By and and  on January 13, 2010

It was everything short of fisticuffs at the Financo forum Monday night as senior retail executives testily debated price, the Internet and expansion — all while trying to outshine each other.

The Financo event, always a lively affair, this time featured the outspoken Sir Philip Green, Topshop’s owner, whose repartee swung from jovial in nature to downright confrontational. At times, Green challenged Betsey McLaughlin, Hot Topic Inc.’s chief executive officer, who struggled to complete her point about the value of twittering and social media as a driver of traffic to the stores, and he taunted audience member Ken Walker ofthe Walker Design Group, who said he believes eBay Inc. and Amazon.com will one day overtake Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in volume.

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