Sir Philip Green scraps Topshop expansion deal for China

Arcadia Group

Sir Philip Green has agreed to terminate an expansion deal with Topshop and Topman and their Chinese franchise partner Shangpin.

A spokesperson for the retail tycoon has confirmed that Topshop/Topman’s ambitious plans for Chinese expansion have come to a halt.

“British fashion brands, Topshop Topman, and Chinese franchise partner, Shangpin, have reached a mutual agreement to an early termination,” Green’s spokesperson said.

“Topshop Topman and Shangpin have enjoyed a successful working relationship since September 2014.

“Customers can still shop Topshop and Topman products via Shangpin and until 30 November 2018, and will continue to be serviced via and” he added.

Green initially entered the deal with local online partner Shangpin with the intention to open physical Topshop stores in Beijing and Shanghai – talk of which was still going on in early 2018.

“Topshop Topman consider China a hugely significant market for development. The company is currently exploring opportunities to further grow the brands in China,” the spokesman added.

The news comes as Topshop bears the brunt of a £10.9 million loss last year, with sales dropping six per cent in the twelve months to August 26 2017.

Further up Green’s Arcadia Group retail empire, Taveta Investments reported a 42 per cent loss in annual operating profits for the full year.

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  1. When Topshop/Topman opened in the U.S. in SoHo, NYC in the early 2010’s, their brand really resonated with locals and tourists alike. In fact, Sir Philip used to call the store daily for trading updates, and each time I was in the store it was packed, people were enthusiastic and I heard rumblings that there were many more stores to come.

    Since that initial opening fanfare, you don’t see the marketing blitz that once was (buses and taxi cabs all over the city wrapped in their adverts), in fact, when you look at the expansion of Topshop/Topman in the U.S., versus other brands like AllSaints and Super Dry, they have been very slow by comparison, so it’s not hard to see why in other international markets they are evaluating their relationships.

    They recently closed a number of franchised stores in Australia and the U.K. business seems to have stumbled somewhat.

    Fast fashion is capital intensive, you need to have the right merchandise at the right time and the distribution to get it into as many peoples hands, as fast as possible.

    Given that Topshop/Topman was one of the early pioneers of fast fashion, Sir Philip should perhaps focus on reaching critical mass by pushing their online platform harder than franchise partnerships and new store openings?


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