News Column

Experts pull the rug out from under Carpetright

January 26, 2014

Not so long ago, City wags reckoned you were just as likely to pick up a profit warning from Carpetright as any form of floor covering. It issued seven in about a year during 2011 and 2012, and while it's managed to stem the frequency a touch since, it still struggles to resist the temptation to slip the odd one out: October saw another, plus the resignation of chief executive Darren Shapland , forcing Lord Harris of Peckham to return to run the business he founded 25 years before. Still, plenty of the company's woes have been explained away by the state of the UK economy, so now we seem to be booming again, have all those nasty Carpetright stains been cleaned up? Sadly not. The retail analyst Nick Bubb has been pointing out that the Office of Fair Trading is still investigating the company over the issue of misleading price promotions, but that the slumping sales of its Dutch rival Beter Bed may indicate that the OFT is the least of Carpetright's problems. Bubb's one optimistic point is that the company could benefit from all those carpets wrecked in the recent floods, which hardly seems like a stellar reason to buy the shares. And the Harris family seems to agree: they've been selling.

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Source: Observer (UK)

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