Maisons du Monde achieved a bumper start to 2021 as group sales in its first quarter grew 35.8% in Q1 2020 and 18.1% in Q1 2019 thanks to positive performances from all three fascias (Maisons du Monde, Modani and Rhinov). As a result of its strong results, the company’s expects to achieve high single-digit growth in sales and an improved EBIT margin for the full year.

The homewares and furniture specialist hailed its refined collections and growing digital model as key drivers of its robust performance. The latter translated into 76.2% growth in online sales to €123.7m and an 8.6 percentage points (ppts) increase in online penetration. Its store performance also held up as store sales grew 19.4% to €207.3m despite about 15% of its global store network being temporarily shuttered throughout the quarter.

Demand for low-cost, decorative homewares that represent an easy way to refresh the home funnelled into the company’s pocket as decoration sales grew 39.3% to €175.5m in Q1 2020. Resultantly, decoration now accounts for 53% of sales, up from 51.7% in the previous year. Furniture also performed well, with sales rising 32% in Q1 2020. Maisons du Monde’s trend-focused offering and sustainable initiatives such as using recycled materials in its products will continue to serve it well.

Maisons du Monde remains popular in its domestic market as sales in France jumped 42.4% to €181.5m year-on-year (YOY) over the period. It has continued its expansion into the hospitality sector, opening its second ‘Maisons du Monde Hôtel & Suites’ in Marseille during the quarter, though this is questionable timing given the volatile pandemic situation. Maisons du Monde sales grew 28.6% to €149.5m in its international markets. The retailer opened new stores in Belgium, Switzerland and Spain during the quarter, as well as its first store in Austria. However, Maisons du Monde is rightly judicious about new store openings, having permanently closed net three stores during the quarter as it grows its online channel and assesses the pandemic situation.

Three quarters of Maisons du Monde’s European store network, including all stores in Germany, Belgium and France, were temporarily closed between 1 April and 11 May 2021 due to lockdown restrictions. While stores are expected to slowly reopen throughout the remainder of Q2, the retailer claims that online growth has already slowed on Q1 and that it faces potential sourcing challenges as India is gripped by the pandemic, foreshadowing bleaker results next quarter.