Carpetright closes on Foss Islands Road – leaving a big store empty

It's a big unit… Carpetright on Foss Islands Road. Photograph © Google Street View

Carpetright is axing 81 stores – and one of them is in York.

The retailer has confirmed that the store on the corner of Foss Islands Road and Layerthorpe is among those earmarked for closure.

Carpetright also has a branch in Clifton Moor which is unaffected.

The closure of the Foss Islands Road store is part of a sweeping restructure of the business.

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.

‘Tough but necessary’

File photo dated of a Leeds branch of Carpetright. Photograph: 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.

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.

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

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.

It said the CVA – which is a form of insolvency aimed at protecting a business from going bust by cutting its costs – will help it to “address the competitive threat from a position of strength”.