Sir Philip Green has said that speed and not price will be the key battleground when it comes to survival in the fashion market.
Speaking today on BBC Radio Four’s “Straight to the Top” programme, the Arcadia owner said: “The supply chain is everything. We can turn like that, on a sixpence, and it is about reinventing that.”
He added: “How much stock do we really need to own? When I visited America they run on 12-week stock. I want to run my business on six or seven-week stock.”
He said that in the downturn, more than ever, customers need to be excited and want freshness and newness in their stores. “It is about speed to market, speed is more important than price,” said Green.
Green pointed out that his Topshop chain receives 11,000 deliveries a week in the UK. “You’ve got to be nimble,” said Green. “Never mind Strictly Come Dancing this is dancing around the clock.”
He also warned of “significant inflation” that will hit the fashion retail market as part of the major world economic fall out.
Topshop’s managing director Mary Holmer also spoke to the programme and said that in the downturn she believed that there was an opportunity to grow Topshop’s market share saying that Topshop could benefit if shoppers who usually go to more expensive retailers trade down.