Sales rise at Dunelm but spending ‘remains under pressure’

The boss of Dunelm has said consumer spending “remains under pressure” despite the homewares retailer revealing growth over the past quarter.

Shares in Dunelm Group dipped in early trading after the company highlighted the “challenging sales environment”.

The retailer told investors on Thursday that sales grew by 3% to £435 million over the 13 weeks to March 30, with growth accelerating from the previous quarter.

Nick Wilkinson, chief executive officer of the Leicester-based firm, said: “We have delivered a resilient performance in Q3, with continued volume-based sales growth through a period of more challenging and volatile market conditions.

“Whilst discretionary spend remains under pressure, our relevant and attractive product offer continues to resonate with customers as they shop across our broad ranges to find quality and value for all areas of the home.”

Portloe Woven Gingham Green Duvet Cover & Pillowcase Set, Dunelm
Dunelm has 183 shops across the UK (Dunelm/PA)

Dunelm said it was supported by a rise in sales volumes, with shoppers purchasing more products as inflation across the sector eases.

However, it added that the homeware and furniture markets continue to be “challenging”.

“As has been widely reported, trading conditions have continued to be volatile with March in particular seeing softer levels of demand,” the company said.

Dunelm said trading for the year is set to be in line with targets for the year, but expects full-year profit margins to be ahead of guidance as it manages the potential impact of extra shipping costs linked to disruption in the Red Sea.

The retailer, which has 183 UK stores, also pointed towards “signs that the outlook for UK consumers may be easing in some areas”.

Mr Wilkinson added: “Looking ahead, we are excited about strengthening our customer offer, and the breadth of growth opportunities this presents.

“Consumer behaviour continues to be difficult to predict, however we remain confident in our ability to navigate current conditions whilst delivering further sustainable growth and market share gains.”