Carpetright has announced a 5.2% fall in second quarter sales, and warned that full-year profits will come in at “the lower end of current expectations.”
Sales in the UK fell 6.8% in the 12 weeks to 22 October, with like-for-likes down 3%. Store numbers fell by 11 during the period to 643.
There was also bad news on the gross margin, which has been hit by the highly promotional trading environment and the higher proportion of beds in the sales mix. Chairman and chief executive Lord Harris said it would be down by about 400 basis points in the first half and 300 over the full year. He said that cost savings of £4m would partially offset this.
Beds now represent 6% of revenue. Carpetright has appointed two former directors of Bensons Beds to develop its offer in the category, and the new bed range will be launched in the third quarter.
“Looking forward, I see no respite from the challenging environment over the next year but remain confident the group will emerge in a strong position to deliver future growth once consumer demand improves,” Harris said.