High-fashion boutique tipped for city centre

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 07:18 02/06/2014

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Mega high-street brand Topshop is "on the radar" for Christchurch, Carter Group chief executive Mary Devine says.

The British fashion retailer has big expansion plans and its flagship New Zealand store is due to open in Auckland later this year.

Kiwi designer Karen Walker has partnered with local clothing chain Barkers and Christchurch rich lister Philip Carter to form Top Retail, which has secured the rights to own, develop and run the London brand, including its men's offshoot Topman in this country.

Topshop - the only high street brand with a scheduled spot at London Fashion Week - is known for its affordable fashion based on catwalk trends and design collaborations with the likes of Christopher Kane, Hussein Chalayan and Mary Kantranzou.

It is owned by Sir Philip Green - a British businessman and chief executive of the Arcadia Group, a retail giant that includes British Home Stores and Dorothy Perkins.

Devine told The Press it was "still very early days" and the group was working through the design and planning of its $100 million Crossing development in the central city's retail precinct. "[Topshop] will be on the radar, but we still need to finalise layout and design", she said.

According to the Companies Office, Top Retail is 50 per cent owned by Barkers, while Walker and her husband, Mikhail Gherman, have a 25 per cent shareholding.

The remaining shares are owned by Crossing CBD, which is directed by Carter and Devine, the former managing director of department store Ballantynes.

Walker has run a small Topshop and Topman outlet inside Auckland's The Department Store since 2010. Topshop's flagship store in Oxford Circus, London, is considered one of the world's largest fashion shops, attracting more than 500,000 shoppers every week.

Barkers chief executive Jamie Whiting said New Zealand's fashion sector was "in very good health. And we see Topshop's arrival on our shores as a big signal of confidence".

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- The Press

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