• Total like-for-likes in third quarter up 1.1% 
  • Total sales up 5.9% to £229m
  • Boss John Browett says it has “enjoyed a good Easter”

Dunelm has reported a 1.1% increase in third-quarter like-for-likes as its winter Sale helped it recover from tough conditions over the season.

Total sales in the 13 weeks to April 2 rose 5.9% to £229m, the homewares retailer said today.

Like-for-like store sales slipped 0.8% to £187m as the figures included six less days of its winter Sale compared with last year.

However, total like-for-likes, including home delivery, climbed to £204.9m. Dunelm said it was boosted by strong footfall in stores, driven by its winter Sale performance, and higher transaction values.

Home delivery sales jumped 27.6% to £17.9m.

Chief executive John Browett said: “We are pleased with the strong underlying sales growth during the last quarter following the unhelpful, mild conditions experienced in the second quarter. Overall we continue to increase our homewares market share.”

On recent trading, he added: “We have enjoyed a good Easter, are looking forward to a successful final quarter and are confident of achieving our expectations for the full year.”

Dunelm trades from 152 superstores and expects to open two more stores before the end of June, with five more planned openings in the next financial year.

Browett told Retail Week that Dunelm is targeting a total of 200 stores. “The remaining 50 or so will mostly be in London and the Southeast,” he said, adding that he is confident about finding space in retail parks around the North and South Circular.

“We’ve just opened a store in High Wycombe, which is working very well; it’s going to take nearly double the amount of sales we were expecting.”

Browett acknowledged that Homebase’s exit from the homewares market represents an opportunity for Dunelm.

“It’s always good to have competition, but interesting that they’ve exited the category and this will be an opportunity for us,” he said.

Homebase, which was acquired by Australian retail group Wesfarmers in March, is set to come out of the homewares market as it is rebranded under the Bunnings fascia.