Struggling carpet and flooring retailer Carpetright has announced the departure of Christian Sollesee, its Managing Director (MD) for the UK & Ireland.
With sales in the UK down 6.3 per cent in the 11 weeks to mid-April and three profit warnings made in 2011, Sollesse’s exit comes as part of a major boardroom reshuffle aimed at turning around the firm’s fortunes.
Andrew Corden has been named Operations Director – Europe, and will look after the business’s European operations, which includes the Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland.
He has been at Carpetright for 16 years, holding responsibility for the company’s European operations since 2008 having previously been the Sales Director for Europe.
Claire Balmforth, who joined the board last month, will assume the role of Operations Director - UK, incorporating her existing responsibilities for customers and Carpetright’s staff.
Reflecting on the changes, Group Chairman and CEO Lord Harris of Peckham remarked: “I would like to thank Christian for the contribution he has made to the company over the past 16 years and wish him well for the future.”
Carpetright is operating in one of the toughest retail sectors at present, with sales of big ticket items household goods down due to consumers tightening their belts and a lack of movement in the property market.
According to the latest Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Distributive Trades Survey, homeware sales slumped significantly in the first two weeks of May.
The percentage balance of retailers in the furniture & carpet sector that reported an increase in trading for that period was -23 per cent, highlighting the current problems facing the market.