LONDON — Sir Philip Green is streamlining his retail businesses to suit the changing times.
Green said Tuesday he plans to merge the operations of Bhs, his mass-market retailer, into Arcadia Group, parent of brands including Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge.
Bhs will in the future be managed as one of the brands within Arcadia rather than as a separate company. Also, Bhs units could begin selling some of the Arcadia labels such as Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Wallis following successful trials outside London.
Logistics, property and finance will be consolidated into Arcadia “to ensure a streamlined and efficient” group.
Green’s teams are still gathering information and will be making changes over the coming months.
Bhs carries women’s, men’s and children’s clothing as well as items for the home, while Arcadia specializes in clothing brands for a broad demographic.
“This is a work in progress,” said Green. “I believe we have the necessary skill and experience across the two businesses to make some strategic changes that will benefit the group as a whole and further strengthen our position within the marketplace during a difficult retail climate.”
For the past few years, as profits have dipped, the future of Bhs has been the subject of speculation, but Green has always been quick to quash rumors that he planned to sell it.
In October, Bhs reported full-year sales of 860.3 million pounds, or $1.72 billion, down 1.4 percent from the previous year. Operating profits in the year ending March 29 fell 39.6 percent to 30.2 million pounds, or $60.4 million.
All figures have been converted at average exchange rates for the period.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
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