Topps Tiles is to launch an app and new loyalty benefits to encourage spend from trade professionals.

Topps Tiles

Topps Tiles posted a 29.5% fall in adjusted profit before tax in the half year to March 30

The home decor group announced the app as part of its new strategy, Mission 365, launched on the back of a drop in sales and profits in the first quarter due to weakened demand from homeowners.

In the 26 weeks to March 30, the tile specialist recorded a 5.8% dip in like-for-like sales and a 29.5% fall in adjusted profit before tax to £3.1m, while it also recorded a statutory loss of £1.5m.

In an effort to boost spend from trade shoppers, Topps Tiles CEO Rob Parker told Retail Week that a new app would allow trade customers to access a variety of features in one place, as well as a refreshed loyalty scheme with improved benefits.

“One of the areas we’re going much harder in is the traders’ digital experience and making sure we can do a much better job of serving them through digital platforms,” he said.

“Ultimately, this will mean wrapping up lots of different features and benefits via an app for trade, so they’ll always be plugged in to our business and we can communicate with them in almost real-time.”

Improvements in the loyalty offer are also planned and will offer trade shoppers the ability to collect rewards for referring homeowners to Topps that can then be tracked via the app.

“We’ve already got over 100,000 registered trade customers with us who regularly come in and spend in our stores but we do see very relatively small levels of digital penetration and we’d like to increase that,” said Parker. 

“The first opportunity is increasing share of wallet of those existing traders because we know these people do shop around quite a lot. Secondly, we want to attract new traders to the business and that will be about increasing our marketing spend for trade -pecific customers. A lot of our marketing historically has gone towards homeowners, so we think that’s a bigger opportunity moving forward as well.”

Other improvements revealed by the retailer as part of the new strategy include plans to improve its credit offer to attract larger orders from bigger contractors and expanding the product selection across the group to include more non-tile flooring, shower panels and outdoor tiling.