Carpetright to axe 300 jobs and close 81 stores in rescue deal

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

Thursday, 12th April 2018, 10:19 am
Updated Thursday, 12th April 2018, 10:31 am

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.

But it is not thought the Portsmouth store in Ocean Retail Park, or the ones in Havant, Fareham and Waterlooville are affected.

The chain said it hopes to relocate staff where possible.

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Up to 92 Carpetright stores could be closed around the UK. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The group - which employs nearly 2,700 staff in total - also confirmed an investor cash-call to raise around £60 million 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.’

Up to 92 Carpetright stores could be closed around the UK. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The firm, which has 409 UK shops, said trading had remained ‘difficult’ since its last update on March 1, with the group continuing to expect a small underlying loss for the year to April 28.

Landlords will vote on the plans on April 26, while shareholders will have their say on April 30.