Blackpool carpet firm staff to carry on as 81 stores prepare to close.

Carpetright Blackpool
Carpetright Blackpool
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Blackpool’s Carpetright store is set to stay open despite a crunch meeting of creditors of the chain following finance problems.

Creditors of the troubled carpet company met on Thursday to vote on a radical store closure programme.

Carpetright has earmarked 81 stores for closure as part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement, which allows firms to shut loss-making outlets and secure rent reductions.

Earlier this month the chain said 92 sites were in the firing line, although 11 have already stopped trading, with rent on another 113 set to be slashed as part of the restructure.

The retailer has been hit by poor trading and is in “technical breach” of its banking arrangements, but the group said it was taking action to address this and ensure it is amended for the future.

Carpetright has 409 UK shops overall including the Marton outlet on Cherry Tree Road, and employs nearly 2,700 staff.

Shareholders in the listed firm will also vote on the CVA on April 30, but the creditor vote will take precedence in the event there is a discrepancy.

When it first announced the CVA, which is being handled by Deloitte, Carpetright said it would help it to “address the competitive threat from a position of strength”.

Carpetright is also attempting to raise around £60m through a rights issue to put the company on a firmer financial footing.

The group expects to post a small underlying loss for the year to April 28.

The vote will come days after Carpetright’s biggest shareholder, Meditor Capital Management, increased its stake in the business. Meditor upped its stake in Carpetright from 16.5 per cent to 29.99 per cent on Monday, just shy of the threshold at which it would have to make a formal takeover bid for the retailer.

Meanwhile, another major shareholder, Franklin Templeton, reduced its holding from 16 per cent to 1.7 per cent.

The retail sector has already seen thousands of jobs axed following the collapse of well-known names Toys R Us and Maplin.