The British Are Coming
I believe any company that can make each shopping experience memorable is pretty special and is doing something right (or incredibly wrong if it was a bad experience). I can still remember my first, second, third, and fourth time in a Topshop and exactly what I bought. My first visit was at one of its smaller retail stores in London, the second was the next day when I visited the flagship in Oxford Circus, the third was when I spent four hours in the Chicago location, and the fourth was when I returned to the same Chicago store the next day. Each visit still uniquely stands out, and is the reason I believe Topshop will ultimately succeed in the US.
Not quite fast fashion but not quite designer, the British company is a beautiful mix between Zara and H&M. While its products are trendy and fashionable, they are well made and of high quality. Shoppers can find clothes that are around a hundred dollars, but also cheaper clothes, both of which will stand the test of time and not shrink after one wash. Topshop currently has five locations in the United States and is featured in 52 Nordstrom’s, but has plans of expanding. On October 30, the company opened a two story 17,500 sq.-ft. location in Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego. Chain Store Age reports that the company is also adding stores in the Springfield Town Center in Washington D.C. (5,000 sq.-ft.), the Galleria Mall in Houston (16,500 sq.-ft.), and in Lennox Square Mall in Atlanta (15,500 sq.-ft.). (Maybe this will bring dying malls back to life?)
On November 5, the company opened a 40,000 sq.-ft. store on 608 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10020. Stars such as Cara Delevingne, Beyoncé, Paris Hilton, Jessie J, and even supermodel legend Naomi Campbell showed up for the grand opening. It is the company’s second largest flagship in the world, just after its 90,000 sq.-ft. store in Oxford Circus, London. The new location is four stories and will include: Unique and Boutique collections, new trends, accessories, and a beauty bar on the first floor; denim, outerwear, and casual wear on the second floor; career wear and shoes on the third floor; and Topman in the basement. It will feature all of the company lines including Topman and some exclusive 5th Avenue pieces, and has 50 dressing rooms scattered throughout the four floors. Because the company is still considered fast fashion, it will restock weekly with more than 300 pieces. If customers need some fashion inspiration, want a makeover, or just want someone to tell them what to wear, this store offers a complimentary personal shopping service.
What sets this company apart from other fast fashion brands is its business savvy owner, collaborations with celebrities, and constant praise from magazines and fashion bloggers. Sir Philip Green, CEO of Topshop’s parent company Arcadia Retail Group states, “Following the investment of Leonard Green & Partners in December 2012, it was always our plan to significantly expand Topshop and Topman in the U.S.… In addition to our flagship stores expansion, we are continually developing our topshop.com and topman.com sites, and our on-going partnership with Nordstrom continues to develop.”
The company began in 1964 in the basement of a London department store and now has over 300 locations in the UK, is in 100 countries, and has a thriving website. It has collaborated with Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, and will soon add Beyoncé to the list. Still skeptical about the potential of the company? Let the numbers speak for themselves: the company has over 4 million Facebook likes, 3.3 million Instagram followers, 993,000 Twitter followers, and 65,000 LinkedIn followers. While other companies such as Sears, JCPenney, and Hollister seem to be heading out, Topshop seems ready and willing to take their place and make every shopper a Topman and Topwoman.