Sales down at floor-covering specialist
Home furnishings retailer Carpetright unveiled a weak trading-update this morning, as it admitted to struggling with the impact of the Allders administration and the tough consumer environment.

Total sales for the 25 weeks to October 22 slipped by 6.2 per cent, despite a 2.4 per cent increase in Carpetright sales space. Like-for-like sales also fell by 6.7 per cent.

Carpetright chairman and chief executive Lord Harris (pictured) said: 'The UK business has continued to trade aggressively in a tough retail environment. The comparatives for the second half are weaker than those in the first half but it is still too soon to predict a turn in the market.'

The group added that the European business is making progress, with sales increasing by 7.1 per cent in local currency, while in the UK gross margin has declined.

Numis retail analyst Steve Davies said: 'The main negative in today's announcement is that gross margins in H1 were down.' Carpetright will post its interim results on December 13.