Madison furniture store criticized for selling masks, PPE

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MADISON, Tenn.(WKRN) – A furniture store is being criticized for selling personal protective equipment, while some are praising their efforts.

Madison Furniture Outlet promoted the PPE on Facebook with an image depicting thousands of surgical masks and that sparked the controversy. Comments claim the company is hoarding much needed gear and making a profit on the pandemic.

The manager of the furniture store, Oscar Rodriguez told News 2 that they actually only have a few hundred masks for sale.

“We are not hoarding masks. That picture is from the wholesaler, we happened to use the image,” Rodriguez explained.

He understand that the image is misleading, but assures News 2 that they aren’t price gouging and instead are trying to help the community.

“We are selling this particular mask for one dollar and I don’t think it’s a bad price. It’s $1 for a mask.”

News 2 watched as dozens lined up outside the furniture store to buy surgical masks, many thanking the company for the hard to find product.

“We are just trying to do the right thing and if people are offended our sincere apologies. We are not hoarding any product and we are not trying to become rich by selling masks. We are not in the mask business we are in the furniture business,” he said.

The furniture store has already sold out of KN95 mask, gloves and hand sanitizer, according t Rodriguez, but they hope to get more in.  He said they bought it online from a wholesale company and it arrived in only a few days time.

Meantime, Rodriguez said the furniture store is open inside for customers to pick up online orders. He showed News 2 paper work from the Metro Health Department saying they received a complaint that they were operating as normal, but that the department cleared the way they are operating.

The furniture store said they are also happy to help any hospitals or clinics in need of masks and are looking into donating some. 

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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