At a press conference to announce performance across his retail empire, Sir Philip Green today offered a mixed bag. While Arcadia – which includes Topman, Topshop and Miss Selfridge – look set for another record year, BhS has had a “horrible” few weeks, the retailer admitted. He told the Press Association: “The market is probably as difficult as I’ve seen it: very challenging…whether it be food retailers who carry non-food to general high street, nobody is excluded from this.” Interestingly, it’s neither consumer spending nor margins that are hitting performance; but costs. As reported last week in a briliant analysis in Business Week, China is seeing major wage inflation leading to factory shutdowns and big increases for western consumers dependent on China-manufactured products. (NB: the Business Week article is well worth a read.) “What’s killing me is the underlying costs,” the billionaire entrepreneur insisted.
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