Dunelm boss John Browett is targeting more London stores for the homewares retailer and has not ruled out trying to acquire Argos sites.
Retail veteran Browett, who took the reins officially at Dunelm last month, told Retail Week: “We know our offer works really well in London as it’s a city of 10 million affluent people.
”Our highest sales densities are in our London stores.”
Dunelm, which today reported a 10.7% rise in half-year pre-tax profits, has 151 UK shops but is aiming for 200 nationally.
London is a key target, where the retailer has eight shops within the M25.
He added that 200 stores is the right number in the “post-internet” age and that he is a “strong believer” in multichannel.
However, online sales only account for about 10% of Dunelm revenues.
In its half-year Dunelm reported a 3.4% rise in store like-for-likes, but experienced a slight slowdown in its second quarter. Browett blamed discounting in the market and mild weather in November and December for the drop off.
“We like colder, wetter weather,” he said. “We find customers are more likely to shop for homewares in inclement weather.”
Browett became chief executive designate last July, before officially replacing Will Adderley last month. Adderley was acting as interim after former boss Nick Wharton quit the business.