Carpetright’s latest results revealed its profits were all but wiped out in the 26 weeks to October 28, plummeting by 93 percent to just £300 000. Photo: Bloomberg
INTERNATIONAL - Profits at Carpetright have been floored as the company admitted it's struggling to compete with a rival retailer set up by its founder's son.

One of Britain's biggest flooring retailers, the company has been hammered since the launch of Tapi, run by Martin Harris, who was with Carpetright for 23 years.

Harris is the son of the retailer’s founder, Lord Harris of Peckham, 76, who stepped down in 2014.

Carpetright’s latest results revealed its profits were all but wiped out in the 26 weeks to October 28, plummeting by 93pc to just £300000 (R5.45million).

Wilf Walsh, chief executive, said: "The first half has undoubtedly been challenging. Consumer confidence remains fragile and we continue to manage the impact of intensified competition."

The Harris family built the Carpetright empire after Lord Harris was forced to take over his family’s flooring business at the age of 15 when his father died.

He was later joined at the company, which officially became Carpetright in 1988, by Martin, who served as development director and sat on the board.

However, Lord Harris retired and his son became disillusioned with the business, so both stepped down.

Launching Tapi in 2015, Harris junior said he planned to open 200 stores over five years which would target the more affluent customer, and so far it has 91 stores.

City analysts initially appeared sceptical that Harris junior could replicate Harris senior's success, with one commentator saying he was not in the same league as his father.

But Tapi soon ate in to Carpetright’s sales as it opened stores close to some of its more established rival’s most profitable sites.

Carpetright has given its strategy an overhaul to claw back customers by refurbishing shops, shutting and downsizing sites and refocusing its business online.

- DAILY MAIL