StockMarketWire.com - Homewares retailer Dunelm said it had decided to close its stores and warned that it had seen a 'progressively negative impact' on its performance.

Like-for-like sales in the two weeks through 21 March had fallen 8.8% as the Covid-19 pandemic worsened.

Dunelm, however, said its online business continued to grow and in recent days had seen a material increase in demand.

Given the uncertain backdrop, the company said it was not appropriate to give financial guidance for 2020 and beyond.

Dunelm said it was taking actions preserve cash, including reducing capital expenditure and all non-essential operating costs.

It was also using government support to pay employees no longer able to work.

'We are in close contact with our suppliers and are managing our stock requirements in light of latest trading information,' Dunelm said.

'We are also liaising with our landlords to improve our rent payments schedule.'

'Our board of directors have agreed to either waive their non-executive fees or to take a reduction in their executive pay for the next three months.'

'Our cash flows will benefit from the business rates holiday (effective 1 April 2020) and the deferment of VAT and corporation tax payments.'

At 8:33am: [LON:DNLM] Dunelm Group PLC share price was -36.5p at 625p

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