NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - People took to Facebook to criticize a Madison furniture outlet for selling PPEs, after the business posted a picture on social media of apparently thousands of masks for sale.

Masks For Sale

The postings on Madison Furniture Outlet’s Facebook page also showed hand sanitizer and gloves for sale.

Hand Sanitizer
Stock Pile Of COVID-19 Supplies

One person wrote on their Facebook page, “(Madison Furniture Outlet) price gouging for PPE and they’re hoarding when hospitals are in dire need.”

Manager Oscar Rodriguez showed News4 Investigates a box of masks, saying there were 400 inside that they purchased to give to shoppers.

“There was a posting that showed hundreds of masks – I apologize, that is not the case,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez then said because so many customers weren’t wearing masks, they decided to start selling them.

“We are selling them for a dollar a piece. If you shop with this us, you get one at the door,” Rodriguez said.

So News4 Investigates asked was this store, in fact, open?

News4 Investigates pointed out to Rodriguez that furniture stores were not deemed an essential business, and that we observed customers coming in and out of the store, several not leaving with masks or PPE supplies.

During our interview with Rodriguez, we watched as someone carried out a roll of carpet.

“Right now, we’re watching people carry out a big thing of carpet. So that looks like business,” asked News4 Investigates.

“I have no idea what happened there,” Rodriguez said.

“Are you using (the PPE sales) under the guise to stay open, as a way to circumvent the rules?” asked News4 Investigates.

“I guess the reason I came out here to invite you, was to clear up the fact that we do not have a stockpile of thousands of masks. And we’re giving, our future customers, we’re giving a mask. And if you want to come and you want to buy a mask, we’ll sell you a mask,” Rodriguez said.

Metro’s essential business ordinance allows for businesses to handle deliveries, but only curbside.

A spokesman for the metro health department said they are now investigating to see if what the store is doing is violating their ordinance.

 

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Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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