London-born tycoon Sir Philip Green last night collected the International Retailer of the Year Award at the 100th National Retail Federation (NRF) ceremony in the US.
Green is the owner of the UK’s largest privately owned clothing retailer, Arcadia Group, which boasts more than 2,500 outlets including brands such as Topshop and Dorothy Perkins.
The annual award is given to individuals who achieve recognition for excellence both in their native country and internationally and previous winners include Hans-Joachim Koerber, CEO of Sysco Corporation and Tadashi Yanai, founder and owner of fashion retailer Uniqlo.
Prior to the awards, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said: “In this highly competitive industry, it’s important for retailers to break away from the mould and push their company to new heights.
“Every year we search to find those who continue to do just that. We applaud each of this years’ winners and are thrilled to honour them in front of their peers.”
The decision to select Green was announced in December, during a controversial period of protest around England, which saw outraged students target and temporarily shut down a number of Arcadia outlets in demonstration against his alleged tax avoidance.
Sir Philip has always strongly defending his tax status, telling the BBC last year that his family are not tax exiles, they just do not live in the UK. He also suggested that his company has paid £300-400 million in taxes on profits over the last five years.
The businessman recently said he expects market conditions to be tough for the retail industry in the 12 months ahead, although he still has growth plans for Arcadia in the UK and internationally.