Position last year: 5
The confident and steely Sir Philip Green captured many of the headlines in 2015 for his audacious £1 sale of British department store chain BHS to a little-known consortium called Retail Acquisitions in March. The deal meant Green washed his hands of the loss-making business, freeing him up to focus on his more profitable brands including Topshop, Wallis, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins.
Although the retail magnate’s Arcadia portfolio is now a business lighter, his fashion retail influence is undiminished, so he retains his position in this year’s Top 100.
In November Green told Drapers he was pleased with Arcadia’s results for the year to August 29, when total sales rose 1.8% to £2.07bn, but its like-for-like sales fell 0.7%. During the year Green pushed his remaining fascias to continue expanding both in the UK and internationally, particularly the core Topshop and Topman businesses, which reopened flagships in Birmingham and Oxford, as well as five owned stores in the US.
In an act of philanthropy, the 63-year-old also set up a £100,000 seed fund in July for students who want to start a business, demonstrating a softer side to the retail tycoon. However, it has not all been plain sailing for the tycoon. In August young fashion suppliers hit out at Arcadia’s demands for an additional 2% discount on all orders with a payment due after August 31, branding them “unacceptable” and “appalling”.