of Dunelm stores closed for a four week period during November, while Welsh stores were closed for a 16-day period from mid-October and many stores were again impacted by further regional restrictions implemented towards the end of December.
However, the chain highlights strong demand for homewares, with stores performing ‘ahead of the market’ when open.
Dunelm’s online home delivery business has more than doubled since the same period last year, with enhanced digital capabilities. Click & Collect has remained popular with customers, now equating to an average of 30% of prior year comparable store sales during periods of closure.
Dunelm acknowledges the problems with the supply of goods from Asia (disrupted by port operations and global container shortages during the quarter) but states that ‘typical delays are now only 2-3 weeks’. The retailer expects to rebuild stock levels during the second half of the year.
Commenting on the strong performance and looking ahead, Nick Wilkinson, Dunelm’s chief executive officer said: “We enter 2021 with further restrictions and our primary focus remains the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers across the business.
“Beyond this near term uncertainty, we’ve never felt more confident about the future. Our scalable proposition combines an in-store and digital offer, which, with agile technology, we will continue to develop at pace. As our homes play an increasingly important role for all of us, we are well placed to build even closer relationships with our customers and extend our market leadership.”
Top: Dunelm is ‘well placed’ for the future.