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Drapers Top 100 2017 – 33. Ben Barnett, chief executive, TFG London


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 Eightin 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.

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