Sir Philip Green in Talks to Sell Arcadia Group
What a difference a decade makes, it wasn’t so long ago that high street giant Top Shop, part of Arcadia Group, was excelling in sales and designer collaborations from Kate Moss to Mary Katrantzou. Today retail presents new challenges, pre-London Fashion Week the brand announced it would not be presenting on the catwalk this season, Top Shop has been an on-schedule fixture for several years and now it seems further change is on the agenda. Arcadia billionaire boss Sir Philip Green is said to be in talks to sell all or part of the Arcadia Group business.
Arcadia group has 2,800 stores globally and over 26,000 employees. Recent sales figures have shown that flagship brand Top Shop is suffering as online retailers such as ASOS.com and Boohoo.com gain the upper hand. Sir Philip is said to be in discussion with Shandong Ruyi, a Chinese textiles giant that is looking for European opportunities.
Other Arcadia brands including Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Burton have also shown less than favourable sales figures. According to a leaked set of financial results from Christmas 2016, sales dropped 6.5 per cent, while Topshop on its own, sales reportedly plummeted by 10.9 per cent like-for-like.
The talks have sparked rumours that Sir Philip is looking to retire after five decades at the top of the retail trade. However, despite the apprehension a new direction for the group could be just what Top Shop and its fellow Arcadia brands need.
Jenny Holloway CEO of FashionCapital and Fashion Enter comments: “It is well documented now how tough retail is – however there are still vast opportunities to create retail experiences. Love him or hate him Sir Philip Green is a colourful character and has provided much needed support for designers in the past for Graduate Fashion Week as well as long term continued support with New Generation at London Fashion Week.
“Personally I never thought Sir Philip would throw the towel in – he just reinvents a new chapter. So to hear about a potential buy-out by Shandong Ruyi just reflects how bad retail is and while this is a sad time for the UK high street it could very well mark the fresh start that the sector desperately needs.”