Topshop started its life in 1964, as a part of the Arcadia Group, and was labelled ‘Peter Robinson’s Topshop,’ a fashion brand within the Sheffield branch of the ‘Peter Robinson Ltd.’ Chain. Topshop first showed off its clothing range whilst located in the basement of one of the already existing ‘Peter Robinson’ stores, but in the 1970s it finally became a stand-alone store. By 1994 Topshop had settled into its permanent home, 214 Oxford Street. After starting out with a small shop in a basement within another store, Topshop now has more than 300 stores across the UK alone and over 250,000 shoppers visit the Oxford Circus flagship every week. Oxford Circus is the brand’s original flagship store, but Topshop has now spread across the pond having opened flagship stores in both Chicago and New York. Through this, Topshop’s quirky British style is known internationally and they now ship their products to more than 100 countries across the world.
When Topshop first began it only stocked clothes for females, but in 1978 the owners decided to change this and Topman was created. This was Topshopâ€™s spin-off brand which was to cater to the male customers; it is now run as a separate chain, although some stores are co-located. In 2002 Topshop joined forces with NEWGEN. This is a scheme which allows them to foster new design talent and provide a global platform for bright new stars. NEWGEN was created inn 1993 by the British Fashion Council (BFC) and is known as one of the worldâ€™s most internationally recognised talent identification schemes. NEWGEN continues to promote new designer businesses today and it is this scheme which is sponsered by Topshop. Topshop has always made a statement within the fashion industry within both the high street and high end sides of the industry. Through this, and through its collaberation with NEWGEN, Topshop is now the onlt high street brand which shows on schedule at London Fashion Week.
ASSOCIATIONS The brand associates itself with some charities: Centre Point: charity for young homeless people (2011 Christmas charity) £1 of the £2 charm bracelets is donated to the charity, also people can donate £1 at the till when buying clothing from the shop. Topshop has a number of charitable partnerships they work with on an ongoing basis: Traid, Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, Starlight and Peta. Previous partnerships include: Women’s Aid and Refuge, Terrence Higgins Trust, Charity: Water, NSPCC and Make a Wish.
Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Louise Goldin, Alexander McQueen, Meadham Kirchhoff, Sophia Kokosalaki, Celia Birtwell, Kate Moss… have all worked with Topshop.
FASHION FOOTPRINT We take our social responsibility extremely seriously. We were one of the first high street fashion retailers to establish a Code of Conduct that all suppliers working with our businesses must adhere to. The Code was reviewed and updated in early 2007 and the latest version communicated to suppliers and other relevant groups. Also in 2007 the Group launched Fashion Footprint - a major new initiative to ensure all our ethical and environmental activities are managed, monitored and coordinated across all our businesses. Fashion Footprint brings together ten key areas of activity under working parties established to draw up and deliver policies in key areas of activity; from energy efficiency to supplier ethics, and from transport to charitable giving. We are also committed to ensuring that we meet our responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act and work hard to make our goods and services accessible to all.
‘Majoring in up-to-the-minute affordable style’ Keeps shoppers up to date via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and their ‘Inside-Out’ blog. Not just clothing, they also do make-up, shoes, bags & ‘freedom’ jewelery. ‘Personal Shopper’ idea where customers can book an appointment with a member of the team.
OUR PARTNERS As a reputable company, we have a long-term commitment to the many people we touch - our employees, our customers and consumers, the workers who make our product and their communities, the suppliers who partner with us, as well as the global community. We recognise that these people and their representatives are our biggest asset and our partners. OUR VALUES Our core values relating to any of our activities are integrity, dialogue, transparency, excellence and innovation. OUR INTENT Through our programme, we intend to have a positive impact on the people we touch through our operations. We encourage open discussions with any organisation wanting to improve our current working conditions and conditions within the communities we work in. Our programme will focus our attitudes, procedures and practices on the issues that are important to our stakeholders. OUR PROGRAMME DETAILS We have long-term relationships with our suppliers. We work with them to make lasting improvements to working, social and environmental conditions. Our programme is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) core labour standards and other relevant guidance, good practice and regulations. Our programme deals with issues important to our stakeholders, such as working conditions, livelihoods of the people who make our products, community involvement and the reduction of the environmental impact resulting from the manufacture, distribution and sale of our products. When we deal with any issues raised by our stakeholders, we aim to keep them involved. We will continually improve our programme by seeking feedback and input from our suppliers and stakeholders. OUR PROGRAMME IMPLEMENTATION Our programme is continuous with key focus areas and performance targets for each coming year. At the end of each year, we will evaluate and report on our progress and determine the focus to make a difference in the following year.
BRAND COMPETITION Main brand competition - ASOS Whilst being an ‘online fashion store’ rather than an actual high street store, ASOS has as much ‘global reach’, and perhaps influence as Topshop, due to it being in a solely online capacity it is available anytime, anywhere and on any digital platform as long as you have an internet connection. Accessibility - commited to providing a webite that is accessible to the wildest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability. ASOS collaborators with both designers and celebrities - similar to Topshop’s collaborations with ‘iconic’ celebritites such as Kate Moss. Both use simplistic typeface and colour scheme - black and white and simple, rounded block lettering. Target audience for ASOS - ‘Aimed at fashion forward twenty somethings globally’ Attracts 18.5 million ‘unique’ visitors a month and therefore is in line for direct competition with Topshop. Similar brand values and ethics - both charity wise/affliations and with regards to ethical values.