Saint Maclou, the French parent company of UK carpet retailer Allied Carpets, has ramped up its European presence by acquiring its biggest French rival – Mondial Moquette – and Switzerland’s Carpetland Suisse.

The acquisition has increased Saint Maclou’s French portfolio from 163 to 197 stores, making it the “Carpetright of France”, according to MHE Retail chairman Edward Whitefield.

Saint Maclou now owns nearly 600 stores across Europe, the same number as the UK’s leading carpet retailer Carpetright, which owns stores in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Poland and is expanding rapidly in the regions.

Whitefield estimates that the acquisition gives Saint Maclou an 11 to 12 per cent market share, making it the biggest player in the French floorings market.

There are few large specialist rivals to Saint Maclou in France, so its main competitors are home improvement retailers such as Leroy Merlin and Castorama.

The acquisitions mean the group will offer a wide home interiors range, including window dressings, wall decorating and floorings products as well as a fitting service.

The group will also sell at a wider range of price points through the Mondial Moquette brand, according to Whitefield.

“The top 30 per cent of the price points will be Mondial products, whereas the bottom 30 per cent will be Saint Maclou,” he said.

The company will benefit from economies of scale in purchasing and savings in operating costs.

“It makes a lot of sense,” added Whitefield, who believes that Saint Maclou will keep the Mondial Moquette branding for at least two years. “Now is not the time to be spending lots of money on rebranding,” he said.

Saint Maclou has also increased its number of Swiss stores from two to 11 with the acquisition of Carpetland Suisse. It is undecided what brand it will trade under in the country.