|Fate||Chapter 15 bankruptcy |
(United States stores under liquidation)
|Predecessor||Peter Robinson's Top Shop|
Number of locations
|over 500 shops across 58 countries|
Middle East and North Africa
|Ian Grabiner (CEO)|
|Owner||Arcadia Group (75%)|
Leonard Green and Partners (25%)
Topshop (originally Top Shop) is a British multinational fashion retailer of clothing, shoes, make-up and accessories. It has around 500 shops worldwide – of which some 300 are in the UK – plus online operations in a number of its markets. Its current CEO is Ian Grabiner, and it is part of the Arcadia Group, which is controlled by Sir Philip Green.
Topshop started as a brand extension of the department store Peter Robinson in the 1960s and originally sold fashion by young British designers, such as Mary Quant and Stirling Cooper. Peter Robinson was a women's fashion chain that had been acquired by Burton in 1946. Topshop was founded in 1964 as Peter Robinson's Top Shop, a youth brand within the Sheffield branch and also had a large department in the Oxford Street shop. This was high fashion for the "young and different generation" as The Times put it in 1965, and the department stocked garments by names such as Mary Quant and Gerald McCann. By 1966, it had a branch in the Peter Robinson store in Norwich.
Peter Robinson's Top Shop buyer Diane Wadey had an eye for young talent and introduced Royal College of Art graduate Jane Whiteside to Jeff Cooper and Ronnie Stirling – the Stirling Cooper brand they created soon had its own sections in Top Shop shops in London and Sheffield, as well as being stocked in Peter Robinson stores in Norwich and Bristol. Other brands stocked at Top Shop included Jeff Banks, French Connection and Radley Cooper.
Launch of separate retail chain
In 1973, parent company Burton Group launched a major expansion of its womenswear division, splitting Top Shop by Peter Robinson into two chains to be known as Peter Robinson and Top Shop. It was announced that while Peter Robinson would target the over 25s market, Top Shop would focus on the age range from 13 to 24, with Ralph Halpern directing the new venture. By 1974, Peter Robinson had been reduced from 22 stores to six, while Top Shop was developing independently (still retaining the one co-branded shop in Oxford Street) and was described as "highly profitable". Its key retail rivals included Miss Selfridge and the Way In boutique arm of Harrods. Within two years, Top Shop had 55 standalone branches, with more to come according to an article in The Times. Fashion editor Prudence Glynn described it as having a: "sharp definition of purpose". It made profits of £1m that year. By 1978, Top Shop accounted for a third of Burton's operating profits.
Also in 1978, Burton embarked on a drive to win a larger share of the men's fashion market in the midst of declining sales of men's tailoring, launching the Topman brand along similar lines to its women's retail arm. It was described by an executive as: "more of a 'brother to Top Shop than a son of Burton'." The following year, Burton announced sales and profits up by 30 percent in womenswear, with Topman also being cited as highly profitable. By the start of the 1980s, the brand was being referred to as Topshop.
1980s and beyond
In the 1980s, Topshop struggled to maintain its profile as a fashion brand, but by the late 1990s it began undergoing a revival. The brand pioneered online fashion, launching UK's first online fashion store for Topshop  This turnaround is often credited to the promotion of Jane Shepherdson as brand director. Having begun her career as a buyer, she rose through the ranks at the company. When she took on brand direction, Topshop had an annual profit of £9 million; by 2005 it was making over £100 million annually.
Under her tenure, Topshop became a key sponsor of London Fashion Week, sponsoring its Newgen arm that supports emerging British designers from 2002 and the Fashion East initiative – which acts as a bridge between London's fashion colleges and the Newgen scheme – a year later. This sponsorship continues and since 2005 it has been part of the London Fashion Week catwalk schedule.
As of 2012, it is part-owned by a US-based private equity group.
In 2015, Topshop started collaborating with the online retailer Zalando and began selling their merchandise in their shops. Advertisements featuring model Cara Delevingne were broadcast in Germany, Switzerland and France.
Topshop has been among the UK chain shops to work with high-fashion brands on capsule collections. In 1994, it launched a collection with Red or Dead. It continued to work with designer talent, such as former Clements Ribeiro assistant Markus Lupfer – described in 1999 as "so hot he's practically steaming" – also working with, among others, Hussein Chalayan, Tristan Webber and Tracey Boyd. Typically, such ranges sold out quickly, and attracted column inches in the fashion press.
In May 2007, British supermodel Kate Moss, designed her first collection for the brand. The appointment of Moss was announced just before the departure of Shepherdson for Whistles. In the same year, artist Stella Vine designed a limited edition range inspired by her artworks. These included T-shirts, vest tops, and T-shirt dresses, with the labels designed in pink glitter. The Guardian commented that "the fact that the range of T-shirts she has recently designed for TopShop – emblazoned with slogans like Breaking Up With Her Boyfriend – are flying out, speaks volumes for her public support."
In 2014, Beyoncé signed a deal to launch an activewear brand with Topshop. The 50-50 venture was initially called Parkwood Topshop Athletic Ltd and was scheduled to launch its first dance, fitness and sports ranges in autumn 2015. In November 2015, it was revealed that the brand would launch in April 2016. The brand was later revealed to be called Ivy Park.
Current operation and franchises
In December 2012, Philip Green sold a 25% stake in Topshop and Topman to the US-based private equity group Leonard Green and Partners for US$805 million. Under the terms of the deal, Arcadia retained Topshop's flagship Oxford Street shop (said to be worth between £400 and £500 million). Green said that the deal would enable Topshop to speed up its expansion, particularly within the US.
Topshop began planning its expansion to the United States in the mid-2000s and was tipped to open in New York as early as 2007. Currently it operates via a website and sells in Nordstrom shops. A small number of wholly owned shops are located in major cities. On 5 November 2014 it opened a flagship shop in New York City, located on Fifth Avenue. The shop is the largest international site, and second only to the Oxford Street, London shop in square footage. This is its second shop in New York City, the first having opened on Broadway in 2009. On 23 May 2019, Arcadia filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the United States and announced that all 11 freestanding Topshop stores there would be liquidated and closed within the coming months; however, Topshop will continue to sell its merchandise exclusively at Nordstrom locations.
Topshop announced a five-year international expansion plan in early 2011, planning to open new shops across Asia, Australia and the US as well as seeking opportunities in Europe. Although the Japanese flagship shops launched in 2006, all 5 shops in Japan shut in 2015. In 2013, parent group Arcadia began stepping up its franchise deals, announcing a planned 150 new shop openings with partners in Canada, Australia and Vietnam, to include Topshop and Topman shops.
Topshop expanded into Australia in 2011, with shops in New South Wales and Victoria. In 2013 it opened a shop in Brisbane's CBD in a location previously occupied by Borders. However, in mid-2017 Topshop's Australian operations went into voluntary administration. By mid 2019, only Sydney's Market Street store remained opened, after the closure of stores at Westfield Bondi Junction and Melbourne's Emporium earlier in the year.
In November 2012, Topshop launched its first shop in South Africa. In April 2013 a Topshop-Topman shop launched in Cape Town, at the V&A Waterfront. On 24 October 2013, Topshop opened a concession at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, its first outlet in France.
In 2015, Topshop opened a flagship shop in Auckland and 10 months later a shop in Wellington. The company has had a presence in New Zealand since 2010, opening a small concession within a department store in 2010. Located on Auckland's Queen Street, the flagship shop sold out of some of its ranges before it had opened. In September 2017, the franchise went into receivership and both shops closed on September 28, 2017.
Shops by country/region
Number of Topshop locations in July 2018
|Isle of Man||1|
|United Arab Emirates||18|
|United Kingdom||Over 320|
|United States||11 freestanding stores to close |
76 Nordstrom locations
- Oxford Circus, London - The flagship Topshop shop in the UK is 90,000 square feet (8,400 m2) and covers five floors. The shop attracts an average of 28,000 customers each day.
- Fifth Avenue, New York City – The Topshop shop, which opened in November 2014, is located opposite Saks Fifth Avenue and comprises 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) of retail space.
- Liverpool One, Liverpool – In 2009, Topshop opened its first Manhattan-style concept shop in the UK at Liverpool One. The site provides 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) of retail area and includes a Topman, hair salon and two shoe shops alongside the Topshop branch.
- Briggate, Leeds – In 2012, a 31,000 square feet (2,900 m2) shop on Briggate opened, becoming the third-largest Topshop in the UK. It is part of the Trinity Leeds shopping development.
- Victoria Square, Belfast - In 2008 Topshop Victoria Square, Belfast opened its doors as one of the largest shops in the new shopping centre development at 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2); the largest Topshop in Northern Ireland.
Protests and controversy
Topshop has been criticised for its overseas sourcing policies and its tax arrangements. In December 2007, the Edinburgh branch was targeted by student campaigning network People & Planet for allegedly using cotton picked by "slave labour".
In December 2010, some 200 campaigners staged a sit-in that closed Topshop's Oxford Circus shop, and in Brighton a number of protestors glued themselves to the branch windows. Other high streets in towns and cities across Britain saw similar protests in a day of action by UK Uncut against corporate tax arrangements. Two months later, police arrested a man for writing "pay your taxes" in washable ink on the wall of a Topshop branch in Colchester.
In July 2013, the singer and pop star Rihanna won a lawsuit against Topshop to prevent it using her image unofficially on a T-shirt. The lawsuit was launched on the premise that Topshop customers would assume Rihanna endorsed the company, that would lead to a false representation of her celebrity image and increased tensions with her then endorsement deal with River Island, a high-street rival. Judge Justice Birss agreed that customers would likely be deceived into believing it had the singer's approval. Topshop launched an appeal to the High Court, accusing Rihanna of wrongfully advocating that: "only a celebrity may ever market his or her own character" and Judge Justice Birss of misreading the law on "celebrity merchandising". The appeal was rejected unanimously at the Court of Appeal in London on 22 January 2015
In July 2015, Topshop has been criticised for its mannequins which some judged as too skinny. After a customer complained on Facebook, the fashion chain stopped using its tall and skinny female shop mannequins. Its also been criticised in October 2018 for removing an in-store pop-up in its London flagship store that was used to promote feminism with publisher Penguin after only being up for 20 minutes. The fashion retailer had agreed to host the pop-up with Penguin, to help launch the book Feminists Don't Wear Pink (And Other Lies) with products for sale supporting the UN charity Girl Up. 
In May 2016, the UVW union organised a large protest outside Topshop's Oxford Circus store attended by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP. It was the headlining event in a national "day of action" involving 16 other Topshop stores around the country, supported by various trade unions and activist groups, calling for the Living Wage and dignified treatment of outsourced cleaners being victimised for trade union activity. Two weeks earlier, an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons supported by 11 MPs noted:
that contract cleaners employed at Topshop stores by the contractor Britannia Services Group are paid below the living wage, forcing hard-working staff into debt and poverty; believes that there is no excuse for profitable multi-national companies which provide huge payouts to shareholders refusing to pay decent wages; fully supports cleaners contracted to work at Topshop stores who are unionising, protesting and campaigning for the living wage; is extremely concerned by reports that these staff are being victimised and bullied for asking for a decent wage; further believes that it is utterly disgraceful for the Arcadia Group, which owns Topshop, or its contractors to punish staff for asking for decent wages
- "Arcadia - Our History". Arcadiagroup.co.uk. Archived from the original on 30 June 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "UK's Topshop to open on Fifth Avenue, New York". Reuters. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Fletcher, Richard (10 September 2011). "Sir Philip Green is taking on America". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- Neilan, Catherine (16 May 2014). "The Drapers interview – Mary Homer". Drapers. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- Scarlett Kilcooley-O'Halloran (13 August 2014). "Topshop Expands In China". Vogue. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
- Brewerton, David (15 March 2011). "Raymond Burton obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Devoted to Women: Reduced Guide to the Sales – II" (56365). The Times. 5 July 1965.
- "Gerald McCann". vam.ac.uk. Victoria & Albert Museum. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "The London Look in Norwich" (56791). The Times. 17 November 1966.
- Glynn, Prudence (5 March 1968). "Long skirts at short prices" (57192). The Times.
- "Bargain Time" (57292). The Times. 2 July 1968.
- Stone, Margaret (29 June 1978). "All weather clothes of all work" (60340). The Times.
- "Burton set for drive in womenswear" (58702). The Times. 8 February 1973.
- "Why the stores are slimming down" (59113). The Times. 12 June 1974.
- Glynn, Prudence (21 October 1975). "A success in all sizes" (59532). The Times.
- "Business Diary" (59868). The Times. 23 November 1976.
- Financial Editor (12 May 1978). "Burton Group: On the button" (60299). The Times.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Tisdall, Patricia (4 April 1978). "Burton and Hepworth in drive for larger share of menswear sales" (60267). The Times.
- "Tickets to success for the Burton Group in 1979 (investor ad)" (60503). The Times. 18 December 1979.
- Unsworth, Rosemary (20 November 1979). "Fashion groups hoping for a recovery: waiting for a golden Christmas" (60479.). The Times.
- "Topshop launches Zoom fashion portal".
- "Topshop Oxford Street". British Style Genius. BBC. 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Vernon, Polly (9 March 2008). "Jane Shepherdson". The Observer. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Callender, Cat (11 May 2008). "Jane Shepherdson: from Topshop to Oxfam". London: Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Gonsalves, Rebecca (16 February 2014). "How Topshop's runway shows became a must-see success". London: The Independent. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Saramowicz, Caroline. "Another Day, Another Cara Delevingne Campaign! Model Fronts Topshop's Zalando Campaign". graziadaily.co.uk. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Collins, Rachel (4 April 1994). "Hotline" (64919). The Times.
- "Fashion Diary" (66678). The Times. 22 November 1999.
- "Times 2: Fashion and Style". The Times. 8 May 2000.
- "Get the look for less". The Times. 8 May 2000.
- "Affordable Chic". The Times. 6 September 2000.
- "Kate Moss Confirmed for Topshop" Rogue Connect, 20 September 2006
- Stella Vine tee at Topshop, Catwalk Queen, 2007. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
- One of Stella Vine's T-shirt dresses for TopShop, Topshop.com, 2007. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
- "Stella Vine for Top Shop" Archived 2 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Topshop, 27 July 2007. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
- Moody, Paul. "Everyone's talking about Stella Vine", The Guardian, 12 July 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2008.
- Alter, Charlotte (27 October 2014). "Beyoncé Launching Athletic Brand With Topshop". Time. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Adamczyk, Alicia (27 October 2014). "Beyoncé To Launch Activewear Brand With Topshop". Forbes. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Confirmed: Beyonce to launch a spotswear brand with Topshop". 25 November 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- Holmes, Sally. "OMG Beyoncé's Fashion Line Is HEEEEEEEREEEEEE". Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- Hsu, Tiffany (5 February 2013). "See's, Topshop, Topman opening at the Grove in February". LA Times.
- "Philip Green sells 25% stake in Topshop chain". BBC News. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- Scott, Mark (6 December 2012). "Billionaire Sells Stake in Topshop for $805 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- Ruddick, Graham (6 December 2012). "Philip Green pays off bank debt after selling Topshop stake". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- La Ferla, Ruth (21 June 2006). "But will it play Manhattan". New York Times. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Gordon, Kathy (13 February 2014). "Topshop to Open Five Stores in U.S." Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Ellyatt, Holly (5 November 2014). "Crazy in love: Beyoncé steals limelight at Topshop launch". CNBC. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Craven, Neil (2 November 2014). "Topshop set to open its second biggest global store in Big Apple after Beyonce deal". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Hall, James (2 April 2009). "Sir Philip Green confident as Topshop opens in New York". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
- Rivas, Mekita (23 May 2019). "Topshop Is Closing All Its US Stores". Refinery29. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- Hanbury, Mary (23 May 2019). "Topshop plans to close all US stores". Business Insider. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- Corrigan, Tom (23 May 2019). "Topshop Operator Arcadia Group Files for Bankruptcy in the U.S." The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- Levy, Katherine (10 January 2011). "Topshop to double sales through global expansion". Brand Republic. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Goldfingle, Gemma (23 September 2013). "Arcadia plots 150 overseas franchise stores next year". Retail Week. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Dykes, Daniel (26 June 2011). "Topshop in Australia". Retrieved 26 June 2011.
- Chesters, Laura (8 May 2011). "Australia bound: Sir Philip Green plans a new Sydney Topshop". The Independent. London. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
- "Arcadia team heads Down Under to nut out Topshop rescue". 30 May 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- "Topshop pulls out of the US, last Australian store in doubt". The Australian Financial Review. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- Madongo, Irene (23 November 2012). "Topshop: open in S Africa". Financial Times.
- Lawson, Alex (24 October 2013). "Topshop opens first French shop in Paris in Galeries Lafayette". Retail Week. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Adams, Christopher (17 May 2014). "Topshop chain set for NZ launch". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "Topshop opens in Auckland". Stuff.co.nz. 1 May 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- "Topshop to open in New Zealand". Stuff.co.nz. 24 March 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- Kokshanian, Rita (5 November 2014). "Topshop's New 5th Avenue Flagship Store Opens Today!". InStyle. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Core, Kevin (30 January 2009). "New Topshop bucks trend". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
- Harrison, Nicola (21 September 2009). "Topshop opens second largest UK shop in Liverpool". Retail Week. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Robinson, Stuart (12 October 2012). "Trinity Leeds: Flagship store is the new top of the shops". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Topshop make Victoria Square their flagship store in Ireland". www.property-magazine.eu. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- Townsend, Mark (19 September 2010). "High street stores hit in day of action over corporate tax avoidance". The Observer. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "Students protest over Topshop 'slave labour'". Edinburgh Evening News. Johnston Publishing. 6 December 2007. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012.
- Howie, Michael (4 December 2010). "Sir Philip Green's flagship Topshop forced to close in tax avoidance protest". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- Frances Leate (22 February 2011). "Arrested by armed police – for writing on a wall". Daily Gazette.
- Aston, John. (22 January 2015). "Rihanna vs Topshop: Court dismisses high street store's appeal over use of her image". The Independent. Retrieved 9 February 2015. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/news/rihanna-v-topshop-court-dismisses-high-street-stores-appeal-over-use-of-her-image-9994691.html
- "Pop star Rihanna wins image battle". 22 January 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2017 – via www.bbc.com.
- (22 January 2015). "Popstar Rihanna wins image battle". The BBC. Retrieved 9 February 2015. https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-30932158
- Regan, Helen (22 January 2015). "Rihanna Wins U.K. Legal Battle". Time.
- Wightman-Stone, Danielle (29 July 2015). "Topshop pulls tall and skinny mannequins". FashionUnited. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Topshop dismantles feminism pop-up". BBC News. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
- "John McDonnell joined living wage protest against Sir Philip Green outside Topshop". The Independent. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
- "TOPSHOP CLEANERS AND THE LIVING WAGE - Early Day Motions". edm.parliament.uk. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Topshop.|