Dunelm is a homewares retailer that trades through a network of more than 170 stores, all but a handful of which are superstores in out-of-town locations.

The business has been transformed as a result of the acquisition of the Worldstores group - comprising the Worldstores, Achica and Kiddicare etail brands - towards the end of 2016, in an £8.5m deal which more than doubled the size of its online business.

The main benefit from the acquisition has been the access to technology and digital development capabilities.

It sold the Achica brand, which did not fit with the Dunelm model, in 2018 and incorporated the other two businesses into Dunelm.com, with the dedicated Kiddicare and Worldstores websites closed down.

The retailer confirmed in late 2019 that it had successfully transitioned all of its customers to its new digital platform, completing the three-year technology transformation programme. This has enabled the retailer to launch click and collect and improve its delivery options, which along with its new digital capabilities, have been critical in allowing Dunelm to meet the surge in online demand during the coronavirus pandemic-enforced lockdown period.

Pre-tax profit climbed to £157.8m in FY2020, from £109.1m the previous year,  as the retailer continued to  focus on being its ”customers’ 1st choice for home”. It achieved an 11.8% pre-tax profit margin as its low cost operating model continues to underpin the business. Group sales increased 26.3%, driven by strong digital sales growth.

Innovation rating: 3

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