independent

Thursday 31 July 2014

The Carpet Centre going strong for 33 years

Published 21/01/2014|05:38

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Robbie Quirke of The Carpet Centre in Clonard

WITH the world of interior design constantly changing and new styles for the home constantly emerging, it can often be hard to keep up.

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However, over the past 33 years, the Quirke family at The Carpet Centre have managed to roll with the changes and stay up to date in order to keep the family business going and keep their customers satisfied.

Paddy Quirke first started up with The Carpet Centre in 1981 at a location in the Old Dunnes car park near Crescent Quay. From there the business moved to Anne Street where it was eventually taken over by Paddy's cousin Robert Quirke who runs the business to this day. Finally, five years ago the business moved into a new state of the art show room on the site of the old HB building on Clonard Avenue.

While originally The Carpet Centre dealt solely in carpet and vinyl, they have now branched out into a number of different areas including wooden floors, rugs, carpet tiles, vinyl tiles and most recently beds. Robbie says that the market is constantly changing and, so far, they have managed to keep up. 'There was a real preference for timber floors there at one stage,' said Robbie. 'While they might look good and everything else, I think in the Irish climate carpet will always win out. A lot of people who would have changed to timber floors have actually changed back to carpet in recent years. The industry has come a long way itself too. There are a lot more stylish and tasteful designs available on the market now than there was.'

'We provide all types of flooring so we've always managed to keep up with the trends,' Robbie continued. 'Now we've also dedicated the top floor of the showroom to beds, so we're continuing to offer our customers more and more.'

Like all businesses, The Carpet Centre has had to deal with the pains of recession, but Robbie is optimistic that the worst is now behind them. 'Like with everything, the spend was down,' he said. 'If people had work to be done, they were trying to get it done for a fraction of the cost. As a result, we simply had to adapt. We reduced our prices and sourced better material at better prices and passed the savings directly on to the customers.'

The Carpet Centre also carries out a lot of commission work on public buildings, specialising in safety floors, and Robbie is hoping that it won't be long before the whole industry bounces back. 'Well there's a lot of talk at the moment of little green shoots,' he said. 'Obviously we'd be at the tail end of the construction process, so we'd be the last to see it, but I think the worst is behind us and hopefully in the next 12 months things will pick up again.'

'People are beginning to realise that, even with the recession, life goes on and they have to go on and do the things that maybe they've been putting on the long finger up to now.

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