Gone are the days when people used to step out of their homes and go shopping. Now, practically everything is available for purchase as long as you are connected to the internet.
Naturally, this has resulted in a drastic fall in the demand for brick-and-mortar stores, especially those retailers that were selling clothes such as Topshop. And, in the case of Topshop, this has resulted in a dip of around $3 billion in the net worth of its owner, Sir Philip Green.
Rise To Fortune
Being raised in London, Philip Green went to Carmel College for his education. Unlike many billionaires around the world, Green was not born into a rich family, rather a middle-class one with his father being a property dealer by profession.
Green had never wanted to pursue his father’s profession, and so he decided to take a job at a shoe warehouse where he worked in the capacity of an apprentice.
Then, Green started an import-and-sell business for jeans. When he was around the age of 33, back in the year 1985, the budding entrepreneur decided to invest in Jean Jeanie, a retail chain that was struggling at that time, for a mere $78K, which he ended up selling for a whopping $3 million, or possibly more, just six months afterward.
Fast forward 15 years and Green was buying BHS department stores for a massive $247 million, and then, in the year 2002, he decided to purchase all of Arcadia Group, a deal which also brought Topshop/Topman, among other brands, under his ownership.
This was a very lucrative investment for Green as the group ended up paying both Green and Tina, who is his wife, a historic dividend of around $2.1 billion. At that time, such a big check had never been written in the country’s history.
Falling and Falling
The Greens seemed to be on a path towards even more riches than the $6 billion that they were worth back in 2016. But then, sales figures started to plummet as customers started moving away to other options, most of which had online stores. There was also an allegation of intimate misconduct which further fueled falling sales figures.
A combination of such factors has resulted in the net worth of the Green couple to fall by a major $3.38 billion in the past 3 years, with $1 billion falling this year, till date.
The Arcadia group brands are struggling, but a recent deal with the landlords of its 570 standalone stores has given the group a renewed life as they have decided to keep the stores open even amidst falling sales.
Only time will tell whether Topshop would eventually give up its retail space and move online, as many other retailers have done.
But so far, the company does not seem to be moving in that direction. Many investors have already sold off their stakes in the company, with Lloyd’s Bank selling 7.6% and Leonard Green selling 25%.