Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green has warned that business will get tougher and the early Easter holiday will put further pressure on British retailers.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Green said: “You are going to have to pedal much faster to get not very far. It’s definitely hard work for the market.”

Easter Day falls on March 23 this year, two weeks earlier than last year. The quick succession of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter means retailers will have to work faster to keep supplies up to date. This adds to the burden of higher mortgage, utility, tax and grocery bills. Mother’s Day is this Sunday.

Green said the retail environment is “more competitive than it’s ever been” and it will be “another few weeks” before the real impact can be assessed. “The market is definitely softer,” he said.

Speaking after he was chosen for an industry award by the World Retail Congress, Green said he put his success down to “hard work” and “working at all aspects of a business”.