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Carpetright focuses on e-commerce over high street

28 June 2012 - 11:24 by Graham Miller

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Carpetright has become the latest major retailer to alter its course and move away from bricks and mortar outlets in favour of improving its facilities for safe shopping online.

Last year, Carpetright recorded a 16 per cent increase in people heading to its e-commerce site in the UK. This, in turn, resulted in more people requesting carpet samples be sent out to them, as well as growing the number of customers who set up appointments at its real world outlets, suggesting the symbiotic nature of different retail channels.

In a statement, Carpetright said that it was now looking to hire members of staff which would be able to help it further increase its online performance, because there is clearly an increased interest in this medium.

Carpetright has begun to close a number of its outlets in order to minimise losses, with a 3.8 per cent dip in sales registered in 2011.

The company plans to restructure its presence on the high street, with an approach which will involve smaller and thus more affordable stores combined with more comprehensive tools for safe shopping online.

Sample stores will allow customers to get a look at a wide range of products without requiring that gargantuan warehouse-style spaces are needed, lowering the overheads.

Lord Harris, who acts as chairman of the retailer, said that his previous predictions of a tough year had been proven correct, but that the troubling economic times and shopper uncertainty was not going to undercut Carpetright's profitability, provided it could explore new avenues of retail.

The shift to a multichannel approach is already proving to be a popular method for ensuring sustainability within retailers. While Carpetright's 70,000 unique weekly e-commerce visitors is relatively low, it shows that there is plenty of room for expansion.