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Dune sales driven by eCommerce growth, but profit hit

Footwear retailer Dune group has reported sales of £149.9 million for the 12-month period to 27 January 2018 – an increase of 5.9% year on year – but profit declined by £2.6 million.

An accounts statement posted on Companies House indicated that eCommerce sales were the principal factor behind the overall revenue increase, with the digital part of the business now accounting for 35% of retail sales within the UK and Europe.

Dune said profit was hit because of sterling pressures, and the general increase in cost of retailing, which includes growing business rates, National Living Wage costs, and Apprenticeship Levy commitments. Dune also spend £1.5 million more on brand marketing in 2017 than it did the year before.

Daniel Rubin, founder and chairman of the retailer, said in the statement the business is “continuing to invest in technology in order to further improve our digital proposition." He also said the organisation is making progress to create “a single customer view," which it expects will provide more personalised and efficient customer interactions.

EBITDA decreased 17.3% to £9.7 million, and the retailer used the account filing to highlight the “well-documented structural issues” surrounding several department store chains in which it operates concessions. House of Fraser and Debenhams are key partners for Dune, and the footwear business said it continues to “work closely with our partners to optimise our trading performance and manage our risk in the event of store closures” – but many brands have felt an impact from the department store troubles.

Dune has also made several internal changes recently which it believes will help provide more joined-up thinking across its departments.

Through the recent development of a data and customer insights team, which the eCommerce, marketing and visual merchandising teams all feed into, the retailer hopes to ensure all parts of its operations are aligned and following a common goal.

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