Sales explode as people rush to stores to give their homes a spring makeover

Homeowners were desperate to get out and buy things for their home when the lockdown was lifted, according to home giant Dunelm.

When the latest lockdown lifted last month, sales at its stores increased, he said.

It comes a day after the boss of Topps Tiles said his business had also seen strong sales spikes as lockouts eased.

After announcing a record-breaking end in 2020 – before the last lockdown – Topps chief executive Rob Parker told BusinessLive: “People have fallen in love with their homes again.”

He said the positive outlook from the Bank of England and homeowners keen to continue with the next project after completing the last one was also helping.

In a business update from the past seven weeks, Leicestershire-based Dunelm said sales were up almost 60% from what they were two years ago, before Covid.

He therefore expects earnings to be well ahead of expectations. The company’s shares are up more than 4% this morning to around £ 15.22.

He said, “Sales growth has been very strong since the majority of our stores reopened on April 12, and we continue to see good digital growth in our home delivery and click and pickup channels.

“This strong sales growth reflects the strength of our customer proposition and a variety of other factors, including pent-up demand after extended store closures, a buoyant household goods market and some are taking advantage of the unusually cold spring weather. .

“In the five weeks since the reopening of our stores, we have performed significantly better than the market.

“As a result of this recent performance, the board expects annual profit before tax (PBT) to be well ahead of recent analysts’ expectations.

“While there is still some uncertainty in the near-term outlook, we expect pre-tax profit for the full year to be over £ 148million.”

Last month, Dunelm chief executive Nick Wilkinson said he wanted the chain’s entire 175-store base to be reopened and marketed, despite online sales more than tripling. since the start of the first lockdown.

Russ Mold, chief investment officer at online broker AJ Bell, said Dunelm had joined a growing list of retailers in saying profits were better than expected.

“The reopening of stores after the lockdown appears to have gone very well for many retailers thanks to pent-up demand. Dunelm is certainly one of them, but heed a warning from fashion seller Next that recent business trends are unlikely to be indicative of the rest of the year. This will apply to the entire retail industry, not just Next.

“Put simply, a lot of us have amassed quite a bit of cash during the various lockdowns and we are ready to go on a spending spree. But once that money is gone, spending levels seem almost certain to ease off.

“In addition to this pent-up demand which has boosted trade in recent weeks, Dunelm will also have benefited from bad weather. Bored at home, but with more freedom to get out, consumers have likely ventured into stores with good parking spaces just to pass the time. Dunelm is often located in commercial parks where parking is plentiful.

“The boom in the real estate market will also play on its strengths. People who are moving or renovating their home will find many reasons to source household items from Dunelm.

“However, there is an underlying feeling that Dunelm will have to profit from the surge in sales as long as it lasts because it cannot last forever.”

Dunelm was founded in 1979 by Bill and Jean Adderley, selling ready-made curtains in the Leicester market.

The first store opened in Leicester in 1984 and over the following years the company grew into a successful chain of stores before expanding into larger housewares after the first opened. Dunelm supermarket in 1991.

Based out of a business park near the county town of Syston, it is now the UK’s £ 14bn household goods market leader and has a £ 12bn share of the UK furniture market.

Most of its stores are now in business parks outside of town and the company employs around 10,000 people and sells around 50,000 product lines, including exclusive brands and own brands such as Dorma. and Fogarty.

It was listed on the London Stock Exchange in October 2006 and has a current market capitalization of around £ 3 billion.

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