Early Easter boosts Dunelm quarterly sales

Kasmira Jefford
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HOME furnishings retailer Dunelm reported a strong rise in underlying quarterly revenue, thanks to a later end to its winter sale and an earlier Easter than in 2012.

The Leicester-based group,which sells items such as bedding, curtains, kitchenware and lighting at mostly out-of-town locations, said like-for-like sales grew by 5.2 per cent in the 13 weeks to 30 March.

It benefitted from having the Good Friday shopping day in the period without the Easter Sunday, when large shops are forced to close.

Total revenue for the third quarter grew by 15.4 per cent, benefitting from three store openings in the period.

This will take the total number of store openings for the full financial year to 14. Dunelm now has 126 superstores, compared to its target of “full national coverage” estimated at 200 superstores.

The family-run business, which began life in 1979 as a market-stall business selling ready-made curtains, said it was on track to create a significantly larger distribution centre for online sales in the summer of 2013.

Chief executive Nick Wharton warned that sales growth will be tougher to achieve in the last quarter against tougher 2012 comparatives.