Topps Tiles is Britain's largest tile specialist with 371 retail stores nationwide. Founded in 1963, Topps Tiles opened its first store that year in Sale, Manchester and continued to open stores across the North West and the Midlands. Merging with Tile Kingdom in 1990, Topps Tiles expanded its presence into London and the South. With continued growth across the UK following the merger, the retailer became a public limited company in 1997.
Mostly known for its large edge-of-town store formats, Topps Tiles developed a newer smaller store format in January 2014 which would allow them to further expand to locations where sites posed size restraints. The new store format, branded Topps Tiles Boutique, aims to bring the best of the company's product range to the high street.
Topps Tiles' position as the UK's number one tile retailer is a tribute to the business philosophy and the approach developed by its founders. From the outset the founders recognised that the key to success was an outstanding range of tiles and associated products at prices to suit all pockets, coupled with excellent and knowledgeable customer service.
Following the launch of their new IT roadmap in January 2016, Topps Tiles' IT team initiated a review of all suppliers of technology, support and solutions. The aim was to select an eco-system of strategic partners that were best place to support the business on this journey.
“Our ambition was to ensure that we were partnered with the best people we could find to assist us in developing our technical centre of excellence. Caretower were invited into the selection process as we knew they were a well-respected security specialist with strong skills in their existing security solutions, particularly McAfee.”
Head of IT, Topps Tiles
Shortly into the partnership, Topps Tiles engaged Caretower on an endpoint monitoring managed service. This was an important part of Topps Tiles' IT roadmap for two reasons. Firstly, Caretower was trusted to ‘watch their backs' and to provide expert advice and guidance if security was ever compromised. Secondly, it allowed Topps Tiles to refocus its own Infrastructure team onto an extensive hosting technology change programme.
Caretower also worked with Topps Tiles on a vulnerability assessment to highlight areas for investment. Several of Caretower's recommendations have now been actioned and the company continues to be a valuable sounding board for advice on all things cyber security.
“When the Wannacry (and latterly Petya) viruses hit, Caretower's engineers were quick to advise us of the threat and provide the needed AV patches very quickly, allowing us to remain protected. As a result, we were able to avoid any IT outages or system downtime.”
Head of IT, Topps Tiles
Commenting on the partnership with Caretower, Mark Woodyatt added:
“As part of our ongoing strategic relationship with Caretower we have also engaged their teams on consultancy to support Topps with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). They have worked alongside myself to lead GDPR across the business and so far I'm delighted with the progress we have made and the quality of the support we're receiving. We set out with the ambition to find a group of high performing specialists to work with us on our IT roadmap and I am very happy with the contribution Caretower is making to support our journey.”