Dunelm appoints new chief executive

Homeware chain Dunelm has announced the appointment of Nick Wilkinson as its new chief executive, with effect from February 1.

He succeeds John Browett, who stepped down from the role in early September for personal reasons.

Nick has extensive retail experience across a number of consumer brands, most recently as chief executive of cycling specialist Evans Cycles, a position he held from 2011 to 2016. Prior to this he was chief executive of Maxeda DIY, a €1.4 billion turnover Belgian and Dutch home improvement business, from 2007 to 2010.

Nick received his initial retail training with eight years at Dixons Retail Group from 1999 to 2006, where he was group buying director and managing director of Currys. Nick’s early career was at Unilever and McKinsey & Co. He holds a degree from Cambridge University.

Dunelm chairman Andy Harrison said: “I’m delighted with Nick’s appointment. He brings an excellent retail skill-set with multi-channel experience across a number of consumer sectors and geographies. We are confident that Nick’s proven business leadership and track record will help us to deliver our ambitious plans for growth in market share and creation of substantial value for shareholders.”

Nick added: “I’m very excited to be joining Dunelm, ‘the Home of Homes’. Dunelm has so many strengths, with an excellent customer offering, great people, trusted brands, a leading market position and numerous opportunities for further growth. I’m really looking forward to leading the company into its next exciting chapter.”

Dunelm was founded in 1979 as a market stall business, selling ready-made curtains. The first shop opened in Leicester in 1984. Since then Dunelm has developed into a chain of high street shops and expanded, following the opening of the first Dunelm superstore in 1991, into broader homeware categories.

Dunelm is now a multi-channel retailer, with around 20% of sales generated online. Dunelm.com was launched in 2005 and the company acquired the assets of Worldstores Group, including www.worldstores.co.uk, www.kiddicare.com and www.achica.com, in November 2016. Worldstores is one of the UK’s largest online retailers of products for the home and garden, with over 500,000 products on the site. Achica is a members-only online store offering furniture, homewares and accessories, often at significant discounts to RRPs for limited periods through flash sales. Kiddicare is a multichannel retailer, selling nursery supplies and merchandise for children and young families.

Dunelm bills itself as the market leader in the £12bn UK homeware market and active in the £11bn UK furniture market. It operates 169 stores: 165 are out-of-town superstores and four are located on high streets

The retailer employs 10,000 colleagues and sells around 30,000 product lines in-store, increasing to around 300,000 online. From its textiles heritage (in areas such as bedding, curtains, cushions, quilts and pillows), Dunelm has broadened its offering to include housewares, lighting, seasonal, wall art and rugs.

Dunelm has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since October 2006 (DNLM.L) and has a current market capitalisation of approximately £1.4 billion.

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