Shares in home furnishing retailer Carpetright slumped on Friday after the company warned full-year profits would fall well short of market forecasts.
The company said trading the important post-Christmas period had been significantly behind expectations with group sales down 2.3%.
Carpetright added that a "sharp deterioration" in UK trade had a significant impact on profitability and its outlook for the remainder of the year as it revised its full-year profit guidance to between £2m-£6m. Analysts had expected profit as high as £14m.
Like-for-like sales - in stores open long enough for comparable data to be available - fell 3.6% in the 11 weeks to 13 January and the company reported a decline of 40-80 basis points in gross profit margin.
Wilf Walsh, chief executive (left), said: "Despite a positive start to our third quarter, we have seen a significant deterioration in UK trading during the important post-Christmas trading period.
"While average transaction values were up year on year, the number of customer transactions since Christmas was sharply down, which we believe is indicative of reduced consumer confidence."
Carpetright's weak trading period was echoed in official retail figures for the UK, published on Friday, that showed a month-on-month fall in sales in December as shoppers appeared to have spent earlier - during Black Friday events in November - rather than more.
Shares in Carpetright fell 42.86% to 93.7p in mid-morning trade on London Stock Exchange.
Other home furnishings stocks were lower as a result. Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix, fell 3.58% to 331.7p, while sofa retailer DFS shed 3.94% to 198.2p and rival SCS Group lost 5.83% to 210p.