Dunelm chief executive steps down

Dunelm chief executive John Browett has stepped down for personal reasons, with immediate effect.

The chairman of the homeware chain Andy Harrison said: “I would like to thank John for his contribution to the business and the strategic progress made under his leadership, most notably the exciting acquisition of Worldstores.”

The company acquired the assets of Worldstores, including Achica and Kiddicare, 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.

Andy added: “We will immediately start a search for John’s replacement and, in the meantime, I will provide interim executive leadership, supported by Will Adderley, our deputy chairman, and Keith Down, our CFO.

“Dunelm remains the market leader in homeware and we have ambitious and profitable growth plans to continue building the UK’s biggest and best multi-channel homeware retailer. We have a strong executive team in place to make this happen, and the board remains confident in the group’s future prospects.

John commented: “I’m pleased to have led the development of Dunelm over the last few years and feel that we have achieved much in a challenging retail environment. It is, however, time to move onto a new challenge, and I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my career.”

Dunelm will announce its financial results for the year ending July 1 on September 13 which, it says, will be in line with its trading update issued on July 7. At that time, Dunelm anticipated that pre-exceptional profit before tax for the 52 weeks ending July 1 would be in the range of £109.0m – £111.0m.

Trading in the first two months of the new financial year has started positively, Dunelm added, with an encouraging like-for-like sales performance.

Dunelm bills itself as the market leader in the £11bn UK homeware market. It operates 163 stores, of which 159 are out-of-town superstores and 4 are located on high streets, and an online store at www.dunelm.com. Its superstore format provides an average of 30,000sq ft of selling space with over 35,000 products across a broad spectrum of categories, from home textiles (bedding, curtains, cushions, quilts and pillows) to homeware including kitchenware and dining, lighting, wall art, furniture and rugs.

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