Topshop is a leading clothing retailer based in the United Kingdom. The styles Topshop offers never break the bank and are always up-to-date. The company is growing, boasting 300 stores in the United Kingdom alone and 100 internationally, including some here in the United States.
Topshop is a division of the Arcadia Group, a company founded in 1900 by Lithuanian émigré Montague Burton. The company started out in men's wear and grew rapidly. The Topshop brand was launched in 1964 as a junior line within the newly acquired Peter Robinson fashion business, which was to transition Montague into also doing women's wear. Today, retailers Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Topshop, Topman and Wallis are all under the umbrella of the Arcadia Group.
That umbrella now belongs to Taveta Investments, which is owned by billionaire Sir Philip Green and his family. It is the largest privately owned retail group in the United Kingdom. Taveta acquired Arcadia in September of 2002 for ₤772 million. Since acquiring the company, Green has entered into regional franchise relationships throughout the world. The MH Alshaya Group, a Kuwaiti-based company has a franchise agreement, as does Japanese company Mori Ryutsu System. There are over 420 franchised Arcadia stores worldwide.
Topshop is committed to promoting new design talent. Former staff members include designers Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson. Employing new talent is not only cost effective, it also makes sure the clothes are edgy, young and trendy. Topshop is no stranger to celebrity relationships. Fashion icon Kate Moss has her own line at Topshop, as does Celia Birtwell.
Topshop is expanding in the United States and throughout the world. The first U.S. store opened in Manhattan's Soho in April 2009. According to Reuters, Philip Green would like to see the chain concentrated in major U.S. cities, such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami.
Like many other companies Topshop outsources to factories in Asia. Topshop employs hundreds of people in Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and Mauritius to make its clothes. The wages being paid range from ₤4 a day to 22 pence an hour, depending on the country. In some cases, the workers are paid up to 40 per cent less than an average local wage. Low wages and long hours in one part of the world translate to discount shopping provided by the low cost of overhead in another.