Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 1319C
Dunelm Group plc
15 October 2020

15 October 2020

Dunelm Group plc


First quarter trading update


Dunelm Group plc ("Dunelm" or "the Group"), the UK's leading homewares retailer, reports on trading for the 13-week period ended 26 September 2020.


Q1 FY21

Q1 FY20



Total sales





Digital % total sales1






1 Digital includes home delivery, Click & Collect (previously Reserve & Collect) and tablet-based selling in store




Total sales in the quarter were £359.1m, an increase of £96.5m year over year, as we continue to win market share in a buoyant homewares market. We announced at the start of September that trading in the first two months of the financial year had been materially ahead of our initial expectations. This trend has continued, with the final month of the quarter also being very strong. We have delivered meaningful growth across our total retail system, with online (home delivery) sales growth continuing at the levels previously reported, and strong growth in stores.


Gross margin


Gross margin increased by 100bps compared to Q1 FY20, mainly due to a lower proportion of discounted sales, reflecting strong demand, as well as sourcing improvements. For the full year, we expect gross margin to be slightly positive year over year, barring any material further impacts as a result of Covid-19 related disruption or restrictions.


Financial position

Net cash was £175.2m as at 26 September 2020 (FY20: net debt £24.0m). As previously highlighted, the FY20 cash position benefited from approximately £80m of exceptional working capital inflows. As at the end of the first quarter, only a small proportion of those working capital inflows had reversed and additionally the cash balance was flattered by the timing of the September month end payment run of approximately £60m, which was paid at the start of the second quarter.


Operations and strategic update

We continue to monitor the current guidance relating to Covid-19 carefully, with colleague and customer safety being our priority. At the time of writing, we have not experienced any significant disruption from the various regional restrictions that have been introduced across the country; however, we recognise that the situation remains dynamic with a number of ongoing risks and uncertainties. We remain focused on ensuring that our stores and operations provide a safe and welcoming environment.

Since year-end, we have opened two new stores, both of which are relocations, in Sunderland and Clydebank. As well as improving our customer experience, we continue to make progress on reducing the impact of our store estate on the environment, with both stores being heated by efficient heating systems powered by 100% renewable electricity. The stores are fully LED-illuminated, in line with the rest of the estate.

We continued to refine and add functionality to our digital offering and platform during the quarter, with new customer features such as product recommendations and 'track my order'. We have also increased capacity in home delivery fulfilment and warehousing ahead of our peak trading season.

As a result of the recent strength in performance, the Board has decided that it will repay the monies received under the Job Retention Scheme ("JRS") in FY20, provided there is no further material Covid-19 related impact during the winter months. The JRS claims for FY20 totalled £14.5m. As noted previously, we have not claimed any monies under the JRS in FY21 and will not claim the JRS "bonus" announced by the Chancellor.



The homewares market continues to be resilient and we are materially outperforming the market. Trading in the first quarter was significantly ahead of our expectations and current trading remains very robust.


However, given the significant uncertainty relating to further Covid-19 restrictions and the implications for the economic outlook, at this early point in the financial year, the range of potential outcomes for FY21 is unusually wide and we are therefore unable to provide any meaningful guidance.


Whilst acknowledging the potential macro headwinds, we remain confident that the strength of our proposition, coupled with the skills and commitment of our colleagues, will enable us to successfully navigate the months ahead.


Comment from Nick Wilkinson, Dunelm's Chief Executive Officer: 

"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."


For further information please contact:


Dunelm Group plc

Nick Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer

Laura Carr, Chief Financial Officer



MHP Communications

07585 301464 / 07710 032657



Simon Hockridge / Rachel Mann / Pete Lambie


Next scheduled event:

Dunelm will release its second quarter trading update on 14 January 2021. The half year results announcement will be on 10 February 2021.


Quarterly analysis:

52 weeks to 26 June 2021








Total sales


Total LFL growth2


Total Group growth


Gross margin improvement



52 weeks to 27 June 2020








Total sales








Total LFL growth2








Total Group growth








Gross margin improvement









2 Total LFL: LFL stores and online (home delivery). LFL stores are those stores trading for at least one full financial year prior to 27 June 2020 without any significant change of space. LFL store revenues include Click & Collect / Reserve & Collect sales and home delivery sales in respect of orders placed via in-store tablets


Notes to Editors


Dunelm was founded in 1979 as a market stall business, selling ready-made curtains. The first shop was opened in Leicester in 1984 and over the following years the business developed into a successful chain of high street shops before expanding, following the opening of the first Dunelm superstore in 1991, into broader homewares categories. Dunelm is now a multi-channel retailer, with being launched in 2005.


Dunelm is market leader in the £14bn UK homewares market and active in the £12bn UK furniture market. It currently operates 173 stores, of which the majority are out-of-town, and trades online through Dunelm employs approximately 10,000 colleagues and sells approximately 50,000 product lines (including store and online exclusives).


Dunelm, "The Home of Homes", offers a customer proposition of style, value, quality and ease of shopping. From its textiles heritage, in areas such as bedding, curtains, cushions, quilts and pillows, Dunelm has broadened its product range to a complete homewares offer including the likes of kitchenware, dining, lighting, seasonal, wall art and rugs. Dunelm is one of the few national retailers to offer an authoritative selection of curtain fabrics on the roll and owns a specialist UK facility dedicated to producing made-to-measure curtains and blinds.


The product range includes many exclusive, own brand designs and owned premium brands such as Dorma and Fogarty. This is augmented by a range of other well-known brands and licence agreements.


Dunelm has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since October 2006 (DNLM.L) and has a current market capitalisation of approximately £3.2bn.

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