Homewares retailer Dunelm is poised to launch its first national TV ad campaign as part of a £3m marketing overhaul which will see it dropping ‘Mill’ from its branding.

Dunelm will launch what its chief executive Nick Wharton called the retailer’s first “meaningful trial of TV advertising” in October.

Wharton said it is the first “brand building” campaign Dunelm has launched, and will be based on “lifestage moments for our customers”, such as people buying their first home.

It is a departure for Dunelm, its previous local TV campaigns have comprised 10 second price-focused ads featuring a “call to action”.  “The new ad is more inspirational and engaging,” said Wharton. “We want to communicate ourselves to a broad audience that our product offer is incredibly strong and the best value for money.”

Two 30-second ads will be tested in the South West, the Midlands and the North – regions that cover 90 of Dunelm’s 126 super stores. Wharton said if the pilot proves successful the retailer will roll the ad out nationally in the spring.

“It’s quite a statement of confidence we have in our proposition,” said Wharton.  

Dunelm will also rebrand all its stores and marketing communications from ‘Dunelm Mill’ to ‘Dunelm’ as part of the changes. It will also introduce ‘There’s no place like Dunelm’ as its new strapline.

“It’s an evolution of our branding communications,” said Wharton. “We’re making sure it maintains pace with our development as the market leader.”

The retailer is also aiming to ramp up its multichannel offer, which represents 4% of sales currently. “We’re not at the level of participation we should be at, and we’re excited about that opportunity,” said Wharton.

Dunelm will open a new web-only fulfilment centre “which will give us a stronger delivery proposition” to get on the “next leg of growth”, according to Wharton.  

The centre will be opened in Birmingham by the end of the calendar year. It will enable all online product to be available for next day delivery. Standard delivery will be three days quicker than previously.

The retailer is also “completely redesigning the website”, ploughing £4m-£5m into a new platform which will launch in the spring. Wharton said the relaunched website will feature a “slicker customer experience” with spinning images, video and improved personalisation.

Dunelm yesterday reported a pre-tax profit rise of 12.3% to £109.1m. Sales increased 12.2% to £677.2m while like-for-like sales were up 1.7% in the year to June 29.

However, the retailer said its current trading had been hit by the hot weather since year end.

Wharton said Dunelm remained “very confident about the strategy we have in place”, which focuses on store expansion, multichannel and the communication of the brand.

He was more cautious on the outlook at the macro-economic level. He said that while there may be “some” confidence coming back to the customer, “we’re early on that journey”.