Property Pulls Rug on Carpet Firm Sales; Carpetright's Troubles Are Seen as Part of a Wider Malaise on the High Street

Daily Mail (London), April 30, 2008 | Go to article overview

Property Pulls Rug on Carpet Firm Sales; Carpetright's Troubles Are Seen as Part of a Wider Malaise on the High Street


Byline: Rupert Steiner

THE slowdown in the housing market has claimed another casualty -Britain's largest carpet and flooring retailer, Carpetright.

Underlying sales fell 1.8pc for the last six months, as customers worried bydeclining property prices and a mortgage drought held onto their homes andstuck with their old carpets.

This comes amid a wider malaise on the high street.

Latest figures show the retail turmoil has been compounded by the poor weatherand the early Easter.

This powerful cocktail of bad news kept customers away prompting the biggestfall in sales volumes this month since November 2005.

In its distributive trades survey, the Confederation of British Industry, said52pc of retailers saw a drop in sales volumes in April, compared with 25pcseeing a rise.

The net balance of minus 26pc was the worst since November 2005.

Big-ticket items like fridges, televisions and furniture have been particularlyhard hit.

Ian McCafferty, the CBI's chief economic adviser, said: 'There is no doubt thatconsumers are tightening their belts as the mood about the economy and itsoutlook worsens. …

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