Published on 14 - April - 2011
New stores boost sales at Dunelm, but like-for-likes dip 1.3%Homewares retailer Dunelm Mill has reported a 1.3% decline in like-for-like sales for its third financial quarter.
However, total sales increased 9.4% to £139m thanks to the opening of two new stores during the 13 weeks to April 2. The group also gained market share on a like-for-like basis during the period.
Gross margin also increased by approximately 150bps compared with the third quarter last year, said the report, thanks to strong margin management during the January sale period and passing cost price increases on to the consumer.
However, the company predicts price pressures and inflation rises will continue over the coming months, meaning the current rate of gross margin increase is "unlikely to be maintained".
Chief executive Nick Wharton said: "Against strong prior year comparatives and difficult trading conditions, it is pleasing to see the continued growth of our business through new stores and a further strengthening of our market position through share gains. We have maintained our disciplined approach to the management of gross margin and operating costs.
"Looking forward, although we expect the consumer environment to remain very challenging, we are confident of delivering further growth thanks to the strength of our proposition, the launch of new and refitted stores and our multichannel developments."
Dunelm opened two new superstores during the quarter in Scarborough and Truro and is contractually committed to open ten further stores, one of which will open in the final quarter of the current financial year.
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