Topps Tiles' share price slumped this morning as dampened consumer sentiment hit sales.
In the first half, total revenues at Topps Tiles came to £106.5m, down from £108m for the same period the year before. This equated to a like-for-like sales fall of 1.9 per cent for the period, with like-for-like sales falling by 4.1 per cent in the second quarter, sliding from a sales increase of 0.3 per cent in the first quarter.
Clearly, investors were not buoyed by the news; Topps Tiles' share price dropped eight per cent in morning trading.
Why it's interesting
Topps Tiles is often seen as a barometer for consumer sentiment, reflecting the nation's inclination to smarten up their houses, whether they're moving into a new home or wanting to invest in their current nest.
If Topps Tiles' share price today is anything to go by, things are heading south.
Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said: "Since the Brexit vote the market has significantly cooled. UK house prices fell for the first time in two years last month, a sign of a much more subdued market and this is hitting firms like Topps Tiles."
In addition, retailers like Topps Tiles will be battling rising inflation due to the fall in the value of sterling, and they face rising labour costs from the increases in the national living wage.
What Topps Tiles said
Chief executive Matthew Williams said in a statement: "Market conditions over the second quarter have been tougher, but the business has responded well with tight control of costs.
"We will continue to invest in the business and focus on executing our strategy of "out specialising the specialists" to extend our market-leading position in the second half of the year."