Home-focused shoppers drive sales surge for candle kings Dusk

Rebecca Le MayNews Corp Australia
Candles and fragrance diffusers retailer Dusk has reported a sales surge as the pandemic-driven home-sprucing trend continues unabated.
Camera IconCandles and fragrance diffusers retailer Dusk has reported a sales surge as the pandemic-driven home-sprucing trend continues unabated. Credit: News Regional Media

Candles and fragrance diffusers retailer Dusk has reported a sales surge as the pandemic-driven home-sprucing trend continues unabated.

In a trading update released on Friday, the company said sales for the nine months to the end of March had risen 28 per cent to almost $119 million.

It’s bullish about the full-year result, forecasting sales of up to $151m compared with just shy of $101m in the 2020 financial year.

Chief executive Peter King said April had started pleasingly and contrasted with stores being closed at the same time last year. But as they progressively reopened in May, trading in the days leading up to Mother’s Day was very strong, he said.

Dusk has prepared for an even stronger Mother’s Day this year, with Mr King saying the chain had “a health inventory position”, adding there were 10 new stores in the group compared with the same time in 2020.

“When we couple these factors with a buoyant macro environment, which includes strong consumer confidence, continued reallocation of household budgets away from international travel, low interest rates and our customers’ heightened focus on their homes, we expect to see a favourable trading environment continuing for some time yet,” Mr King said.

He said online sales had also been contributing to the positive results for the year to date.

The more detailed, record first-half results released in February showed online sales had rocketed 120 per cent but represented less than 10 per cent of total sales.

It also revealed Dusk Rewards members remained “the engine room”, accounting for almost 60 per cent of total sales, with scented refills a key reason loyal shoppers kept revisiting the stores.

The company, which listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in November, also pledged to repay a net JobKeeper benefit of $2.8m.

Shares in Dusk jumped on the back of the trading update, climbing as high as $3.34 in early trade, eclipsing its all-time closing high of $3.25 last month.

They were up more than 5 per cent at $3.18 about 11am.

The initial public offer raised $70m and was priced at $2 per share.

Dusk says it aims to be the go-to shopping destination for not just home fragrance products but gifts, including “gifts for one’s self”.

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