Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia has signed a £50m deal with the American technology giant Oracle to revamp its digital platforms.
The owner of Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins and BHS said the deal would enable the group to understand better its growing global business. Arcadia now has outlets in 36 countries and an online presence in 110.
The Oracle deal is part of Sir Philip’s push to focus the business on flagship stores and online. Last week, Topshop and Topman announced plans to open a 40,000sq ft shop on Fifth Avenue, New York — the brands’ second largest store behind the 90,000sq ft Oxford Street site.
Although he would not be drawn on how many smaller stores could close in the UK, Sir Philip said it was no secret that the business had a “huge estate” and that leases were due to expire.
“Good, bad or indifferent, if you are not investing in new technology you are going to be left behind,” Sir Philip said. “I personally believe that people have been going to shops forever. It’s part of their pastime.
“But the experience is going to have to improve. Service is going to have to improve. You are going to have to romance with your customers.
“This [deal] is about having better information, better communication.”
Sir Philip said that it was no longer efficient to run the business solely from the UK. He revealed that Arcadia plans to open a distribution warehouse in America to service the company’s growing operations there.
“At some point are we going to have other hubs? Yes,” Sir Philip said. “The massive debate at the moment is on the American online business.
“We know we are going to have to put the goods in America. We will have to have an American warehouse, ship locally. It is a question of when, not if.”
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