Making sense of the past seven days
She is not the first person to have quit Arcadia in the past year. But Jane Shepherdson's departure from Topshop is on a different scale altogether from those who went before her. It is a huge loss for Sir Philip Green.

Green is a brilliant dealmaker and understands retail. But it is Topshop, under brand director Shepherdson, which has been the lone stand-out performer in his empire over the last two years. And for many people, Shepherdson is Topshop

Her achievements at Topshop have been truly remarkable. The business has been turned from a tired sixties has-been to a cutting edge fashion retailer, whose store at Oxford Street is a globally recognised fashion landmark. Shepherdson's understanding of her customer base is almost telepathic.

The timing for Green couldn't be worse. It comes ahead of a relaunch of Topshop's web site and its planned international push, which includes a flagship store in New York.

While two Topshop veterans have been put in charge, Green will inevitably be taking a very hands-on role in the business over the coming weeks. But, even for a workaholic like him, he has plenty on his plate. Bhs is in intensive care and anecdotally its Arcadia stablemates have struggled to match Topshop's star performance.

People will inevitably ask whether this is a sign that Green's empire may have passed its prime. Undoubtedly he has problems to face, one of the biggest of which is persuading the next generation of fashion stars that working to enrich Green further at Arcadia is a better idea than going to work for a more comfortable corporate entity like Marks & Spencer.

But Green has been written off many times before. He is a consummate businessman and only a fool would rule out him emerging from the current turbulence even stronger.