Dunelm has recorded flat LFL revenues (+0.1%) in the quarter ended 30th June 2018, the result of a strong online performance (+41.8%) and weaker physical store footfall, leading to a -4.6% LFL decline in store sales.
Overall revenues declined -1.4% YoY. Whilst Dunelm benefited from a strong store opening programme earlier in the financial year, this was offset by decisions to rationalise the offer across its acquired businesses – Worldstores.co.uk and Kiddicare.com - having divested itself of Achica.com during the previous quarter.
For the year as a whole, the group delivered LFL revenue growth of +4.2% and overall growth of +9.9%.
Dunelm reports that its customer reach continues to grow, with the number of active customers on Dunelm.com up +18% YoY, and store visits up +5%.
With regards to the Worldstores business, Dunelm is completing development of its technology platform prior to migrating the Dunelm.com website onto this platform in the course of the next financial year, which, it says, will enable rapid improvements in its online proposition such as the implementation of click-and-collect functionality. The Kiddicare website, meanwhile, is to be retired in the next quarter, and the baby and child category developed instead under the Dunelm brand.
Although there were no new store openings in the quarter, Dunelm plans to open two new stores (one of which is a relocation) early in the new financial year.
FY profits (before tax and exceptional items) is expected to be approximately £102m (£109.3m in 2017), which includes trading losses related to the Worldstores businesses, estimated at £8.5m. Exceptional charges during the period amounted to £8.9m.
New chief executive, Nick Wilkinson, says: "I am delighted to have joined Dunelm as it gathers pace on the journey to becoming a truly multichannel business. I firmly believe that our homewares authority, combined with our increasing ability to adapt to evolving consumer trends, means that there is very significant potential for growth of the Dunelm brand. We have expanded our customer reach and digital capabilities significantly over the last 12 months and will continue to do so as we exploit the technology assets which we acquired with Worldstores.
"I am excited about the opportunity at Dunelm and look forward to expanding on my plans for the future of this great brand when we announce our FY results in September."