Tapi to focus on service
Tapi Carpets & Flooring, Martin Harris’s new chain will focus on service and the shopping experience.
‘We don’t think price is that important, we think the service you give is more important. Yes you’ve got to have offers, even Harrods has sales, but this is about the journey, the inspiration, the sensory bits that you get. We want you to have the pleasure of browsing and finding the floor that’s right for you, not the one that makes me the most money. I’m not interested in margin. I’m interested in finding the flooring that’s right for you, because then you’ll come back. Integrity is very important to us,’ says Harris.
It has opened its first store on Tooting High Street, south London – the site of a former Carpetright store – with a second branch in Great Yarmouth opening next week followed by Ipswich.
As well as high streets and retail parks, Harris is looking to open in shopping centres.
‘People love spending money on their homes, there are TV programmes about it, but I don’t think the flooring sector has embraced that, it’s been very stale for decades. Normal carpet shops are dusty, musty and price focused. I think Tapi is very different. ‘This whole store is about sensation – touch, smell, sound, sight. This is light, airy, inviting; it’s a pleasure to be in. We’ve raised the standards of retailing. We want as many sites as possible. If we can put Tapi in places where there are people, we will be successful.’
The Tooting store features a lounge area with seating and a kitchen bar. ‘It’s designed to encourage a conversation, we’re not trying to sell to you, we’re trying to advise,’ he says.
Harris has secured investment from Sir Harry Djanogly, Tapi chairman and DFS founder Lord Kirkham.