Topshop Owner To Close Up To 260 UK Stores

The retail group that owns popular high street chains including Topshop, Miss Selfridge and BHS is to close up to 260 stores after a sharp fall in profits.

Arcadia profits are down by more than a third to just over £133m – compared to £213m last year.

Billionaire fashion entrepreneur Sir Philip Green, who owns the company, blames the drop in performance on the weather.

He told Sky News an unseasonably warm autumn has followed last year’s cold winter.

“On top of everything we haven’t had a cold day yet – it’s tough to sell with no seasonable help,” he said.

 

Careful shopping habits have also lead to tough trading on the high street, he said.

The Arcadia group has 2,500 clothing stores in the UK.

Sir Philip said he expects up to 260 of these  to disappear from the high street over the next couple of years as the company “reshapes our portfolio”.

“We’ve got some 250 or 260 stores that we can expire over the next three years and the likelihood is we’ll do so,” he said.

Sir Philip also told Sky’s City editor Mark Kleinman that he is planning to expand his fashion empire overseas by bringing the Top Shop brand to China in the next 12 months.

But he warned there is no “silver bullet” that can sort out the UK economy.

Sir Philip said he believed consumers will be looking for good news from Chancellor George Osborne next week in the Autumn statement.

But this is not likely to happen with Sky’s economics editor Ed Conway revealing a credit easing scheme to be announced on Tuesday is likely to increase Britain’s national debt by tens of billions of pounds.

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