Dunelm fall on their soft cushions

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Soft furnishings retailer Dunelm, which has a store in Cheltenham, has reported a sharp fall in profits in its last financial year.

For the full-year period ending July 1, Dunelm recorded a 28.3 per cent fall in pre-tax profit to £92.4 million. Dunelm chairman Andy Harrison said: “Dunelm has made good strategic progress over the year, most notably with the acquisition of Worldstores, which moves us closer to our goal of being the biggest and best multichannel homewares retailer in the UK.

“Over the medium-term we are aiming to double our sales to £2 billion, with 30%-40% from our increasingly important online channel. “The Worldstores acquisition provides a step change in our online scale, product range and capability. Our reported profit for the year reflects an investment of nearly £28m in the acquisition. The integration is going well and we remain confident in the benefits that it will generate. Mr Harrison added: “We expect the trading climate to remain challenging with the disposable income of UK consumers under pressure. “Nevertheless, we have a full programme of management actions underway to further improve the Dunelm customer proposition, both online and in-store, increase our business efficiency and support our colleagues. “Sales in the first two months of the new financial year have started positively, with good like-for-like sales boosted by favourable weather comparatives. “We expect to open a total of eight new stores in the first half of the year of which four are already open.”