Retailing magnate Sir Philip Green is to step up overseas expansion of his Topshop-to-Miss Selfridge group Arcadia over the next year to 18 months with new outlets opening from Azerbaijan to South America.
The billionaire retailer has also decided to beef up the presence of his Topshop and Topman brands, which largely target younger fashion-conscious customers, within the Nordstrom’s upscale department stores in the US.
Green said yesterday that Arcadia planned to open 185 outlets abroad through franchise partners by August 2014, also covering its Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge and Wallis brands.
Retail industry experts said the move was a step-change on the 110 new foreign stores Arcadia is already committed to opening in this financial year.
Green, who also owns Bhs and made an unsuccessful attempt to take over Marks & Spencer in 2004, said: “I believe that Topshop and Topman are real fashion brands that deliver trend-led product on pretty much a weekly basis to our stores and websites around the globe.”
He said their success owed much to a “constant stream of fresh must-have pieces”, which gave Arcadia the confidence to push ahead with its twin-pronged international push embracing fully-owned flagships stores and franchisee-run outlets.
The Topshop and Topman brands will go into a further 28 Nordstrom branches, having opened in 14 last year. The plans include putting Topshop’s shoes into Nordstrom’s upmarket footwear departments and the brand’s cosmetic products in the stateside group’s beauty halls.
Arcadia will also introduce company-owned Topshop and Topman stores in other US cities, including the retailing hubs of Boston, San Francisco and Miami.
Topshop opened its first outlet in Hong Kong last month, and there are plans for a further 49 stores across the Far East, an economic region that has escaped the worst of the consumer squeeze that has hit the UK and eurozone.
Over the next year, the company says it will also open its first Topshop and Topman stores in Azerbaijan, launch Miss Selfridge in Chile and Australia, and introduce the value menswear chain Burton into the Far East.
George MacDonald, the executive editor of Retail Week, commented: “The Topshop brand has real legs internationally, catering as it does to a fashion shopper who increasingly follows global trends often exemplified by British brands.
“British retailers generally see a lot of opportunity overseas at present, while trading conditions in this country remain difficult.
“Sir Philip is using a variety of business models to expand, from franchises to company-owned stores, so opening up a variety of potential growth avenues.”