• Like-for-likes advance 4.4%
  • New ranges selling well
  • Specialist status is beating off competition

Topps Tiles’ like-for-likes climbed 4.4% in its first quarter in what the retailer described as an “encouraging” start to the financial year.

The retailer, which has 340 branches, said it was making good progress in its strategy of “out-specialising the specialists” by focusing on inspiring shoppers, range enhancements and convenience.

The retailer launched its second ‘lab’ store in London’s Shoreditch, which features a range of new display and merchandising approaches.

Topps intoduced 17 new ranges in the period. Sales from lines launched in the last 12 months accounted for 8.9% of the total.

Topps opened two stores and closed two stores during the quarter, when it also shut seven clearance shops. The remaining four clearance branches will be converted to the standard format

The retailer said it has consolidated all group support functions into its Leicester head office.

Topps chief executive Matthew Williams said: “Our strategy of ‘out-specialising the specialists’ continues to be very effective and we are confident that our plan for 2016 will see us deliver additional profitable sales growth as we further extend the appeal of the Topps brand.”

Broker Liberum was pleased by the update and said: “We view Topps as a category killer and believe that it is becoming less reliant on wider market trends and is setting the agenda instead.”