Floor coverings retailer Carpetright today said its recent sales revival had been cut short by Britain’s three-week heatwave.
With consumers less likely to tackle DIY projects in the hot weather, Carpetright said underlying sales were down 1.9% in the UK in the 12 weeks to July 20, despite growth in May and June.
Analysts at N+1 Singer estimate Carpetright suffered a like-for-like revenues fall of 8% during July at a sales cost to the business of about £3.5m.
As well as the warm weather, Carpetright said the sales decline was compounded by comparisons with wet conditions a year earlier.
Carpetright has recently benefited from improvements in the property market, which should boost demand for carpets, rugs and flooring, and its own self-help measures such as store refits and new ranges.
A month ago, Carpetright cheered investors after it said underlying annual profits more than doubled to £9.7m for the year to April.
The chain has 473 stores in the UK, as well as 142 outlets in Ireland, Netherlands and Belgium. Sales for the rest of Europe were down 10.9% for the 12 weeks, in part due to difficult economic conditions in Holland.
Led by chief executive Darren Shapland, who took over from veteran boss Lord Harris of Peckham last year, Carpetright has seen UK like-for-like sales turn positive, up 2.2% over the financial year to April.
This trend continued during May and June before the heatwave reversed the pattern.
However, N+1 Singer analyst Matthew McEachran believes around half the lost sales should be recouped in the current quarter and that the business continues to improve at a time of more favourable conditions in the flooring market.