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Tapi Carpets Accuses Competitors Of Breaking Lockdown Rules

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Tapi Carpets has accused rival flooring chains of going against government advice by keeping their English stores open during the second national lockdown.

James Sturrock, CEO of Tapi, said that Carpetright and United Carpets were “knowingly breaking the rules”, arguing that carpets are classified as non-essential homeware.

“It is simply astonishing that some large carpet retailers are continuing to openly flout the rules, which now make it crystal clear that in England we are all classed as non-essential retailers and required to close our stores for the duration of the national lockdown,”

“As soon as the latest government guidance was provided, Tapi like many other law abiding retailers chose to do the right thing and closed our standalone stores to help in the fight against the virus and protect our teams and customers.”

On Monday, the Office for Public Safety and Standards advised that carpet retailing is considered homeware and is therefore not essential retail, adding that public guidance would be updated to reflect this.

Carpetright says its stores are open for customers with pre-arranged appointments and has the following message on its website:

"We are experiencing a high volume of enquiries from customers, trade partners and companies as to whether they will be able to complete their essential projects for their home or business.

"We would like to reassure customers that whilst we have now temporarily closed our stores in England, if you need flooring for a current project you may still visit most stores on an appointment-only basis for building services. Our stores in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are operating as normal, all stores in the Republic of Ireland are available on an appointment-only basis.

"Our website remains open and we are continuing to arrange in-home and virtual home flooring surveying and third-party fitting in all areas. Don’t worry, there’s still time to book your fitting in time for Christmas.

"Looking after our colleagues and customers continues to be our number one priority, and you can find further details below on our available services, and the measures we have put in place to ensure safe shopping."

United Carpets' website states:

"All of our stores are open. Based on existing government guidelines we will continue to deliver customer orders; our independent fitters will also continue to fit floorcoverings as planned. Should you have any queries regarding your order please contact the store you purchased your goods with directly. PPE will be worn and COVID-19 safe processes will be in place."

Source : Insight DIY Team

Image : James Sturrock, Tapi Carpets CEO

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13 November 2020

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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