LONDON — America, make way for a nationwide Topshop rollout.
When the fast-fashion British retailer unveils the first Topshop/Topman unit in Manhattan in September, it will sound the opening shot in an ambitious plan to build an America-wide — and global — brand.
In an exclusive interview with WWD, Topshop's owner, Sir Philip Green, said he is planning two more Manhattan stores, as well as flagships on the West Coast, and other units in cities including Las Vegas, Miami and Boston.
But Green wants to give as well as receive: In addition to building an American leg to his retail business, he hopes to find young American design talent to sustain and support in the vein of Topshop's New Generation program. In London each season, Topshop sponsors the shows and collections of a clutch of young designers. Those names — which have included Preen, Marios Schwab, Christopher Kane and Emma Cook — have then gone on to create exclusive collections for Topshop.
"This is so exciting — I've always wanted to trade in America. It is a big adventure for me," said Green. But even as that dream unfolds, he is conceiving another one beyond its shores. "We are now equipped — and ready — to move the brand on, worldwide," Green proclaimed.
He said he's ready to open Topshop stores in Paris and Milan, when he finds the appropriate sites, and is in talks to enter India. Green is also fielding requests from South Africa, Australia and Brazil, but said the reverse seasons may present problems. Topshop has 325 stores in the U.K., and 100 overseas.
Topshop's first Manhattan flagship, at 478 Broadway in SoHo, likely will be the nerve center of Green's burgeoning U.S. business. He has an option to take a 9,500-square-foot space on the building's top floor to use as his U.S. office and said further store openings in America are likely to come sooner rather than later.
"As soon as we get our feet under the table here, the other New York stores could come quite soon," Green said, adding he'll need "about three to six months" to get the retail model right on Broadway. If all goes well in New York, he said, the rollout to other American cities could happen in the short term.
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