Saturday, 17 December 2016

Topshop to its launch first mainland China stores


Sir Philip Green’s Topshop fashion chain is to open its first stores on the Chinese mainland, deepening its push into the world’s fastest-growing retail market two years after an online launch.

The label, known for its youthful designs and collaborations with celebrities such as Kate Moss and Beyoncé, says it will open five stores in the country next year in a partnership with online fashion retailer

Another 75 outlets could follow if the early openings prove a success. Topshop and Miss Selfridge brands are already sold through, and the UK retailer has three stores in Hong Kong.

Sir Philip described the deal as “the start of a unique, exciting and exclusive partnership that will cement Topshop and Topman’s mission of becoming truly global businesses”.

The retail tycoon has spent much of this year embroiled in the fight for his reputation triggered by the sale and subsequent collapse of BHS. The high street chain made Sir Philip a billionaire shortly after he bought it in 2000, but collapsed in April, barely a year after it was sold for £1 to a consortium.

The Pensions Regulator last month sent warnings of legal action against Sir Philip and his family’s companies, in an attempt to reclaim the cost of bailing out thousands of former BHS workers who have suffered cuts to their retirement incomes.

Officials have said they could require the tycoon to sell his personal assets to make good the shortfall, which include the Arcadia Group fashion empire, as well as Lionheart, his 3,000 ton yacht.

Analysts say Topshop is by far the most valuable part of Arcadia. A 25 per cent stake is held by Leonard Green, the California-based private equity fund, following a sale in 2012, which was reported at the time to have designs on a broad international push.

Topshop is a fixture on British high streets, with 300 UK stores, but only 140 outside the country. In contrast, “fast fashion” brands such as Zara and H&M, which target a similar demographic, have thousands of stores spread across Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Arcadia said the stores would be jointly managed by Topshop and, but declined to say who would own them., an ecommerce business with 30m registered users, could not be reached for comment. However, chief executive David Zhao said in a statement that it was “gratifying to be trusted by such world-renowned fashion brands to take them further in China”.



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