Topshop joins list of retail casualties

TopshopGlobal fast fashion chain, Topshop/Topman, is the latest to join the list of retail casualties, yesterday confirming it has slipped into voluntary administration.

Three partners from restructuring firm Ferrier Hodgson have been appointed voluntary administrators to Austradia, which separately owns and operates the fashion brand’s Aussie franchises, by the company’s board of directors.

Inside Retail has contacted fashion industry veteran Hilton Seskin, who acquired the local franchise for Topshop and Topman in 2011, for further comment.

Topshop/Topman has 760 employees and annual sales of approximately $90 million across nine stores, 17 Myer concessions and online.

Administrator James Stewart said the move was to optimise the operating structure of the business, which will continue to function as usual while Ferrier ‘right-sizes the Australian business to a sustainable platform going forward.’ Stewart also said that employees will continue to be paid.

Weak retail conditions, high wage and rent costs, and fierce competition from emerging online players have been identified as the key factors negatively impacting the Australian clothing retail sector, according to research firm, IBISWorld.

The challenging operating conditions have caused many prominent brands across the retailing industries to enter administration. Some of the casualties over the past year alone have included David Lawrence, Marcs, Payless Shoes, Pumpkin Patch, Rhodes & Beckett, Herringbone, Seduce, Laura Ashley, Josh Goot and Kit & Ace.

According to IBISWorld, numerous new competitors, including online retailers and international fast-fashion brands, and challenging economic conditions have changed the way consumers spend.

Topshop/Topman’s entry into administration may also hold implications for department store giant, Myer which formed an exclusive partnership to become the brand’s department store partner in Australia. Myer made a 25 per cent investment into Austradia in 2015, as part of its ‘wanted brands’ strategy.

The global chain has also recently launched its local e-commerce platforms.

Access exclusive analysis, locked news and reports with Inside Retail Weekly. Subscribe today and get our premium print publication delivered to your door every week.



  1. Jeremy posted on May 25, 2017

    The fact that Topshop/Topman have never created a local online store and continues to only offer the UK bases store with prices is £ is one of the stupidest and most frustrating things as a consumer. I hope the brand pulls through as I love their products but for a youth focused brand with no local online presence it seems like they are already walking the plank

  2. David posted on May 25, 2017

    I have visited Topshop / Topman in Sydney and Melbourne and non of the stores are like the company in the U.K. The product offer is not good - fashion and quality do not match the brand so I am not surprised. We are not in tough economic conditions - there is just more competition and companies must have a value and proposition that the customers want. What does surprise me is that the UK company allows their brand to be used by a franchise that devalues the image in Australia.

  3. Peter posted on May 25, 2017

    I have been saying for some time now that a Tsunami is building offshore and when it lands devastation will occur. First the pretend retailers will fail on mass, secondly will be the chain accumulating growers driven by ego, then finally the big boys for hiring "would be's if could be's" who spend half their time sending out resumes for their next gig once their contract pays out. The avaricious landlords are in for an overdue right whacking. Seen it come and go just as usual and on time over 6 decades. Retailers who care without compromise for their customers needs, their staff's happiness and contentment, will prevail through this approaching maelstrom. This is a convergence of the new shopping paradigm meeting traditional bricks and mortar retailers. Those who have a discernible point of difference with their product, service, environment, and presentation will inherit the earth.

Comment Manually

Inside Retail Polls

What were the biggest challenges during the 2019 holiday period?


Aussie-born Mexican fast food chain Guzman y Gomez was founded by two Americans. Now the company has opened its fir…

14 hours ago

Alceon Group is reportedly in talks to bring more international brands to Australia. We caught up with Richard Faci…

17 hours ago

Amazon is looking to speed up the delivery of online orders in Australia with the launch of its 'Uber for e-commerc…

19 hours ago