Topps Tiles was adversely affected by the third national lockdown. Its H1 was a tale of two halves, with retail like-for-like sales growing 19.9% in its Q1 but nosediving 17.3% in its Q2. Topps’ commercial business also struggled with sales down 10% in H1 as restaurants, bars and leisure businesses operated at limited capacity or closed altogether during the period.

The tile specialist adapted to the most recent lockdown by introducing virtual store visits in the middle of January, enabling customers to tour a store in real-time and interact with staff members. This allowed Topps to maintain a high level of customer service while stores were closed. Topps also offers a ‘TileMyHome’ visualiser that applies tiles to a photo of a room uploaded by the customer.

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Topps is bracing itself for a resurgence in sales once the UK emerges from lockdown as its stores reopen and homeowners return to purchasing in-store. The tile specialist experienced a boost in sales following the first national lockdown. The average weekly sales for the six weeks ending 8 August 2020 were +13.1%. Topps might also enjoy a sustained recovery since shoppers trade up to the specialist as the economy recovers and consumer confidence grows. This will help it build upon its long-term goal of accounting for £1 in every £5 spent on tiles and associated products by 2025.