DIY Week takes a closer look at how Topps Tiles has been revamping its UK store network with effective merchandising solutions

T Trial store installation

opps Tiles has employed the services of Greater Manchester-based Ripple – a designer and manufacturer of

retail interior and display solutions – to aid it in its UK-wide store improvement programme. Announcing its half-year results in May this year, Topps said its retail stores remain a crucial part of its customer offer, adding that almost all of its customers visit a store at some point in their transaction seeking advice and support. The retailer also explained that the seamless integration of digital and its physical stores is ongoing, as Topps has growing confidence in the direct link between online traffic and store footfall. Topps commissioned Ripple

to create products to improve communication, display and merchandising at

its showrooms.

Above and Below: Recent installations for All-Store Improvement Programme. Examples of Topps Tiles wall bays designed and manufactured by Ripple.

The development includes a new ‘Trade Essentials’ section to convey innovative features and applications of an extended range of trade tools and products. The ‘All-Store Improvement Plan’ (ASIP) will require over a mile of wall unit fixtures across the 380 Topps Tiles showrooms in the UK. These will be installed in various configurations to a programme expected to run to autumn 2019. Successful trials of the new wall units last year at showrooms in Rugby, Sevenoaks, Sheldon, Reading, Watford, Solihull and Enderby in Leicestershire, resulted in significant sales improvement for Topps. As a result, the retailer took the decision to roll out the improvements across its’ whole retail estate.

The partnership with Ripple is not a new one for Topps and, over recent years, the merchandising solutions firm said it has significantly contributed

to 14 DIY WEEK 10 AUGUST 2018 the store format

development for the tile retailer. Ripple creative director Scott

Harrop said: “There are many benefits of achieving alignment of stores in addition to increased sales. These include operational efficiency and consistent product ranging, merchandising and communication at point-of-sale; which is designed to educate customers about new products, techniques and methods. “The concept fits with Topps Tiles’ ambition to grow its market share pursuing the company’s strategy of ‘out-specialising the specialist’, whilst aligning the ranges, look- and-feel

and in-store added: “Ripple’s branding.

The result is a fresh look and an environment which is future-proof, functional and flexible.” He


and technical team carried out the design and technical development of the concepts, working closely with the Topps Tiles store design team. The solution is

focused on clear

communication of their extended product offer, providing inspiration, visibility of range and application methods. The equipment displays feature all the essential products and information needed to complete tasks such as underfloor heating and wet rooms, whilst clarifying in-store product availability.

“The solution can be adapted to display and communicate a diverse range of products such as different tile sizes and formats, grout and adhesives, screws and washers in packets, backer boards and rolls of waterproof matting, including

products such as

Durabase protective matting for wet rooms and Hardie Backer for the bathroom trade.” As part of the process, Ripple

created a range of design options, prototypes and 3-D impressions for Topps.

All the equipment used is manufactured by Ripple using a range of materials, but principally from fabricated mild steel finished with powder coating and laminated MDF board. It is then installed on site by separate contractors. Ripple operates across a number sectors,

of merchants,

including DIY and department


home décor, electricals and grocery and works with

such as Akzo Nobel and its Dulux Decorating Centres, B&Q, Cheshire Mouldings, Marshalls, B&M and Energizer

Part of the Ripple Group, run by managing

director David

Wolfenden, the company works across the UK and Europem with its design offices and manufacturing base are in Greenacres Road, Oldham, Greater Manchester.

stores, brands,

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