Owned by Sir Philip Green, the popular retail fashion store Topshop lost an important managing director this week as they moved onto The White Company. Mary Homer’s actions and work were significant in making the Topshop brand a global one, that keeps it, even today, as number one for high street fashion. Mary’s departure isn’t the only loss for the Arcadia brand which represents Miss Selfridge, Topshop and Burton as reports claim there have been a fair few number of staff losses in recent times and to make matters a little worse owner Sir Philip has not been out of the headlines in recent times due to the collapse of BHS and the pension scandal that followed which saw a huge deficit in its pension scheme. So is this more bad news for Topshop?
Over thirty years ago, Mary Homer became a member of the Topshop team and in the past 11 she has been its managing director. Her leadership has been a successful one, with the retailer have over 40 franchises all over the world as well as 620 shops – with a flagship store being opened in Hong Kong just a few months back. Despite her successes, Homer has clearly decided it is time to move on from the brand, however, she has stated that her departure was amicable. The White Company have given no start date as of yet.
It seems that Homer’s managing director skills are highly sought after as GlobalData analyst Sofie Willmot has explained that she has ‘quick reactions’ when it comes to trading in and out of product trends and has done her utmost to ensure that Topshop has remained a key player in the fast pace and increasingly competitive young fashion market. Mrs Homer was supported by a strong buying and merchandising team that will continue to support whoever steps into her role, to ensure Topshop remains on top of its game. Although Mary Homer’s departure is set to have an impact on Topshop the current experienced and professional team should use this opportunity to bring new ideas to the table, paying more attention to things like e-commerce. The White Company is gaining an employee with strong trading experience and may even grow the focus on clothing. The White Company currently sells all kinds of home products such as candles and crockery as well as loungewear for both men women and children. The White Company is also going to need Homer’s knowledge on international expansion as they prepare to take on America in the coming summer months. Homer has experience in expansion both via stores and through third-party retailers online which will have a huge impact to The White Company.
Although Sir Philip Green has attempted to make amends by paying £363 million to the pension deficit, his reputation is still well and truly stained, which could also have an effect on Topshop’s success in the coming years. Currently holding a knighthood, many believe that the payments he has made are not enough to safeguard it and that the BHS pensions issue is still far from being resolved.