Supermodel collaborations and pension scandals: The rise and fall of retail king Sir Philip Green

Sir Philip Green Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Retail king Sir Philip Green's career has seen him rub shoulders with supermodels, win plaudits for overhauling failing business - and sink to scandal-hit lows.

His Arcadia group - which includes Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton - has helped shape the high street and influence how British people dress.

Yet on Tuesday, Sir Philip hired administrators from Deloitte for Arcadia, putting 13,000 jobs on the line.

We look back on the businessman’s career that has been as defined by a pensions scandal, and accusations of sexual harassment as it has £1.2 billion payouts.


Sir Philip, then just plain old Mr Green, buys up the stock of 10 designer outlets that have failed. He dry-cleans the stock and puts it up for sale again in a shop in Mayfair.

Sir Philip with his daughter Chloe and Kate Moss at Topshop's flagship Oxford Street store, London in November 2009. Credit: PA

1981 to 1988

The aspiring businessman sets up several businesses, many with his mother Alma. Like the Joan Collins Jeans Company, many fail to get off the ground, and several are liquidated. He also makes several successful deals during this time.


Sir Philip is hired as the boss of Amber Day, the listed menswear group. He scores several victories in the role, and Amber Day’s share price rises. But he leaves in 1992 after the company misses on profits.


Sir Philip buys BHS in 2000 Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

Sir Philip buys FTSE 100-listed department store BHS for £200 million. He quickly gains plaudits for turning the struggling business around.


Sir Philip buys Arcadia Group, the owner of Topshop, through family business Taveta.


The businessman tries to take over high street giant Marks and Spencer but pulls out after getting very close to sealing a deal.

The businessman tried to take over high street giant Marks and Spencer Credit: Nick Potts/PA


Arcadia pays out a £1.3 billion dividend, £1.2 billion of which goes to Sir Philip’s wife Tina, who lives in Monaco so does not have to pay UK tax.


Topshop launches a range of clothes designed by supermodel Kate Moss.


Protesters gather outside Topshop in Oxford Street, alleging the businessman is avoiding income tax.


Sir Philip sells BHS to Dominic Chappell for £1.

Dominic Chappell Credit: Kirsty O’Connor/PA


BHS goes into administration, leaving a pension deficit of £571 million, and costing 11,000 people their jobs.


MPs pass a motion to remove Sir Philip’s knighthood over the pensions scandal. He later pays £363 million into the scheme.


The Telegraph reports that staff are accusing an unnamed businessman of sexual harassment and racial abuse. Sir Philip is later identified by an MP as the businessman in question.


Covid-19 hits the high street. Arcadia closes 550 stores and furloughs 14,500 employees.