Dune to open stores to fill department store gaps as profits rise

Dune eyeing store expansion as profits recover after Covid

// Dune returned to profit in its fiscal year ending January 29 as it hailed ‘encouraging’ post-Covid trading
// Retailer is moving ahead with store expansion to fill holes left by Debenhams closure

Dune has returned to profit after an “encouraging” post-Covid recovery as it considers store expansion.

The shoe retailer recorded an EBITDA of £2.9m in the year to January 29, 2022, compared to £9.8m the previous year.

He said many stores were hitting pre-pandemic sales levels with same-store sales up 29.4%, although that was contrasted with a year when store closings were commonplace.

The retailer is now looking to open up more space, especially in places where it previously had department store concessions.

Dune, which had 50 stores and 73 concessions at the end of the year, had 124 concessions the previous year, but was hit by the closure of Debenhams and the transition of its House of Fraser merger from concession to wholesale account.

The retailer said: “We see significant opportunity to grow the Dune London brand and improve profitability through new markets, investing in our e-commerce platforms to make them best in class and having a profitable and expanding UK store base.

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“At the same time, we will manage our costs and cash to improve our position and remain flexible in response to changing conditions.”

In the last fiscal year, it opened six Dune outlet stores, one full-price store, and increased the number of online marketplaces it trades in in its last fiscal year.

Elevate the Dune Brand

Dune achieved a CVA during the year, allowing it to move to revenue-based rents in the majority of its stores, which it said increased the flexibility of its cost base.

The retailer said Covid gave it the opportunity to re-evaluate its strategy and focus on “brand elevating and margin improvement”.

It plans to improve product and brand marketing and provide a “premium customer shopping experience”.

The brand is also expanding its range with the launch of its Dune London children’s range.

During the year, its online sales fell 11.9%, which it said was due to the release of certain brands as it continued its period of brand elevation.

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