Topps Tiles investment pays off

Topps Tiles investment pays off

Midlands-headquartered Topps Tiles is celebrating after further investment into its stores helped drive sales.

The tiling and flooring firm, which has 340 stores across the UK, posted a 4.4% rise in like-for-like sales in its first quarter to 2 January.

Growth eased back from the 5% seen in the previous three months, but analysts praised a solid performance at a traditionally quiet time of year for the group.

Matthew Williams, chief executive of Topps, said: "I am pleased to report an encouraging start to the financial year."

"Our strategy of 'out-specialising the specialists' continues to be very effective," he added.

The group has been boosted by rising consumer wages and strong property market conditions, while it has also benefited from a product revamp and the launch of new upmarket boutique stores.

Topps now has 13 boutique stores while it said it launched 17 new ranges in its first quarter, with new lines introduced in the past year accounting for 8.9% of overall sales.

It also pushed ahead with an overhaul of its store estate, closing seven clearance outlets and converting the remaining four to its main Topps Tiles branding.

Topps also finished its second "lab store" in Shoreditch, east London, trialling a number of new ideas, including more flexible merchandising displays and consultation desks.

The firm also recently moved all its support functions to its head office as part of a plan to save at least £500,000 a year.

This saw it shut its Cheadle office in Cheshire.