Topshop owner striking right notes with Beyonce deal

Arcadia has a 50/50 joint venture with superstar Beyonce for the Parkwood Topshop Athletic project. Picture: Getty
Arcadia has a 50/50 joint venture with superstar Beyonce for the Parkwood Topshop Athletic project. Picture: Getty
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Arcadia, the retail empire run by Sir Philip Green, has confirmed that its clothing range project with singer Beyonce will launch in the spring.

The news came as the group’s owner Taveta Investments — which holds clothing brands including Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton — posted total sales growing to £2.07 billion from £2.03bn 12 months previously.

Green said the group had delivered a “robust performance in challenging times,” experiencing a drop of 0.9 per cent in UK underlying like-for-like retail sales, and total comparable sales 0.7 per cent lower. However, total worldwide digital sales were up 23.9 per cent year on year.

Taveta also pointed out a difficult start to the current financial year, with VAT-inclusive like-for-like sales down by 2.3 per cent in the first ten weeks compared to the year-ago period.

The results do not include figures for Bhs, with the loss-making chain sold off in March to Retail Acquisitions. Green said the sale allows the group to “focus on the growth of our multiples brand operation in the UK and internationally”.

Regarding the tie-up with Beyonce, the organisation has entered into a 50/50 joint venture with the superstar for the Parkwood Topshop Athletic project.

Taveta said it is developing its distribution globally for the launch of the global athletic street-wear brand range, and the deal has been seen as unusual, as it involves the launch of a new company rather than agreeing branding links or design collaborations.

The group also said it has seen “very encouraging results” of its trial to trade Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Evans brands in Tesco stores and has opened 14 outlets in five branches of the supermarket.

Looking at the results overall, Green highlighted the “fast-changing” retail environment and said: “The number of channels through which customers choose to purchase and engage with us continually evolves, thus increasing the complexity of our operations.”

He said continued investment in the business is therefore “paramount” and its capital expenditure in the year reached £118.1m from £101.8m in the prior year.