Group sales at carpet and floor coverings retailer Carpetright were down 5.2 per cent in the 12 weeks to October 23rd, with the company citing the further reduction in mortgage approvals and fragile consumer confidence as reasons for the decline.
In the UK and Republic of Ireland total sales dropped by 4.6 per cent, while like-for-like trading was down 7.3 per cent year-on-year.
According to the British Bankers’ Association, net mortgage lending in September was at £1.6 billion - its lowest since October 2000.
Recent financial statements indicate that this lack of movement in the housing market is having a negative effect on a number of homeware and DIY retailers - as well as specialist retailers like Carpetright.
Lord Harris of Peckham, Chairman and CEO of Carpetright, described the second quarter of the company’s financial year as a “tough trading environment”, but revealed that it is focusing on effective cost management and new revenue streams.
“In these challenging market conditions we have progressed the roll out of our bed offer, opening 44 bedding departments within our existing UK estate since the start of the financial year with plans for a further 50 by the end of April 2011,” he added.
“The group remains well placed to capitalise on opportunities when economic conditions improve.”