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Carpetright reports on post-Christmas recovery

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Carpetright today said that its trade slowed in the run-up to Christmas – but recovered in the January sales period.

The multichannel floorings retailer, which appears in the Top100 of the IRUK Top500 research, said total sales were down by 1.3% in the 12 weeks to January 23. But, measured on a like-for-like basis which strips out the effect of store openings and closures, sales in the period were 2.4% up, and 6% in the four weeks to January 23. The retailer had 436 stores by the end of the period, down from 461 at the same time last year. It also trades online, and says its website is a key part of the customer journey as shoppers research before they buy.

This, said chief executive Wilf Walsh, was the retailer’s ninth consecutive year of like-for-like sales growth. He said: “While we saw some softening of like-for-likes in the pre-Christmas period, reflecting lower footfall, customer numbers recovered in the important January sales period. Our trading performance over the last four weeks, with like-for-like growth of 6% against exceptionally strong prior year comparatives, gives us confidence that the enhanced interest free credit offer and strong promotions launched on Boxing Day are hitting the spot with our customers.”

He said that like-for-like sales in its rest of Europe business had recovered, with consumer spending now recovering, especially in the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland.

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