Billionaire retail mogul Philip Green (pictured) already controls about 40% of your high street, owning Topshop, Topman, Burton, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Dorothy Perkins and BHS - and now reports over the weekend suggest he might be set to double his empire.
Green has bid to buy out troubled Icelandic fashion group Baugur who own another massive portion of the high street including Oasis, Warehouse, House of Fraser, Shoe Studio and All Saints. The company are in financial trouble due to the collapse of Iceland's economy and banking systems, and this weekend Baugur's U.K. chairman told Icelandic TV that the company would rather sell to Green at fire-sale prices than see their stores collapse altogether. This finally confirms what the fashion industry have been talking about all week - that Green could be set to own almost all of the British High Street.
And while it's not clear exactly which stores in the Baugur stable Green would take control of, one of Baugur's brands is Whistles. Jane Shepherdson the CEO of the Whistles worked closely with Green for many years when she was Brand Director at Topshop. She was in fact credited with turning it in to the internationally recognised fashion power house it is today. But she quit her job there in 2007, allegedly after disagreeing with Green on various matters. So the other big question now is, will the pair be reunited ?
Watch this space!
By Laurelle Gilbert
Posted: 20th October 2008More