Topshop Story and Business

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Topshop 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. Its current CEO is Katie Foster; and is part of the Arcadia Group, which is controlled by Sir Philip Green.

HISTORY

 Topshop started in the 1960s as a brand extension of the department store Peter Robinson a women’s fashion chain ,and originally sold fashion by young British designers. 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 store.

Peter Robinson’s Top Shop buyer Diane Wadey had an eye for young talent and introduced Royal College of Art graduate Jane Whiteside, Jeff Cooper and Ronnie Stirling – the Stirling Cooper brand soon had its own sections in Top Shop stores in London and Sheffield.

In 1973, parent company Burton Group divided Top Shop by Peter Robinson into two chains known as Peter Robinson and Top Shop. Top Shop directed by Ralph Halpern would focus on the age range from 13 to 24.

By 1974, Peter Robinson had been reduced from 22 stores to 6, while Top Shop was developing independently and was described as “highly profitable”. Within two years, Top Shop had 55 standalone branches andiIt made profits of £1m.

In 1978, Burton launched the Top Man brand along similar lines to its women’s retail arm.

By the start of the 1980s, the brand was being referred from Top Shop to the current Topshop.

The eighties were not easy for the brand, but by the late 1990s it underwent a growth when Jane Shepherdson was promoted to brand director. Thanks to Shepherdson, Topshop reached an annual profit of £ 9,000,000 and by 2005 turnover was more than £ 100 million a year. Jane Shepherdson has brought Topshop to be an official sponsor of the fashion week in London supporting emerging British designers since then.

STORES

Topshop has 510 stores worldwide – of which some 300 are in the UK – plus online operations .

The flagship stores are

  • Oxford Circus, London – The flagship Topshop store 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.

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  • Fifth Avenue, New York City – The Topshop store, 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 store 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 stores alongside the Topshop branch.
  • Briggate, Leeds – In 2012, a 31,000 square feet (2,900 m2) store 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 stores in the new shopping centre development at 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2); the largest Topshop in Ireland.

DESIGNER COLLABORATIONS

Topshop, a bit ‘like H & M, create capsule collections in collaboration with designers of high fashion brands that are usually sold out within hours. In 1994, it launched a collection with Red or Dead and has continued to work with talented designers such as former Clements Ribeiro assistant  Markus Lupfer with Hussein Chalayan, Tristan Webber and Tracey Boyd.

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In May 2007, the British supermodel Kate Moss designed her first collection for the brand and in the same year, the artist Stella Vine designed a limited edition series inspired by his works.

Kate Moss went on to create collections for the brand, the latest on summer 2014.

In 2014, Beyoncé signed a deal to launch an activewear brand with Topshop. The 50-50 venture is called Parkwood Topshop Athletic that will be launched in April 2016.

Topshop is also working with the Jender sisters, Kendall and Kylie, the Holiday collection is on sale now

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In 2001, Topshop Unique collection was launched and since 2005 the new collections are presented during London fashion week with the Topshop Unique Fashion Show.

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Topshop is part of Arcadia Group Ltd. (formerly Arcadia Group plc and Burton Group plc), a multinational British company based in London managed by Sir Philip Green, that owns the clothing brand Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Topman , Topshop, Wallis.

Topshop introduced the  personal shopping service inside  the stores in Oxford Circus ,Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, this service is used regularly by celebrities.

 

MARKETING

Some of the best top models of the moment are the face of Topshop in different advertising campaigns such as Cara Delevingne and Gigi Hadid, a strategy that definitely grow the brand image.

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Topshop is really active on social channels, with all the accounts ( Facebook, Instagram , youtube , twitter) is able to reach and to connect with lots of customer . Topshop focuses on digital marketing , last year for example they invited everyone to share their personal look and to use the hashtag #TopshopWindow , all images were collected and displayed on a screen located in the window of the store at Oxford Circus. All photos combined together have created a fully interactive digital mosaic and has been described as ‘the first fashion show in the world created on Instagram’

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What to you think about Topshop?

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