Homewares retailer Dunelm has said its financial performance for the year is ahead of expectation as post-lockdown sales soar.

In a brief trading update to the City this morning, Dunelm said sales leapt 59% in July, due to “pent-up demand” from customers following the closure of its store estate during lockdown. 

It also credited the timing of its summer sale for “strong” trading in August, which saw like-for-like sales grow 24%. 

Dunelm said the sales uptick “reflects the strength of our proposition within a resilient homewares market, positive footfall growth to our mainly out-of-town superstores and continued strong growth in our home-delivery offer”.

The retailer said that despite the uncertainty in the market due to the ongoing pandemic, its performance was “materially ahead of our initial expectations”.

Despite the volatility due to the “wider economy and the potential impact of further regional or national lockdowns”, Dunelm said it was “confident in our ability to adapt to the environment and are well positioned to continue to grow market share”.

The latest update is positive news for the homewares giant, which had reported flagging sales despite significant online growth in July. 

Sales in its fourth quarter slumped 29% due to store closures, while online sales almost doubled during the 16 weeks to June 27, rocketing 85%.

Dunelm closed its stores and online operations on March 24, but has reopened all of its shops in phases over the past three months with social distancing measures in place.

The retailer is due to publish its preliminary results on September 10.