Green looks abroad for TopShop growth

Arcadia and Bhs boss Philip Green is keen to expand TopShop and TopMan abroad, but has shelved aggressive opening plans in the UK.

Speaking at the Retail Week conference on Tuesday, Green said: 'TopShop has developed into a brand as opposed to just a fashion shop. There is a lot of marketing money behind the brand. It's got real presence on the high street and I think it's ahead in terms of content and product.'

Green said he may try out options for the TopShop brand overseas in the next year to 18 months, and would develop overseas on a partnership basis. 'We will go with someone with proven knowledge and expertise in that market. These are two brands ready for the next stage,' he said.

Specific overseas markets have not yet been decided, but Green did not think the brand need be restricted to Europe. Arcadia has outlets - mainly franchised - in 27 countries.

In the UK, Green said expansion would be cautious. 'We've got quite a lot of shops. Do we need more? The answer is, not really. If an opportunity turns up, we will look at it.

Before I bought Arcadia, there was a plan to open anther 50 to 70 shops this year. Whether you've got 2,000 shops or 2,070, does it matter?' he asked. At Bhs, Green plans two to four new stores a year.

Green said he would use clothing to radically improve Safeway if his bid is successful.