The creator of Topshop and retail tycoon Sir Ralph Halpern has died at the age of 83, his family has said.

The son of Jewish emigrants who fled Nazi oppression, Halpern went on to become a hugely influential force in British retail in the 1970s and 1980s.

After starting his retail career as a trainee at Selfridges, he went on to create brands including Halpern and Topshop, as well as presiding over the seismic expansion of fashion group Burton, which was previously a menswear chain.

One of the most high-profile business figures of Thatcher-era Britain, Halpern oversaw Burton, which at its peak included many of the brands that would go on to comprise Arcadia, as well as Debenhams and Harvey Nichols.

His daughter Jenny Halpern told the Financial Times: “Our father left an irreplaceable mark on the spirit of entrepreneurship and the UK’s retail landscape, and he did it in his own very special way.”

Lord Stuart Rose, who was on the Burton board alongside Halpern and later went on to run Arcadia, described him as “one of the real movers and shakers in the 1970s and 1980s”.

“He was very charismatic, very driven and ahead of his time,” Rose told the FT

“Did we go too fast at times? Maybe. But he genuinely changed the face of the high street and he should get credit for that.”