LONDON — Topshop’s business with Nordstrom is thriving with 50 percent increases in retail sales, while the new collaboration with Beyoncé for a global athletic streetwear brand is on track to launch at the end of March.
Sir Philip Green said Wednesday, following the release of the annual financial results of his company Taveta Investments Ltd., that retail sales at Topshop/Topman spaces within Nordstrom stores increased 50 percent year-on-year in the 12 months to Aug. 29.
He is expecting a similar 50 percent increase in the current fiscal year, too, from the 94 in-store spaces and from Nordstrom.com. The U.S. retailer has also added separate areas for Topshop’s Unique and Boutique brands.
“It’s a whole new game for Topshop at Nordstrom,” he told WWD. “People know the brand, it’s become a destination, and there is a new customer coming that likes new goods and a quick turn.”
Green added that he sees “significant future growth potential” for the partnership, with additional space planned in the current fiscal year.
In the U.S., the number of wholly owned stand-alone Topshop/Topman stores more than doubled in the past year to nine, including the opening of a 40,000-square-foot flagship on Fifth Avenue.
Green said there is still “loads to learn” in the U.S. market, and the company is continuing to “get educated” about the needs and personalities of different cities.
Globally, he said, Topshop’s business has been “OK in a challenging market.” Green’s company opened 34 franchises for Topshop/Topman during the year, including the first flagship in Auckland, New Zealand, and further stores in Perth and Sydney, Australia, and Vancouver, Canada.
In the 2014-15 fiscal year Taveta, parent of Green’s Arcadia Group, which owns brands including Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis, saw sales increase 2 percent to 2.07 billion pounds, or $3.21 billion.
Profits were broadly flat at 165.7 million pounds, or $256.9 million. All figures have been converted at average exchange rates for the 12-month period.
Total U.K. retail like-for-like sales in the period were down 0.7 percent year-on-year, while worldwide digital sales spiked 23.9 percent.
The company generated cash of 328.1 million, or $508.6 million, a 3.6 rise over the previous year.
Green said the U.K. high street remains tough with unseasonal weather disrupting sales patterns and shoppers becoming ever more strategic in how they buy: They are purchasing online or simply planning their shopping trips with more precision.
“They don’t even have to leave the house anymore, and when they do shop in-store they want a best-in-class experience – and newness,” he said.
The online spike in business has come mainly from third-party platforms, such as Zalando, Nordstrom, and Global Fashion Group. Green said that last year’s capital expenditure of 118.1 million pounds, or $183.1 million, went into digital development as well as new stores, and refurbishing the Arcadia head office in central London.
The company has committed a further 84 million pounds, or $127 million, to capital expenditure this year, earmarked for new systems to support international and multichannel development, and to continue to refurbish the head office.
Green also told WWD that the collection with Beyoncé is “in production” while the two parties have just finished two days of filming for the campaign.
“She’s also tried everything on to make sure it’s right,” he said, adding that the final collection will include about 125 sku’s, to be sold through several distributors in 25 countries worldwide.
As reported, Green and the American pop star have formed a 50/50 joint venture company, Parkwood Topshop Athletic Ltd, to produce a global athletic street-wear brand.
Although Green would not comment on the launch plans for the new line, an industry source said the collection will launch with twin fashion shows in London and New York.