Dunelm has issued a profit warning after experiencing “trading conditions materially more challenging than expected”.
Dunelm reported that in a “soft” homewares market and after a fall in shopper visits, store like-for-likes have slid 4.7% in the fourth quarter to date, which began April 1.
Online like-for-likes through Dunelm.com have risen 43.7%, but the homewares and furniture specialist expects underlying profits for the year to be “moderately below” the £109.3m achieved last year.
Dunelm chief executive Nick Wilkinson said: “We have seen an unexpectedly challenging start to the fourth quarter, with continuing softness in the homewares market and reduced footfall to our stores.
“We are making good progress on our strategic plans to be a truly multichannel retailer and further strengthen our customer offer.
“We will learn from recent trading and I remain optimistic about our ability to deliver strong sales and profit growth in the future.”
Dunelm anticipates total sales for the full year will come in at just over £1bn – about 10% ahead of last year – and said it was “on track to achieve strong gross margin growth” from fourth-quarter trading.
Other furniture and homewares retailers have also been suffering in tough market conditions. Carpetright launched a CVA, while Ikea has abandoned plans for a new superstore in Preston and pre-tax profits nosedived nearly 40%.