Topps Tiles says DIY is shrinking

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Topps Tiles plans to have around 13 Boutiques store this year in locations such as Fulham
TOPPS TILES boss Matt Williams said consumers were shifting away from carrying out DIY projects themselves, as the growth of its trades business helped the retailer post better-than-expected first-half profits.

Williams said trade sales increased to 48.3 per cent of the business from 44 per cent last year.

“People are becoming more adventurous with their tiling projects. It means people are moving in the opposite direction [to DIY], creating the need to bring a professional fitter in,” he said.

His comments come after fellow home improvement chain Homebase said earlier this year they bemoaned the rise of a generation less skilled in DIY projects, adding that it was partly to blame for the closure of a quarter of its estate.

Topps Tiles, which has 343 stores across the UK, reported a 13.8 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £9.1m in the first half of the year, ahead of analyst expectations.

Total sales grew by 6.4 per cent, with like-for-like sales up 5.1 per cent.

The retailer said it will extend the trial of its smaller Topps Tiles Boutique stores from seven to 13 by the end of the year, opening in affluent locations such as Chelsea.