JD Sports and Authentic Brands partnership could give Topshop the best chance of revival

Following reports that JD Sports is in talks with Authentic Brands Group to buy Topshop out of administration, Emily Salter, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on this news:

“Topshop is the most lucrative brand up for sale in Sir Philip Green’s former retail empire, but it needs significant investment and a refreshed strategy to turn it around to emulate its heyday when teenagers flocked to the brand as it set the latest trends. JD Sports in combination with Authentic Brands, which owns a number of American retailers including Barneys, would have the best chance of doing so.

“JD Sports has proven its agility and ability to target young shoppers, reporting stellar revenue growth of c.5% in the 22 weeks to 2 January despite more temporary store closures. Additionally, it is a digital leader, expertise from which Topshop would benefit from as it will no doubt have suffered in 2020 from being an online laggard. A partnership of JD Sports and Authentic Brands would be more likely to lead to Topshop’s revival than a purchase by Next, as though Next has a leading digital proposition, its slightly older customer base means it may struggle to reinstate Topshop’s front of mind appeal among Gen Z and millennials. Though it is unclear whether this potential bid would include any stores, it is more likely to do so than an acquisition by the boohoo group, and though Topshop’s store estate is far too big, especially given the impacts of COVID-19, the brand would be sorely missed if it was to vanish from high streets altogether.”

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