Dunelm boss John Browett has left the homewares retailer after just over two years at the helm.

John Browett has joined Dunelm

The group said that Browett would step down immediately due to “personal reasons” but added that while the retailer had made good progress during his tenure, the “next phase of growth require[s] different leadership”.

Browett said: “I am pleased to have led the development of Dunelm over the last few years and feel that we have achieved much in a challenging retail environment.

“It is, however, time to move onto a new challenge, and I am looking forward to the next chapter of my career.”

Before joining Dunelm in 2015, the former Dixons chief executive spent just seven months as senior vice president of retail at Apple and two years as boss of Monsoon Accessorize.

The search for Browett’s successor is now under way.

Dunelm Chairman Andy Harrison, deputy chairman Will Adderley and chief financial officer Keith Down will lead the business in the interim.

Plans and performance

Harrison said: “I would like to thank John for his contribution to the business and the strategic progress made under his leadership, most notably the exciting acquisition of Worldstores.

“Dunelm remains the market leader in homewares and we have ambitious and profitable growth plans to continue building the UK’s biggest and best multichannel homewares retailer.

“We have a strong executive team in place to make this happen, and the board remains confident in the group’s future prospects.”

Dunelm added that current trading was good with an “encouraging like-for-like sales performance”.

The homewares business suffered at its last half-year with pre-tax profits slipping 26%.

Total sales climbed 2.8% to £460.5m during the period, but increased at the slower rate of 1% to £452.4m when stripping out the five weeks of Worldstores trading post-acquisition.

Dunelm said total like-for-like sales, including its online business, slipped 1.6% during the period.