Full year pre-tax profits soared at Carpetright, as the floorings specialist grew like-for-like sales and returned to growth in Europe, due largely in part to December's new strategic plan and the closure of underperforming stores. The company posted underlying pre-tax profits of £13m.
Improvements for the retailer include the trial of new retail concepts, which have been put into operation across four London stores, starting next month. Each store will trial an experimental shop fit that’s a "significant departure" from existing stores, "with new elements to inspire customers and encourage experimentation, sampling and discovery" and an emphasis is on a "smooth, dedicated service to customers that takes the pressure out of selection and purchase".
In addition, the company has reviewed its store discounting policy, introduced interest free credit for the first time in its history and brought in a new design team to liven up the product offering. Carpetright has also investedd £4.5m in store systems’ upgrade.
The downsizing of the estate is poised to continue but this is not necessarily to reduce store numbers, more to improve the store portfolio’s quality.
CEO Wilf Walsh, who came on board a year ago, said: “While this is just the beginning of the journey to transform Carpetright, we have a clear direction”.