Dunelm reports successful online replatforming and raises profit forecast

Homewares and furniture retailer Dunelm said this week that it had successfully transitioned all of its customers to its new website, following a well-mapped-out eCommerce replatforming.

The business said it now has a “modern, flexible, cloud-native platform” that it plans to leverage to support the development of new customer services and drive more online sales.

It’s an in-house development, built on the technology and intellectual property Dunelm acquired when it bought online retailer Worldstores in 2016. The retailer first announced it was migrating its Dunelm.com site to the new technology platform in September 2018, and it has been working on that process ever since – putting the delivery date back on several occasions.

Based on this week’s announcement, the decision to delay appears to have been the right one.

“Customers have responded well to the new website and we are delighted that during this critical transition period we did not see any adverse impact to our performance, maintaining our strong sales growth both online and in stores,” Dunelm said in a trading statement on Thursday (5 December).

“Gross margins have been stronger than expected as a result of sourcing gains and better sell through. Operational costs remain well controlled and in line with our expectations.”

Over the last two years, Dunelm has been building its technology capability by bringing in more engineering talent to the business and developing new ways of working following a modern software development roadmap.

The Dunelm board said it now anticipates full-year profit before tax will be higher than the company’s previous expectations, “assuming no significant change in consumer demand as a result of the outcome of the general election”.

Dunelm is scheduled to provide a more detailed trading update on 9 January 2020, during a period when many retailers will be announcing their festive trading results.