Total sales in Q1 grew £96.5m YoY to £359.1m, reports Dunelm in a trading update covering the 13-week period ended 26th September 2020.

At the start of September, the retailer announced that trading in the first two months of the financial year were ahead of expectations, and this trend continued, with the final month of the quarter also proving strong, and growth delivered both online and in-store.

Since year-end, Dunelm has opened two stores (both relocations) in Sunderland and Clydebank, and has continued to refine and add functionality to its digital offering and platform, with new customer features such as product recommendations and 'track my order', as well as increased capacity in home delivery fulfilment and warehousing ahead of peak trading. 

CEO Nick Wilkinson says: "We are really pleased with our very strong performance in the first quarter, with customers responding well to the Dunelm offer across all product categories, both in-store and online.

"Recent months have seen homewares become even more relevant, as people spend more time in their homes up and down the country. Our colleagues and suppliers have worked really hard to ensure our value-focused, market-leading proposition resonates with customers. The strength in trading at this early point in the year is testament to their exceptional commitment and adaptability.

"While we remain cautious about the continued uncertainty in the wider market, the resilience and flexibility of our business model leaves us well positioned as we enter our peak trading period and we remain confident in our ability to grow market share and help even more customers create a home they love."

Dunelm has pledged to repay the money it received from the Government under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme earlier this year (totalling £14.5m), "provided there is no further material Covid-19-related impact during the winter months".