LONDON — Sir Philip Green is streamlining his retail businesses to suit the changing times.
This story first appeared in the February 26, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
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.