Dunelm is a business which generally slips under the radar. Its stores are out of town and never likely to open in the City or West End – the locations which so often represent the commentators’ radar. And homewares is not a market to very often set the pulse racing. Dunelm is actually an outstanding retailer and its consistently good results reflect a very well-run business which knows its market and what it wants. Sales of £730m and a net margin of 15.9% underline its quality. The company also announced that its CEO Nick Wharton is stepping down, having done a great job over the past 4 years or so. It appears that his strategic direction was deemed to be too cautious. He will be replaced by Will Adderley, part of the founding family and himself formerly CEO. He has been Executive Vice Chairman for 4 years.
Intriguingly Will’s father Bill, who founded Dunelm, acquired an equity stake of just over 3% in M&S in October last year. This represented a much needed vote of confidence for Marc Bolland who was under substantial pressure at the time.