We have a few words to say about the economy, listen up at the back. The country is in a recession and it’s getting worse rather than better. Although we’ve been aware of this for some time now, we had thought that fashion seemed to be one industry – for example the quirky London fashion scene, with brands like Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou increasing their turnover year on year - that hadn’t been affected. Then there were figures coming in from luxury houses such as Louis Vuitton, where it seemed not even a global downturn could dent demand for Marc Jacobs’ monogrammed delights.
Then we received the news today that Arcadia – the company owned by tycoon Sir Phillip Green, which includes Topshop in its portfolio, will be closing around 250 shops due to the downturn.
In an interview with the BBC, Green said of the closures: ‘We have got - from my memory - 450 or 460 stores where leases expire in the next three years. And I think on our latest summary we will close more than half of those on lease expiry. So I would say, I would expect us to close 250-260…Now, there may be other opportunities that turn up that we might want to open. But certainly, in terms of our existing portfolio, currently that's our thinking.’
Despite this, the group continues to expand abroad, with Topshop stores in particular. US Topshop has opened its second flagship store in Chicago, with a third due to open in Las Vegas. Sir Philip also saw the possibility of the Topshop brand doubling in the next four years, with the potential of opening in China next year.