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Topshop slashes half of its stores in Australia

Sir Phillip Green’s flagship brand will be shuttering down half of its stores in Australia, as the business struggles to find a viable alternative for its financial struggles.

Topshop Australian subsidiary fell into administration back in May, having its administrators closed five of its underperforming stores in the last weeks.

Those closures include its flagship store in Melbourne’s Chapel Street, while sources close to the matter point out that Myer, which has a 20 percent stake in the local business of Topshop and Topman, has also closed down all of its 17 concessions for the brand.

The company confirmed earlier this week that four remaining stores will continue to trade, as negotiations with UK parent company Arcadia Group continue.

The shutdowns mark a worrying development for the future of Topshop and Topman as the shrinking business battles to survive after being put in administration in May.

Ferrier Hodgson was appointed as voluntary administrator in May in the hope that the British fashion mogul’s foray Down Under will make it through a turnaround plan. To date, Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group is the owner of the fashion brands and one of the collapsed company’s biggest creditors, owed nearly 9 million dollars, according to ‘The Australian’.

The priority for Topshop’s administrators is developing an “appropriate operating model” in Australia

”The priority for administrators remains to develop an appropriate operating model and structure that will continue the Topshop/Topman brand in Australia,” said Friday a spokesperson for the company.

Despite industry’s assumption of Green being the most obvious suitor for Australian Topshop’s business and in spite of Sir Philip’s representatives visiting Australia recently to conduct talks and due diligence over the Topshop and Topman businesses, nothing has been confirmed as yet in this regard. FashionUnited has reached out to the brand’s administrator for further detail.

Australia department store chain Myer, which first bought a 25 percent stake in Topshop in 2015, is said to have closed all 17 Topshop concessions in its stores. According to media reports, Myer’s stake in Topshop’s Australian operations was later diluted to 20 percent after it declined to participate in a capital raising.

Last financial releases show that Topshop in Australia had sales of more than 90 million dollars last year and posted a loss of 3 million dollars.

One Minute Recap: Topshop Australia's administration

Image:Topshop Australia Site