Carpetright to axe 300 jobs and close stores in restructuring deal

Around 300 jobs are to be axed at Carpetright after the embattled retailer unveiled plans to shut another 81 stores and tap investors for £60m under a sweeping restructure.

Five of the company's stores in Northern Ireland are due to close, including its outlets in Bangor, Belfast (Newtownabbey), Coleraine, Ballymena and Derry.

Carpetright has 20 stores in the Republic, including stores in Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Dublin, Mullingar, Athlone, Tralee, Killarney, and Wexford.

The chain said that, overall, 92 sites had been earmarked for closure, although 11 have already stopped trading, with the rent on another 113 set to be slashed under the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposals being put to landlords.

It said it hopes to relocate staff where possible.

The group - which employs nearly 2,700 staff in total - also confirmed an investor cash-call to raise around £60m through a rights issue to put the company on a firmer financial footing.

The details came as it revealed a "technical breach" of its banking arrangements, but the group said it was taking action to address this and ensure it is amended for the future.

Carpetright chief executive Wilf Walsh said: "These tough but necessary actions will enable us to address the burden of a legacy UK property estate consisting of too many poorly located stores on unsustainable rents, and are essential if we are to restore our profitability and deliver a successful turnaround.

"We will remain in close contact with all colleagues to keep them fully informed as we move through this process."

- Digital Desk and Press Association


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