Sir Philip Green, the owner of Arcadia, and Jane Shepherdson, chief executive of Whistles, will feature in a BBC Radio 4 programme about how fashion retailers can beat the recession at 11am this morning.
Sir Philip Green tells the BBC Radio 4 Straight To The Top programme that he is confident the retail industry can succeed through the recession provided retailers focus on delivering great product and delivering it quickly. “Speed is more important than price,” he will tell the listeners.
The Topshop boss says, “You have to find a reason for people to shop with you. Is it service, is it style, is it price?”
“You have got to find your niche now more than ever. It has got to be about the area of the business I love the most. It is about great merchandise. You can’t kid the public; you have got to work a lot harder at delivering the right merchandise.”
Green will explains that quick turnaround of stock to bring newness to the customer is also vital in the current climate.
He says: “We make 11,000 deliveries a week in the United Kingdom. White, blue, pink, red, weather, economy, size of shop, hanger…We have got to get it in, we have got to manufacture it, we have got to make it, find the fabric, sort the quality, make sure it fits, deliver it, execute it, replenish it. That is a bit of a task isn’t it?”
“The supply chain is everything. We can turn like that, on a sixpence, and it is about reinventing that.”
Green will also discuss his Topshop venture in the US, comparing the US market to the UK. His first Topshop store in America is due to open at the beginning of April in New York, “We have got a brand that is going to travel,” he says.
He says: “When I visited America they run on 12-week stock. I want to run my business on a six or seven-week stock.”
“Customers want new. They don’t want to go back to a store any more and see the same thing hanging there for weeks. They want fresh, they want new. [We have] got to reinvigorate them, got to change the window, got to change the display.”
“It is all in the supply chain, about speed to market. Speed is more important than price.”
To listen live to the BBC Radio 4 Straight To The Top programme, which will also feature fashion designer Celia Birtwell and which starts at 11am, click here.
Alternatively check Drapersonline.com this afternoon for a full round up of the show.