UK's Topshop ventures into high-rent Hong Kong
BRITISH fashion chain Topshop has opened its first Hong Kong outlet, becoming the latest Western brand to brave the city's high rents in a bid to crack the lucrative China market.
The retailer opened the doors to a 1,300 sq m shop in the city's central business district yesterday.
Topshop boss Philip Green says he wants to use the store as a "stepping stone" to mainland China. He's looking for possible locations in Beijing and Shanghai to open "flagship" stores.
Mr Green, 60, has shops on almost every British high street. His Arcadia Group is behind brands like Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Wallis.
Mr Green, a businessman who hangs out with the likes of Kate Moss and who throws lavish parties, recently completed a deal to sell a 25 per cent stake in Topshop and Topman to private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners for £500 million (S$962 million).
The company has held stakes in big-name brands like Neiman Marcus, J Crew and Whole Foods Market in the United States, said The Financial Times.
In the US, Mr Green has agreed to Topshop and Topman being sold in Nordstrom stores.
Hong Kong, however, is a big step forward into Asia, and other foreign retailers that have launched in Hong Kong recently include Abercrombie & Fitch, Tommy Bahama and Forever 21.
Hong Kong is a popular shopping destination for mainland Chinese because of low taxes and a reputation for authentic goods.