Dunelm Mill has taken the homewares crown from John Lewis, as analyst Verdict estimates it has secured a 6.9% share of the market, surging from 6.1% in a sector valued at £10.7bn.

How the homewares market is broken down

Despite John Lewis losing its top spot the department store chain is estimated to have advanced its presence from 6.3% to 6.8%.

But, Verdict estimates that with such a narrow margin of 0.2 percentage points between the retailers in 2011, which equated to £18.6m in sales, Dunelm’s performance, which posted a 15.1% pretax profits surge to £96.2m in the year to June 20, has been enough to tip the balance.

Verdict analyst Andrew Stevens says: Dunelm boasts its vast range as a key driver for customers, with examples including Egyptian cotton towels in 30 colors, 246 ready-made curtains, and 105 bedding collections. Combined with high quality value ranges and low priced premium ranges, this has helped Dunelm accelerate through the homewares retailer ranks.

“Moreover, growth has been aided by store openings. The retailer’s space has grown by 67% since 2007, from 82 to 127 high street and out-of-town stores, with a long-term target of 200 stores in total.”

Stevens explains that the store opening programme will continue to help Dunelm gain market share quickly.

“But once it has reached its critical mass of stores, it must focus on like-for-like growth to hold its market-leading position,” he adds.

The top five also includes Argos, Tesco and Asda, which are all battling it out for more market share, although they remain a jump away from the likes of Dunelm and John Lewis.