// Tapi Carpets criticises rivals for remaining open during the England lockdown
// The retailer has 140 stores and closed its English stores last Thursday for 4 weeks
// Carpetright and United Carpets have kept their stores open despite the restrictions
Tapi Carpets has launched a scathing attack on rivals Carpetright and United Carpets to close their stores in line with updated government guidance.
The carpet and floor tile seller, which has 140 stores across the country, closed its English stores last Thursday for four weeks following the latest lockdown restrictions.
Competitors Carpetright and United Carpets have kept their stores open despite the restrictions.
Chief executive James Sturrock said his competitors were “knowingly breaking the rules” by remaining open.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Sturrock added that he called on the government to provide clarification after deciding to close all stores in England in line with homeware sites being treated as “non-essential” retailers.
The Office for Public Safety and Standards said on Monday that carpet stores are to be treated as homeware and therefore not essential retail and “public guidance will be updated to reflect this”.
Carpetright has since said stores will remain open for appointments only, while United Carpets said it will continue to deliver customer orders based on existing government guidelines.
Retailers in England selling furnishings, homewares, clothing and electrical goods were all told to close their doors for a month last Thursday.