Belfast Telegraph

Topps Tiles blames weak consumer appetite for drop in sales

The company said like-for-like revenues fell 2.3% in the third quarter.

Topps Tiles has blamed weak consumer demand for knocking sales in the third quarter.

The specialist tiles retailer said in a trading update that like-for-like revenue fell 2.3% in the 13 weeks to July 1 – its worst quarterly decline so far this year.

The company reported a 3.4% rise in sales in the first three months of the year, though fortunes reversed in the second quarter when revenue dropped 2.2%.

Topps said trading over the third quarter “has been reflective of a weaker consumer environment”.

“Against this background, we believe that we continue to outperform the overall tile market and we are maintaining our focus on tight cost control and strong underlying cash generation,” the company added.

The group opened two stores but closed three over the last three month, bringing its store total to 375.

That compares with 367 sites a year earlier.

Topps Tiles said it was continuing to invest in the business and was making strides with its core strategy, meant to see it “out-specialising the specialists”.

Efforts to gain retail market share has resulted a store investment program, with 140 sites now decked out with the latest merchandise and a raft of promotional activity that has helped its stores “perform resiliently in a challenging market.”

It is also expanding its commercial segment, having recruited a new sales team and set up stalls at the likes of Clerkenwell Design Week, which have generated a pipeline of new leads for future projects.

We are pleased with the resilience of our performance, which we believe remains ahead of the overall tile market Chief executive Matthew Williams

Chief executive Matthew Williams said: “The trading environment remained challenging during the third quarter but we are pleased with the resilience of our performance, which we believe remains ahead of the overall tile market.

“Our business has a market-leading position, remains well-invested and is in a strong position to capitalise on future growth opportunities as they arise.

“We have approximately doubled the size of our addressable market through our expansion into the commercial tile market segment and are focused on leveraging our specialism and competitive advantage across both retail and commercial channels.”

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