If you’re into high-street fashion, Topshop is a name you’re probably familiar with.
It used to be one of the most popular stores in the UK, known for being a great place to buy fashionable, affordable clothes.
Going into administration doesn’t necessarily mean all the stores will close, but it might mean closing parts of the company that are losing money.
Lacking a ‘relevant connection’
Its problems come after the global pandemic caused problems for all sorts of businesses, but experts don’t believe coronavirus is solely to blame for the decline in sales at Topshop.
“If you’re going to make a go of retail on the high street, you have to excite people because it’s so easy to shop on your phone or tablet,” Graham Soult, a retail consultant, tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.
“Topshop and Topman haven’t really invested in their stores. They are quite boring and not very exciting places to go.”
He says other retailers, like Boohoo and Missguided are doing a better job.
“They really understand their customers and talk their language.”
But that wasn’t always the case. Here’s how the Topshop brand rose from a basement to one of the biggest names in British fashion.
1964: A start in Sheffield
Lets take it back to the beginning.
In 1964, The Beatles were one of the most popular bands in the world and Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison.
It was also the year Topshop was born, it was founded by Raymond Montague Burton and part of The Burton Group.
It started as a small section in the basement of a store in Sheffield called Peter Robinson.
By 1974, Topshop had left the basement and established itself as a stand-alone store, catering to 13-25 year olds.
1978: Boys need fashion too
This was the year Topshop’s buddy, Topman, opened stores for the first time.
It specialised in men’s fashion and became increasingly popular due to the decline in men’s tailoring services.
The first Topman store was in Leeds.
image captionThe Topshop and Topman store in Liverpool in 1984
1994: The (huge) flagship store
After nearly three decades of growth, the Topshop flagship store opened in Oxford Circus.
The shop is one of the first things you see when you come out of the Oxford Circus tube station, has a DJ booth, nail bar and even food and drink stalls inside.
In 1997, The Burton group split up and restructured into the Arcadia group, which then purchased other big name stores – such as Miss Selfridge and Wallis.
image captionTopshop was once one of the most popular clothing stores on the high street
2002: Philip Green buys Topshop
Along with his wife, Sir Philip Green bought the Arcadia group – and all the shops it owned by then – in 2002 for £850 million.
His high profile collaborations made the brand more popular, and the Kate Moss collection in 2007 was a great example of this.
Hundreds of people queued to buy items the supermodel helped produce when she partnered with Top Shop to create a range for the store.
image captionTopshop made it’s London Fashion Week debut in 2005
2010: Tax troubles?
The flagship store in London had to close for three hours and people even super-glued their hands to the shop windows.
2016: Ivy Park drops
Together with Sir Philip, Beyoncé founded Ivy Park – a gym-wear label named after her daughter Blue Ivy.
But her partnership with Topshop didn’t last long.
image captionBeyonce and Sir Philip both owned 50% of the label
In 2018, Beyonce cut ties with the Topshop boss and bought him out of the company.
He denied the allegations.
2020: Covid creeps in
Coronavirus has hit businesses hard everywhere this year.
Now, Arcadia is at risk of collapse, putting over 13,000 jobs at risk.
They also own Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Burton.
Some stores could close, so for those employed by these companies – it’s an anxious waiting game.