Jun 5, 2017

Topshop fails to wear well in retail heat of Australia

When Topshop opened its first store in Australia in 2011, hundreds of customers queued overnight to snap up the retailer's "Cool Britannia" brand of fast fashion. Retail tycoon Sir Philip Green, whose Arcadia group owns Topshop, is in talks with administrator Ferrier Hodgson about a rescue bid. In April retail sales bounced back 1 per cent, according to figures released last week, providing some hope of better times ahead. "Households are scrimping and saving a bit more while focusing on paying down mortgage debt. Subdued wage growth is also hitting consumption," says Tapas Strickland, economist at National Australia Bank. "Retailers are responding by discounting - so retail sales volumes aren't so bad but values are weak." Just 7.1 per cent of Australia's total retail sales are online, compared with 11.3 per cent in the US, according to NAB data.

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