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United Carpets reviews viability of stores

United Carpets has warned it that it may close its more poorly performing stores as the consumer downturn makes its increasingly difficult for the floor covering and beds retailer to turnaround its failing stores.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

United Carpets reviews viability of stores

In a statement issued today United said: "The Board has resolved to review a number of stores in order to ascertain whether they can remain viable under the current franchise model. The purpose of any rationalisation of the group's store portfolio would be to meet the more stringent criteria which it is felt are required to trade successfully in these difficult times and to prevent an accumulation of poorly performing stores creating an unsustainable financial burden on the group."

The company has been forced to terminate a number of franchises since its year-end in March, which it said was likely to have a detrimental effect on profits.

United said a significant proportion of its franchise network was finding it increasingly difficult to operate satisfactorily, and had particular issues in meeting their liabilities both to creditors and the group.  This was despite United’s "considerable" investment in technology and changes to  management, and "substantial" ongoing financial support.

The retailer did not say how many stores had closed in recent weeks but its website states that there are 85 stores across the UK, the majority of which are franchises.

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