The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Sales fall at all of Philip Green’s flag­ship stores

- By Neil Craven

SALES at Sir Philip Green’s fam­ily firm Taveta were weighed down by the poor per­for­mance of his high street chains Evans, Bur­ton and Miss Sel­fridge, ac­cord­ing to anal­y­sis of dozens of ac­counts filed by the com­pany in re­cent days.

The ac­counts re­veal the yearon-year per­for­mance at Green’s six flag­ship busi­nesses for the first time.

The worst per­former was plus-sized store Evans, where turnover fell 12 per cent to £83mil­lion. Sales at menswear chain Bur­ton de­clined 9 per cent to £116mil­lion while at Miss Sel­fridge they fell 7 per cent to £132mil­lion.

The man­ag­ing di­rec­tors at Evans and Bur­ton left ear­lier this year, along with Miss Sel­fridge brand di­rec­tor Yas­min Yusuf, the for­mer fash­ion boss at Marks & Spencer.

The slide con­trib­uted to an over­all drop in sales of 2.5 per cent in the 12 months to the end of Au­gust 2016 to just over £2bil­lion, as re­vealed by The Mail on Sun­day last week­end.

Few fash­ion firms on the high street have es­caped the squeeze that has fol­lowed the rapid rise of on­line re­tail­ers such as Asos and Boohoo.

Lord Wolf­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Next, has said con­sumers are also find­ing other things to spend money on in­stead of clothes, such as gad­gets and go­ing out.

But the per­for­mance of Taveta, for­mally owned by Green’s wife Tina, who lives in Monaco, caps a tor­rid year for the group, in­clud­ing the col­lapse of his for­mer chain BHS.

The clo­sure of con­ces­sions in BHS stores hit sales at sev­eral Taveta-owned busi­nesses. Green has al­ready promised staff he will stem the slide of the busi­ness and has ear­marked £100mil­lion for in­vest­ment in growth, par­tic­u­larly on­line.

Taveta’s sales were helped slightly by Top­shop (which in­cludes Top­man) where sales fell by just 1.7 per cent to £991 mil­lion.

Top­shop made an op­er­at­ing profit of £118mil­lion, well over half of Taveta’s profit, which is about £200 mil­lion.

Taveta in­curred an ex­cep­tional charge of £129mil­lion, which in­cludes im­pair­ments on the value of as­sets and leases on loss-mak­ing stores.

The ac­counts re­veal a com­plex busi­ness that is part re­tail group, part prop­erty em­pire.

A num­ber of prop­erty in­vest­ment busi­nesses, in­clud­ing Gresse Street and Red­cas­tle, con­trib­ute to the over­all turnover and profit.

Many of the prop­erty firms are used to man­age the free­holds and leases of the shops.

Each re­tail chain pays a ‘man­age­ment charge’ to Tave­taowned hold­ing com­pany Ar­ca­dia, mainly for IT and dis­tri­bu­tion ser­vices, which amounts to more than £100 mil­lion a year across the six chains. Be­fore the charges are paid, all six chains are prof­itable.

The big­gest com­pany in the group af­ter Top­shop is Dorothy Perkins, where sales fell 6 per cent to £335 mil­lion. Sales at the re­main­ing chain Wal­lis, which sells women’s clothes, fell 3 per cent to £156mil­lion.

 ??  ?? FALL­ING STAR: Sir Philip Green with Cara Delev­ingne and Rita Ora
FALL­ING STAR: Sir Philip Green with Cara Delev­ingne and Rita Ora

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