The Scottish Mail on Sunday
Sales fall at all of Philip Green’s flagship stores
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.