Carpetright chief executive Wilf Walsh insists that the retailer is “better positioned than most” to survive a prolonged consumer downturn.

Speaking to Retail Week, he said the business is in “good shape” to weather a storm, even if tough trading conditions continue.

The retailer issued a huge profit warning – dramatically reducing its full-year profit expectations – after footfall dropped significantly in the all-important weeks after Christmas.

Walsh said: “We need to identify if this is a blip or a trend. If this is a trend, we’re in better shape to weather it than most.

“It’s been a really slow start to the January Sales, which is clearly quite an important part of the year for us, but it could be that it’s just a poor January.”

Despite a 7.1% fall in flooring like-for-like sales since Christmas Day, the carpets boss said “it is not Armageddon”.

He pointed out that, while customer transactions have “dropped very sharply”, the retailer’s average transaction value has risen.

“So when people come in-store, we’re serving them better and doing a decent job,” he said.

Walsh reaffirmed his commitment to the retailer’s strategy and its plan to revamp the 416-unit UK store estate by the end of 2018.