Tycoon signs Topshop China deal

UK retail tycoon Sir Philip Green has signed a deal to open as many as 80 Topshop China stores.

This follows Sir Philip spending most of the year dealing with the fallout from the collapse of his BHS (British Home Stores) department-store chain in April.

Topshop started with one store in New York in 2009, growing to 10 standalone stores as well as a raft of concessions in Nordstrom department stores. Topshop now has about 620 shops across more than 40 countries.

Its first standalone Topshop China store is expected to launch in 2018, in either Beijing or Shanghai.

The deal is an extension of an arrangement with Chinese eCommerce fashion giant Shangpin.com, which has been helping Topshop with its online presence in China since 2014.

Topshop’s only physical presence on the mainland has been in the Galeries Lafayette department store in Beijing, where it has a concession. There is also a handful of stores in Hong Kong, the first of which opened in 2013.

Run by founder David Zhao, Shangpin is a members-only website offering access to Western brands, including Rebecca Minkoff and Stuart Weitzman. The site has more than 30 million subscribers.

As well as his website, Zhao acts as an adviser to foreign companies seeking to establish a physical presence in China.

Sir Philip says the expanded partnership with Shangpin will cement Topshop and Topman’s mission of becoming “truly global” businesses.

Four years ago, Sir Philip sold a 25 per cent stake in Topshop and Topman to US private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners in a deal that valued the brand at £2 billion (US$2.4 billion).

Topshop’s parent Arcadia has yet to publish accounts for the year to August, but in the previous 12 months the group, which also controls the Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge brands, posted a 6 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £214.3 million on sales of £2.06 billion.

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