Dunelm has revealed it enjoyed sales growth over Christmas thanks to surge in online demand, while also appointing a new non-executive director.
In the furniture retailer’s trading update for its second quarter ending December 26, total sales grew 11.8 per cent to £360.4 million despite the majority of its store estate being closed in November due to the second national lockdown in England.
Its Welsh stores were also closed for a 16-day period from mid-October, while many Dunlem stores in other parts of the UK were affected by regional restrictions for much of December.
However, Dunelm said demand for homewares was still high, and online sales accounted for 40 per cent of its total sales.
Dunelm now expects pre-tax profit for the first half of its financial year to be around £112 million.
“Our strong performance continued into the second quarter, whilst we adapted to the various restrictions and resulting store closures across our estate,” chief executive Nick Wilkinson said.
“We enter 2021 with further restrictions and our primary focus remains the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers across the business.”
Looking ahead, Dunelm was unable to provide a full-year forecast and said the outlook remained uncertain given the lack of clarity on when the latest UK-wide lockdowns would end and its shops could reopen.
“Beyond this near term uncertainty, we’ve never felt more confident about the future,” Wilkinson said.
“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.”
Dunelm also used its trading update to announce the appointment of Arja Taaveniku as a non-executive director.
Due to join the board on February 15, she will be also be member of the retailer’s audit and risk, remuneration and nominations committees.
Taaveniku worked with Ikea from 1989 to 2012, with her most recent role there being global business director.
Between 2012 and 2015, she was chief executive of Ikano Group and more recently worked with Kingfisher as acting chief executive of its Kingfisher International Products subsidiary.