Belfast Telegraph

Sir Philip Green signs deal to bring Topshop to China

Sir Philip Green has pushed the button on expansion in China, signing a deal to roll out Topshop stores across the country.

The billionaire tycoon, who has taken a hammering this year over the collapse of BHS and its pension scheme, plans open up to 80 standalone Topshop stores on the mainland as part of an agreement with online fashion company

The firm has been working with Topshop on building an online presence in China since 2014.

Sir Philip said via a statement: "This announcement marks the start of a unique, exciting and exclusive partnership that will cement Topshop and Topman's mission of becoming truly global businesses.

"For the first time both brands will deliver high fashion to the shop floor and beyond by opening full-scale stores in China - host to the world's fastest-growing retail economy."

Topshop, which is part of Sir Philip's Arcadia retail empire that also houses Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge, has a total of 620 stores and franchises in more than 40 countries.

The move comes as Sir Philip remains locked in talks with regulators over the £571 million black hole left in BHS's pension scheme.

The tycoon, who owned BHS from 2000 to 2015, has been under fire since the 88-year-old department store collapsed in April, affecting 11,000 jobs and 22,000 pensions.

Sir Philip promised to "sort" the pension problem in front of furious MPs earlier this year. He is thought to have offered £250 million to help plug the deficit, £100 million less than the Pensions Regulator has demanded.

On Thursday Sir Philip was again barracked by his chief tormentor, the MP Frank Field who urged him to "meet all the promises made to his staff".