Monsoon Accessorize

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Monsoon Accessorize Ltd.
IndustryHigh Street retailer
Founded1973; 49 years ago (1973)
FounderPeter Simon
United Kingdom
Number of locations
181 stores
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
OwnerPeter Simon
Monsoon Accessorize, Oxford Street, London, 2016
Accessorize store in Piacenza, Italy

Monsoon Accessorize is a British private limited company. It operates two international retail clothing chains – Monsoon and Accessorize.[1]

In 2018, the company reported 181 stores in the UK.[2]


Monsoon was started in London in 1973 by Peter Simon, a market-stall trader, and opened its first shop in Beauchamp Place in May of that year.[3][4][5] The first Accessorize shop opened in 1984, next door to Monsoon in Covent Garden.[5]

In 1994, a registered charity, the Monsoon Accessorize Trust, was set up to help under-privileged women and children in Asia.[6][7][8]

The company was listed on the Stock Exchange in 1998. In 2007, Simon paid £185 million to take it private again.[9]

In 2009, the company moved to a building designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris in Notting Dale.[10] The company's collection of some 300 works of modern and contemporary art is housed there.[6][11]

From early 2013 to February 2015, John Browett, former head of retail at Apple, was chief executive of the company.[3][12] He was succeeded by Paul Allen, who served until August 2019, when Peter Simon and COO Nick Stowe jointly assumed the CEO role.[12][13]

In the 12 months to August 2018, the company operated 181 stores in the UK. Filed accounts showed turnover of £296m, of which £62m came from overseas stores. The firm recorded a post-tax loss of £22.5m for the year.[2]

In July 2019, a majority of Monsoon's landlords agreed to cut rents at 135 stores, following the retailer's proposed company voluntary arrangement.[14]

On 10 June 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, Monsoon Accessorize went into administration and was then bought by its founder, who planned 35 UK store closures with the loss of 545 jobs.[15] The company also confirmed the closure of Monsoon Accessorize stores in the Republic of Ireland affecting stores in Dublin, Cork City and Kilkenny.[16] The company planned to retain stores in Drogheda, Limerick, Galway, Sligo and Athlone for the time being.[citation needed]


In February 2013, the Forum of Private Business criticised Monsoon for requiring all new suppliers to give a blanket rebate of up to 4% on all invoices, as well as a further charge of up to 10% for early payment.[17][18]

In October 2015, Monsoon was at the head of a list published by HM Revenue and Customs of companies that had failed to pay the national minimum wage. Because of a policy requiring employees to wear Monsoon clothes at work, the cost of which was deducted from wages, the company had effectively underpaid 1438 of its workers in the United Kingdom by over £104,000. The company was fined more than £28,000, and began paying a clothing allowance and raised wages.[19][20]

Monsoon Marylebone High Street

Ethical Trading[edit]

Monsoon is a corporate member of the Ethical Trading Initiative.[21][22]


  1. ^ Company Details: 01098034, Monsoon Accessorize Limited. Companies House. Accessed January 2015. NB: either the company name or the company number must be manually inserted in the relevant search field.
  2. ^ a b "MONSOON ACCESSORIZE LIMITED - Companies House listing". Companies House. 10 October 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b Graham Ruddick (7 February 2014). Monsoon back in the black as former Apple boss boosts sales. The Daily Telegraph. Accessed January 2015.
  4. ^ Laura Heywood (21 August 2013). "MONSOON: Latest news, analysis and comment on Monsoon". Retail Week. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Monsoon - company history". Monsoon Accessorize. Archived from the original on 23 April 2006.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link) Archived 23 April 2006.
  6. ^ a b [s.n.] (26 October 2008). Peter Simon, founder and director, Monsoon and Accessorize. The New York Times. Accessed March 2016.
  7. ^ Howard Lake (5 January 2010). Money raining in for Monsoon Charitable Trust. UKfundraising. Accessed March 2016.
  8. ^ [s.n.] (29 January 2013). Christian Aid, Monsoon partnership to boost Afghanistan's silk industry. Christian Today. Accessed March 2016.
  9. ^ Julia Kollewe (29 September 2007). Monsoon founder wins fight to go private. The Guardian. Accessed March 2016.
  10. ^ Mike Stiff (5 February 2009). Allford Hall Monaghan Morris: Yellow, White and Studio Buildings, Notting Dale Village, London Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.' 'Architecture Today 198: 54. Accessed March 2016.
  11. ^ [s.n.] ([s.d.]) Top 200 Collectors: Peter Simon. Accessed March 2016.
  12. ^ a b Sarah Butler (18 February 2015). Monsoon chief executive John Browett to step down. The Guardian. Accessed March 2016.
  13. ^ Nazir, Sahar (20 August 2019). "Monsoon Accessorize CEO Paul Allen quits". Retail Gazette. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  14. ^ Burden, Elizabeth (4 July 2019). "Monsoon landlords agree to cut rents". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  15. ^ Partridge, Joanna (10 June 2020). "Monsoon Accessorize, Restaurant Group and Quiz to shut sites". Guardian. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Monsoon and Accessorize to close some Irish shops". 10 June 2020 – via {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  17. ^ "Monsoon Accessorize criticised for mandatory supplier rebate". PrintWeek. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Monsoon faces criticism over supplier terms". 25 February 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  19. ^ Monsoon Accessorize tops minimum wage list of shame. BBC. Accessed October 2015.
  20. ^ Sarah Butler (23 October 2015). Monsoon named and shamed for not paying staff minimum wage. The Guardian. Accessed October 2015.
  21. ^ "Ethical Trading Initiative". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  22. ^ Susanne Schaller (2007). The Democratic Legitimacy of Private Governance. An Analysis of the Ethical Trading Initiative Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Duisburg: Institute for Development and Peace, University of Duisburg‐Essen. INEF Report 91. ISSN 0941-4967. p. 18.