The tills were certainly ringing on high at Dunelm in the run up to Christmas. The retailer enjoyed a record festive quarter, ringing up sales of £407m between October and December, with homewares among the winning product sectors.
“Our performance demonstrates the growing appeal of our homewares offer and includes some standout contributions from our furniture and seasonal categories,” commented Dunelm’s ceo Nick Wilkinson.
He highlighted that integrated physical and digital shopping experience has transformed since the company launched a new digital platform in October 2019, enabling Dunelm to reach more customers with its brand and specialist homewares product range, while also providing a much improved customer experience. “Our digital platform and capabilities also give us more confidence and ambition for the future,” he stated.
Commenting on retail in general last month, Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said that despite the recent Omicron outbreak, sales held up through December.
“In the face of rising case numbers and supply chain issues, people in retail pulled out all the stops to ensure everyone got what they wanted this Christmas.”
Helen continued: “Retailers did well to weather the challenging trade conditions, with retail sales for 2021 up on both the previous year and compared to pre-pandemic levels. Continuing a trend throughout the pandemic towards online shopping, 2021 saw a double digit rise in non-food online sales, a testament to retailers’ huge investments in their online platforms.”
Nevertheless, she warns that retail faces significant “head winds” in 2022, as consumer spending is held back by rising inflation, increasing energy bills and April’s National Insurance hike. “It will take continued agility and resilience if they are to battle the storm ahead, while also tackling issues from labour shortages to rising transport and logistics costs.”
Top: Dunelm enjoyed a record Christmas.