Carpetright plans shop closures in bid to reduce 'oversized' Irish store network

Carpetright plans shop closures in bid to reduce 'oversized' Irish store network

British floor covering retailer Carpetright plans to close down some of its Irish stores after seeing a 5.5% drop in sales here over the past year.

The company operates 19 shops in the Republic, but has said its Irish store network is "oversized".

Last year, Carpetright halved its store numbers in the North as part of a restructuring plan which culled 300 jobs and saw 90 stores close across the UK and the North.

In its annual results - for the 12 months to the end of April - Carpetright reported a near 2% rise in revenue to £85.4m (€95.3m) and a slashing of its statutury pre-tax losses to £24.8m, from almost £70m a year earlier.

However, the revenue drop in the Republic brought the company's Irish annual sales down to €8.6m. Carpetright said it remains committed to Ireland, but will need to restructure its size here, alluding to shop closures in locations not close to major cities.

"This business [Carpetright in the Republic] has an oversized store footprint, which we are looking to reduce as opportunities arise. We believe at the core of the Irish business we have a strong operation, focused on the major cities, that is capable of delivering value to the group once we have an economic operating footprint," the company said.

“Our work is far from finished, and while economic and political uncertainties cloud the near-term outlook for the retail sector, our turnaround plan is very much on track,” group chief executive Wilf Walsh said.

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