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Dunelm sees quarterly sales jump

Dunelm PalaisInteriors retailer Dunelm has seen an almost double-digit rise in like for like sales in the past quarter.

The chain said like for like store sales were 6.5% higher and online like for like sales 46.2% higher, resulting in a 9.3% increase in the 13 weeks to 30 September.
Total sales rose by £49.2m to £247.9m helped by £10.3m from new stores and £20.7m from its Worldstores acquisition.
‘We have maintained the good momentum from the final quarter of the last financial year. Our like-for-like sales were boosted by favourable weather comparatives and, pleasingly, we continue to outperform the homewares market, with strong growth across the business, especially online,’ said Andy Harrison, Dunelm chairman.
‘The integration of the Worldstores business continues on plan, with good progress in the quarter. We are well on the way to becoming a genuine multi-channel retailer, with 16% of sales in the quarter online (19% including reserve and collect).
‘We head into the second quarter having opened a number of new stores and with an improved seasonal offer for the Christmas period, which we're sure will resonate well with customers.
‘Our group gross margin in the quarter was in line with our expectations, being 220bps lower than last year for two reasons. Firstly, the mix effect of the addition of lower margin Worldstores sales reduced gross margin by 120bps. In addition, as previously highlighted, our focus on newness in our latest ranges and the planned higher seasonal sales mix impacted margins in the quarter by 100bps; this is not expected to continue. For the full year we expect the Dunelm gross margin, combining store and online, to be in line with the prior year. The group (including Worldstores) margin will be down slightly reflecting the mix effect of Worldstores.’
Five stores were opened in the quarter, increasing the number to 165, and another five, including a relocation, will open before the end of 2017.