Carpetright sales hit hard by the July heatwave

Press Release   •   Jul 23, 2013 10:38 BST

Carpetright, Britain's biggest floor coverings retailer, posted a fall in first quarter underlying sales in its home market after demand dropped in July as temperatures soared, putting off consumers from shopping.

For the 12 weeks to 20 July, like-for-like sales at the group - which has 473 stores throughout the UK - were 1.9 per cent lower than the same period last year, when trading was boosted by wet weather.

However, like-for-like sales in Carpetright's Europe division - made up of Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands - fell 10.6 percent, dragged down by weak trading in the Netherlands, the company said.

"Trading in our rest of Europe business continues to be dominated by the extremely difficult economic conditions in the Netherlands," said chief executive Darren Shapland.

The group's UK store base decreased by five during the period to 473, of which 202 have now been modernised.

Carpetright's efforts to refurbish its shops, broaden its carpet range into higher price points and expand its beds, laminate floor and vinyl tiles ranges have helped the company to attract shoppers over the past year despite tough trading conditions caused by an ongoing squeeze on consumers' disposable incomes.

"Notwithstanding the tough trading conditions, we believe we continue to grow market share in all of our markets and continue to see significant further potential in our planned self-help initiatives," added Shapland.

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