Northwich Carpetright survives 92-store mass closure

Northwich Carpetright survives 92-store mass closure

Carpetright is preparing to close almost a quarter of its 300 stores in a restructuring plan as it struggles to avoid administration. The CVA will allow embattled Carpetright to fundamentally restructure its physical store estate, shutter loss-making stores and cut its onerous rent bill.

Shares in Carpetright tumbled more than 23 percent at one stage after details of the proposals and rights issue.

Many retailers are suffering from brutal trading conditions on the British high street, with Toys R Us UK and electronics retailer Maplin having already been pushed into administration this year, while fashion retailer New Look has also closed stores.

Despite giving a profit warning last month, the company said it still expected to make only a small underlying pre-tax loss for the year.

The company, which trades from 434 shops and concessions across Britain, also said it would raise £60 million (€68.8 million) through a placing and open offer to reduce its indebtedness and fund the restructuring plan.

More news: France considering strikes on Assad's chemical facilities: Macron

More than 80 Carpetright stores have been earmarked for closure under a proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with a further 113 sites being subject to a reduction in rental costs and revised lease terms.

Carpetright is today announcing a proposal to address its legacy property issues and reduce the size of its United Kingdom property estate and rental cost base by the implementation of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

Three of the 92 include stores based in Greater Manchester, with stores in Oldham, Wigan and Bury set to go as the company sheds around 300 jobs.

Several major retailers have fallen into financial difficulty as they battle with rising costs, from business rates and an increase in the legal minimum wage, as well as a shift towards online shopping.

"These tough but necessary actions will enable us to address the burden of a legacy United Kingdom 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", Chief Executive Wilf Walsh said. It will then hold a meeting with shareholders on 30 April to ask for their approval.

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