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Carpetright making ‘strong progress’ in customer-focused strategy

Carpetright says it is making strong progress towards its strategic aim of improving the customer experience to make buying carpets and flooring a convenient experience across sales channels.

The multichannel retailer, a Top100 retailer in the IRUK Top500 research, aims to invest in the brand and improve the product range while at the same time making it easier to buy.

“In today’s retail environment, where customers place a high value on convenience and speed, we need to make buying floor coverings a hassle-free experience, eliminating potentially confusing or irritating elements from the process,” the company said in half-year results out today.

The update came as Carpetright today reported revenue of £231.2m, 1.4% up on the same time last year in the half-year to October 31. Pre-tax profits of £7.1m were £0.4m, or 6%, ahead of the first half last year. In the UK alone, like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of store openings and closures, rose 3.7% on last time.

The retailer has focused on developing a multichannel strategy of convenient shopping that enables buyers to research online, whether via desktop or mobile devices. “The rapid growth in the use of mobile devices has made an integrated multi-channel proposition a necessity,” it said in today’s results.

It added: “With our extensive geographic coverage, we see the opportunity to leverage the accessibility of our store estate, combined with the strength of our marketing reach and supported by an inspirational website, as a key advantage when compared to the competition.”

To this end, Carpetright is slimming down its store estate in the light of online trading, and opening new concept stores and concessions with a smaller footprint.

Chief executive Wilf Walsh said: “The trial of a new retail concept and brand identity is, as expected, producing much valuable customer insight. A comprehensive customer research study will be completed by the end of January 2016, giving us a more detailed picture which will inform our decisions on which elements we will roll out across the existing estate.

“In a retail market which remains very competitive, we are confident that our plan to build on Carpetright’s strong foundations, modernise the business, and ensure we capitalise on our advantages as market leader to the full, is on track. Our full-year profit expectations remain unchanged.”

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