October 11, 2018 / 6:29 AM / 2 months ago

Dunelm posts flat quarterly revenue, cautious on consumer spending

(Reuters) - Home furnishings retailer Dunelm Group (DNLM.L) on Thursday reported flat first-quarter revenue after it withdrew from the Worldstores business, and said it was cautious about customer uncertainty and market levels.

Dunelm, which invested heavily in its online business by buying Worldstores.co.uk among others in 2016, found it hard to integrate the platforms into its own offering and divested Achica.com and shut down some others to stay competitive.

The company said like-for-like sales at its stores grew by 1.3 percent in the first quarter, but fell 0.4 percent excluding a benefit from tablet-based sales for home deliveries.

Like-for-like sales through Dunelm’s online channels grew 33.3 percent from a low base as it focused on a single website.

Dunelm, which operates 169 super stores with over 30,000 products and three high-street stores, said revenue was nearly flat at 248.2 million pounds in the quarter ended Sept. 29.

Recent surveys showed British consumers were worried about Brexit. Most furniture items are seen as a discretionary “big ticket” purchases and the fall in the value of the pound and a squeeze on wages have led Britons to cut back on non-essential items.

The hottest summer in decades has also stopped Britons from making shopping runs, instead going to parks and beaches and hosting barbecues.

Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Gopakumar Warrier

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