Floorcovering and bed retailer Carpetright's sales fell 2.1% in the 12 weeks to July 21. But like-for-like turnover was up 1.7% due to store reductions.
At the end of July its core UK operation had 470 stores and 16 concessions compared with 489 and 25 respectively at the same time last year.
Sales space was down by 3.4% to 4,240sq ft. "Excluding the expected decrease in sales from the wholesale business," said chief executive Darren Shapland, our core UK retail business would have reported like-for-like sales growth of 5.3%." This, he added, reflected "the success of self-help actions such as the development of our bed proposition, extension of our laminate range to more stores and the impact of our store refurbishment programme.
"We also recognise that, this period does include some benefit from the unusually wet weather, which has produced consistently positive customer footfall to our stores."
The gross margin for the period continued to improve "in line with our previously announced expectations."