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Tapi Plans To Be The UK's Leading Carpet & Flooring Operator


Tapi Carpets is laying the foundations to be the UK’s leading carpet and flooring retailer, having issued the following update:

• Annual revenues break through £100m
• Use of innovative technology solutions to navigate Covid-19 and re-open stores
• Enlarged high profile board combining youth, digital expertise and vast experience
• Secured £16m funding for further growth

Celebrating our five year anniversary
Today, to mark our five year anniversary, Tapi Carpets sets out its ambition to be the UK’s leading carpet and flooring operator within the next five years. Launched in 2015 by founder Martin Harris, Tapi has led innovation in the sector since inception and achieved great success in its first five years including:

• First to offer modern showrooms, designed to stimulate all five senses
• First to launch a fleet of mobile showrooms, bringing the store to your living room
• Already the leading UK retailer for customer service with 22,000 Trustpilot reviews
• Built out a 137 nationwide store estate
• From zero to over £100m (for the year ended 31 December 2019) of annual revenues in just five years

Tapi’s response to Covid-19
As a young, energetic business, Tapi has been able to innovate at speed to adapt to the changing environment. In response to Covid, Tapi has introduced industry first ‘Video Appointments’ bringing the showroom experience to customers sofas, through a video link to a manager in a physical store, who is able to show product, discuss requirements and take orders.

As an essential homewares retailer, Tapi was the first major retailer in the category to commence the re-opening of its stores from 11th May, following a comprehensive and detailed review and upgrade to all processes and procedures to ensure the safety of both team members and customers. The showrooms now operate on an appointment only basis.

Tapi was also quick to order PPE and has made its use mandatory for all team members and fitting partners.

As at the start of June, Tapi has re-opened virtually all of its UK estate and has experienced encouraging early trading. In an industry first a ‘Queue Buster’ has been introduced at its retail park showrooms, where customers text a store or scan a QR code to their smart phone to book an appointment, enabling them to wait from the safety of their car or shop further without unnecessary queuing. Customers are kept informed of waiting times and notified when their appointment comes due by text.

“It is a credit to the whole Tapi team that, even at the most difficult of times, we have been able to innovate at speed in order to maintain close engagement with our customers. New innovations including the video appointments have proved so popular that they will remain a permanent feature of our offering to customers,” commented Martin Harris.

The next five years – enlarged board with youth, digital expertise and the funds for growth
With unprecedented change expected in retail in the coming years, Tapi announces its plans to become the UK’s leading carpet and flooring operator within five years, through continued innovation and a best in class, seemless customer experience. To support this growth Tapi completed a £16m fund raising round, including £9m of equity from existing investors earlier this year.

With Martin and Lord Harris, Tapi has always had unrivalled expertise, relationships and reputation in all things flooring and store based retail. In recognition of the increasing importance of creating a seamless customer experience across all channels, Tapi is delighted to confirm the appointment of Will Barker to the role of Chairman (replacing Sir Harry Djanogly who is retiring) and James Sturrock to the position of Group CEO. Martin Harris will hold the positions of Founder, Managing Director of Retail and Vice Chairman and will be focused on extending Tapi’s leadership in physical showrooms. Lord Harris, who previously has been an advisor to the Company, joins the Board as Honorary President, with a focus on buying and site acquisition.

As a major active investor in leading consumer facing businesses including ASOS and AO and an early stage investor in Tapi, through his investment vehicle Camelot Partners, Will has a global perspective on exactly what it takes to build an industry beating retail business in the modern world.

“We have built a formidable team around a tightknit, family culture at Tapi, with unrivalled expertise and ambition that knows no ceiling. Delighting our customers wherever and however they engage with us will always be at the heart of our strategy. We now have the team, funding and platform in place to supercharge growth and lead the industry,” Will Barker commented.

James is a digital native and customer experience obsessive, with a family heritage in retail. A marketeer by background, James has held senior roles at Direct Line, followed by Managing Director of Moonpig, before becoming CEO of eve Sleep, a challenger brand, that pioneered the direct to consumer mattress market. Of particular relevance will be James’ expertise in integrating all touch points and operations to provide customers with a seamless experience, the like of which has never been seen in the flooring industry before.

James Sturrock, Group CEO of Tapi Carpets, said: “It is a genuine pleasure to be joining such a strong board, with an unrivalled depth and breadth of expertise. Martin and I will continue to lead change and innovation in this category, which to date has been one of the slowest to adapt to the new retail landscape. We will build on our best in class reputation for customer service by fully integrating all aspects of our operations to provide a seamless and compelling experience across all channels and realise our ambition to be the leading player in the UK.”

Source : Tapi Carpets

Image : James Sturrock - Group CEO of Tapi Carpets

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10 June 2020

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