Tapi – the flooring retailer set up by Martin Harris, son of Carpetright founder Lord Harris – racked up pre-tax losses of £10.2m in 2016.

Its losses in the 12 months to December 31, 2016, widened from £4.5m the previous year after the fledgling business invested heavily in new stores.

The retailer opened 40 new Tapi stores during the period, taking its total to 67 – supported by a fleet of 34 mobile showrooms and a non-transactional website.

According to accounts filed at Companies House, Tapi generated sales of £30.3m during the period.

Harris told Retail Week that the business is debt free thanks to its “supportive shareholders”, which include Lord Harris and DFS founder Lord Kirkham. 

He added that the business was on track to have 93 stores by the end of 2017 and “ahead” on its overall business plan. He maintained his expectation that Tapi would turn a profit next year.

Harris opened the first Tapi store in May 2015 after leaving Carpetright, where he had worked for 23 years, and originally hoped to open 200 stores by 2018.

He said he now expects to have between 120 and 125 stores open by the end of next year, following “a few property setbacks”.

Current trading

Harris said that the business is trading “reasonably well” at the moment and experiencing double-digit like-for-like sales growth.

He attributes this, in part, to the retailer’s “strong service culture”.

“The general public has seen how much we care,” he said.

Harris added that he’s “quietly confident” about the fledgling firm’s growth. “I’m relatively happy, but you never stop wanting more – that’s what retail is all about,” he said.