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Dunelm — the Midlands upstart with designs on Ikea’s crown | Times2

Who is the UK’s No 1 retailer of homeware? It’s a trick question, like how to pronounce scone or bath. Your answer reveals more about where you live than your pub-quiz knowledge of cushion and curtain shops. Nope, not John Lewis, Ikea or Argos. It’s Dunelm.

Now some readers in central London or affluent spots in the south might not even have heard of Dunelm, with its HQ in Leicester and 176 family-friendly, out-of-town superstores from Aberdeen to Plymouth — where instead of Swedish meatballs you can have a coffee and comforting slice of apple tart.

Yet, Dunelm is the stealth budget brand that boomed in the pandemic, whose profits haven’t stopped soaring since lockdown. Its growth in the first three months of this year,