Sofa retailer CSL has posted soaring like-for-like sales, up 20% for the first eight months of the year.

The retailer also reported a record performance in August as it benefitted from improved product ranges and greater investment in marketing, spending £11m this financial year, compared with £6m in 2011.

After switching its advertising focus to drive customers online as well as in store, CSL said an “unprecedented” number of customers visited both channels.

New stores in Croydon, Brent Cross and Hull also boosted sales during the period. CSL opened its 20,000 sq ft flagship store in Thurrock, Essex at the end of August.

CSL managing director Jason Tyldesley said that in the second half of the year the company will be focusing on building a team to keep pace with the firm’s growth, following the appointment of HR boss Alyson Fadil who formerly worked at Selfridges in Manchester as HR manager.

Tyldesley said: “We’re finding it very difficult to recruit the right kind of people and there’s a lack of enthusiasm and understanding of the benefits and opportunities of a retail career.

“We are turning our back on typical sofa salespeople, who are usually only driven by commission, and are bringing people into the business who are passionate about design, interiors, getting to know our customers and helping them with expert advice.”

CSL is launching a new graduate recruitment and training programme to help fulfil the gaps within its store teams.