Topps Tiles is launching its Boutique store chain, which is a new smaller high street format, with the opening of its Walton-on-Thames store tomorrow (January 10).
The tile and wood flooring retailer said it is "realising ambitious plans to build on its strong market position" and the launch is a significant step in demonstrating its commitment to making its products and in-store advice more convenient to both enthusiasts and trade customers. At the end of November, the company reported its market share had increased by 1.5% from the previous year
Topps is known for its large, edge-of-town store formats and 18 new stores opened in 2013; there are now 330 overall. But the new store model aims to bring the best of Topps Tiles to the high street. This also follows recent news about the company's strong start to its new financial year
, with a reported like-for-like sales increase of 9.3%.
The retailer said the Boutique stores offer a more intimate shopping experience combining practical inspiration with expert know-how. Inside there is a large consultation table and a digital visualiser where visitors can view different tiles in real room sets or simply assemble tile samples to assess the overall look. Product samples can still be purchased in the same way as in existing stores and orders made in a Boutique store can also be delivered to any Topps store or to a home address.
The company's commercial director Brian Linnington said: "The roll-out comprises three trial stores, planned for launch in the south east; Walton-on-Thames is the first followed by Clapham in February and a third site, which is yet to be confirmed. If the trial proves successful, Topps Tiles intends to extend the concept further."
Ceo at Topps Tiles, Matt Williams, added: "The Boutique concept was born out of our desire to bring the Topps Tiles brand to more people making us convenient to wider groups of customers. The reduction in floor space has meant we have had to focus on what's really important to our customers; offering inspiring collections of the very best quality tiles and exceptional levels of service."