Thursday, January 23, 2014

News: United Carpets no longer part of OFT investigation

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Rotherham-based United Carpets, the UK's largest franchised carpet retailer, has changed its pricing practices following an investigation by the Office of Fair Treading (OFT).

The Bramley-based group operates from 60 stores and specialises in carpets, flooring, wood floor, laminate and vinyl flooring plus beds and mattress.

In an update to the stock exchange, the AIM-listed firm said that it has signed undertakings that commit it to ensuring that its advertised recommended retail prices are genuine and are those at which the products are typically sold throughout the year. It also said that it is committed to refraining from using time-sensitive promotions such as "closing down sale" or "closing down for refurbishment" without giving consumers clear information and an explanation of the circumstances of the promotion.

United Carpets said in a statement: "The OFT has been looking into the pricing practices of a number of retailers in the home furniture, beds and flooring sector of the market including United Carpets. As a result, the Company can confirm that it has signed up to two additional retailing principles agreed with the OFT to ensure even greater transparency to our pricing practices.

"While the OFT's investigation into the sector is ongoing, United Carpets is no longer a part of it."

Gaucho Rasmussen, director of the Goods and Consumer Group at the OFT, said: "Shoppers rely upon clear, honest and upfront advertising of prices. When retailers advertise misleading prices or promotions, consumers often make different purchases - or spend more money - than they otherwise might have done. We therefore welcome the changes that United Carpets have made, and agreed to make, to their pricing and marketing strategies."

United Carpets was readmitted to the AIM stock exchange last year after delivering its delayed final results for the period ended October 5 2012. In its financial update for the six month period ended September 30 2013, the group reported sales across the group of £28m with profit before tax of £452,000, an increase from £113,000 seen in the same period last year.

United Carpets website

Images: United Carpets

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