Topps Tiles has become embroiled in a row with floorings retailer Floors-2-Go over allegations that an email was circulated by a Topps employee making allegations about Floors-2-Go’s performance.
A Topps Tiles staffer, believed to be junior, is thought to have made the suggestions in the email to other employees.
Floors-2-Go director Michael Coleman said: “We will be suing them for damages and costs. It was a major attack on our business. Our lawyers are instructed to issue
proceedings against Topps Tiles in respect of unlawful actions of Topps Tiles.”
Topps Tiles chief executive Matt Williams said: “We did have communication with Floors-2-Go last week. We responded to it and consider the matter dealt with.”
However, Coleman said Topps Tiles’ response was “insufficient”. He said it is “completely untrue” that Floors-2-Go is in danger of going into administration, highlighting the retailer’s recent figures. In the year to July 31 it clocked up revenue of £34m and pre-tax profits of £765,000. Like-for-likes in the year to date are up 25%, said Coleman.
He said Floors-2-Go, which was bought out of administration in 2008, was hunting for more stores. “The business is doing very well,” he added.
Topps Tiles, which issued half-year figures on Wednesday, revealed that adjusted profit before tax and discontinued operations fell from £8.7m to £7.8m in the 27 weeks to April 3. Group like-for-likes climbed 2% in the period.
Williams said he was “quite happy” with the result. He said that while sales were subdued in the run-up to the general election, he has noticed an “improving trend” in recent weeks and that the retailer gained share in the reporting period.
However, current trading has slowed. Like-for-likes dropped 4.3% in the first seven weeks of the new period and revenue declined 5.1%, demonstrating the “challenges facing retailers, with ongoing pressure on consumer spending levels and confidence”, according to Topps.
Singer analyst Matthew McEachran said that the figures were “in-line with expectations”. Regarding current trading he said: “We had suspected there might have been a deterioration given anecdotal evidence of subdued trading in the run-up to the general election.”