Carpetright’s UK like-for-likes edged up 1.7% in its first quarter as the wet weather drove customers into stores.

Total UK sales declined 2.1% in the 12 weeks to July 21 which the retailer attributed to store closures. It shut a further four shops over the quarter bringing its portfolio to 486.

Carpetright chief executive Darren Shapland said: “We recognise that this period does include some benefit from the unusually wet weather, which has produced consistently positive customer footfall to our stores.

“We continue to be encouraged by the like-for-like sales growth within the UK business. This reflects, in part, the success of self-help actions such as the development of our bed proposition, extension of our laminate range to more stores and the impact of our store refurbishment programme.” 

The improving sales trend continued the positive direction achieved in the second half of its last financial year.

In the rest of Europe, like-for-likes dropped 6.3% and total sales fell 5.2% over the period in local currency terms, or 13.6% when allowing for movement in exchange rates.

The retailer, which has operations in the Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland, started a trial selling beds in one of its Dutch stores.

Shapland said the deterioration of consumer confidence had resulted in a volatile market in the Netherlands, although Ireland and Belgium still continued to deliver sales growth.

Carpetright’s gross margin continued to improve in-line with expectations over the quarter and the retailer expects to make a 200 to 250 basis point advance over the year.