An interesting article on TopShop and Philip Green in last week’s IHT*. The first noteworthy nugget is that he already has a Broadway store in his clutches so TopShop’s New York debut really is imminent. The next morsel of good news is that India is next in his sights. Take it from me, Green could make a killing in India, the high street offering here is pretty damn uninspiring. Although they have Levi’s, Pepe, Benetton and Esprit, the stuff they sell to the Indian market is nothing like what you get in the UK. Think bad graphics, market-stall over-embellishment and an abundance of pockets, toggles and straps exploding from every seam. Denim brand Gas is about the only ‘high street’ label I’ve seen that bears a resemblance to what’s on sale elsewhere in the world. If Green can get the design right and the price right he will have India’s youth market firmly grasped in the palm of his hand.
Green also spouts opinion on where he thinks retails is heading. “It’s going to be now about special products, good people, good customer service, innovating, doing things that are new,” Green said. “And my belief is that, if you look at the market, everybody is running to price – and I am actually running away from price. I am running to special. And that’s what I think is going to see who wins and who loses.” This is what TopShop has always done well – the experience of fashion. (Shame he can’t do something about the experience of Bhs.) If you look at the other UK retail success stories – Apple, Dover Street Market, Selfridges – it proves his point. In this age of instant gratification, we’re all looking for the next unique experience. I’m definitely ready for a new wave of good customer service so let’s see how this pans out. Bring it on and fast Mr Green!
*Read the article here: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/13/style/Rtop.php