Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi. The collapse of British retailer Topshop and Topman in Australia this week highlights how no-one, not even a pioneer of fast fashion, is impervious in current retail trading. With only so many dollars (or rand/peso/ringgit) to spend in a sluggish consumer spending environment in which rivals have their A-game on, messing up on retail 101 — pricing, ranges and sizing — will cost you. While Topshop is an iconic mainstay on British high streets, its global reach is dwarfed by that of Zara and H&M. This essentially means that Topshop (an inherent northern hemisphere player) is less adept at working on reversed seasonality. Austradia (what a stupid name), the company operating Topshop’s nine Australian stores and 17 Myer department store concessions (and an online business), has entered insolvency. The company’s Australian stores employ 760 people and have annual sales of A$90m. At this stage, Sir Philip Green — he of the BHS pension scandal — is a likely ...

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