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Carpetright puts sales growth down to self-help initiatives including investment in digital

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Carpetright today said “self-help initiatives” including investment in digital media had helped the carpet-to-beds retailer to grow its UK sales in the first quarter of the year.

In a trading statement today the company said UK like-for-like sales rose by 5.6% in the 12 weeks to April 20, while total sales were up by 4.4%.

Carpetright said results for the year to date were in line with expectations.

Darren Shapland, chief executive said: “Whilst the recent cold spring weather has been positive to our sales, we believe this performance reflects the continued success of our programme of self-help initiatives. These include the ongoing programme of store refurbishments, the introduction of our improved laminate range to more stores, the development of our bed business and the increased use of digital media.”

The company has previously said that its customers are now changing the way they shop, researching online before visiting a store, and it has moved to reshape its store estate around that fact.

Shapland added: “This has been achieved in a market which remains challenging with consumers very focused on getting a good deal, necessitating a highly visible and compelling promotional programme.

“Gross margin for the period has been in line with previously announced expectations and our view of the full year gross profit percentage improvement is now in the range of 225-250 basis points above the prior year.

“Our business in the rest of Europe continues to contrast a solid performance in both Belgium and the Republic of Ireland, offset by the continued weak performance of our business in the Netherlands.”

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