Topps struggles against challenging comparatives and environment
An extra trading day has helped Topps Tiles maintain positive l-f-ls into the first quarter of its 2016/17 financial year. Without this additional day, l-f-l sales would have been down 0.3%, as consumer confidence remained weak and it went up against a particularly tough comparative in December.
Despite this marginal gain, Topps’ continued development will help support performance. The refurbishment of 10 stores, on top of the 15 planned new openings, will improve store environment and offer greater convenience. Topps should also drive awareness of its interest free credit offer that it launched in 2015/16, to appeal to increasingly constrained shoppers. The consumer market will be tough in 2017 as shopper’s spending power remains weak and the housing market continues to decline.
The key to Topps maintaining overall growth is driving trade sales, which accounted for 52% of sales in its 2015/16 financial year. It has had a strong initial response to its digital trade loyalty scheme, Trade Rewards+, with 24,000 members and nearly two thirds of trade sales going through this system.
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