Ben Barnett became chief executive of TFG London, the UK arm of South African retail business The Foschini Group, after it acquired the business he was previously running – Phase Eight – in 2015. While The Foschini Group’s CEO Doug Murray made a brief appearance on the Top 100 last year, Barnett and his senior circle – comprising managing director Lee Harlow and brand director Judith Bremner – are the ones leading its strategy in the UK.
And it is a strategy that has kept Drapers’ reporters busy. After Phase Eight, TFG London went on to buy Whistles, Damsel in a Dress and, most recently, Hobbs. But it does not stop there. Rumours abound that TFG London has been in talks to acquire several other retailers, including the Coast/Warehouse/Oasis group, and Jigsaw. If it continues to snap up brands at its current pace, it could soon become quite the powerhouse in high street womenswear.