History

Dunelm Today

Today, Dunelm is the market leader in the £11bn UK homewares market. With over 140 stores across the country and further product ranges through our online store dunelm.com, the company has come a long way from its early market stall beginnings.

Dunelm is a fast paced business with entrepreneurialism at its core. Despite the difficulties of a recession, Dunelm has bucked the trend and continued to record significant growth over the last 5 years in both turnover and store retail space.

Dunelm is built around the strong relationships we have with people. This is not just with our customers, who always come first, not just our suppliers, many of whom have supported us from the very beginning - but also our c9,000 colleagues, whose hard work and commitment has made our business such a success story. A success story that you too could be part of.

Where did we come from?

1979

From its humble roots on a market stall in Leicester, it all started 30 years ago when Bill and Jean Adderley began trading in home textiles. As a former manager at Woolworth’s, Bill was confident he could make it on his own and began successfully selling seconds from the top retailers, fulfilling his lifetime ambition of being his own boss.

1984

As the market stalls began to grow in size and popularity in the Midlands, after 5 years of trading it became clear that a permanent premises would be needed. In 1984, the first bricks and mortar Dunelm Mill store was opened in Churchgate, Leicester.

Below is a picture of one of our early stores.

1988

10 years in and with momentum growing, our first Flagship store was opened in Leicester, East Street, offering warehouse facilities for expansion across the region.

1991

The first superstore opened in Rotherham having secured valuable suppliers providing brands such as Dorma, which the company would later go on to acquire.

1996

Having manned the tills from the age of 9, Bill’s son Will had watched his parents’ company grow into adulthood alongside him. It was no surprise, therefore, that Will would be appointed CEO of the company in 1996, the ideal man to follow in his father’s footsteps.

1999-2001

Under Will Adderley’s direction, Dunelm Mill was quickly becoming a household name in the Midlands. After 20 years of running the business from a shop in Loughborough, it was time for us to open our first head office in Syston, Leicestershire in 1999. In the following years, the acquisition of a small Custom Made Curtains business would mark the start of our now nationwide Made to Measure service.

2002-2004

2002 would become a landmark year for the company as we opened our 50th store alongside a new central warehouse in Burton. Over the following few years, the company would continue to open stores at a rate of 10 a year!

2006

In 2006, as we opened our 80th store, Dunelm Mill was floated on the London Stock Exchange marking the beginning of a new era for the company. Shortly followed by the introduction of dunelm-mill.com, 2006 represented a huge leap forward for the business.

2008

In 2008, the company acquired the worldwide rights, including Royal Warrants, to the Dorma brand – one of our most valued brands today.

2009-2010

The company celebrated its 30th Birthday in 2009 and, showing just how far the business had come in those years, opened our 100th store a year later.

2013

Perhaps the biggest change in the company’s history; in 2013 we dropped the ‘Mill’ and were rebranded to Dunelm – the name that our customers have been calling us for years.

2014

With 6 new stores opened already this year and more on the horizon, Dunelm has grown from a small family market stall in to the number 1 homeware retailer in the UK market today. But as ever, in the words of Bill Adderley, ‘there’s always more work to be done’…

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