Top Shop bosses out of fashion in Arcadia shake-up

People walk past Topshop, Oxford Street

Top Shop is the jewel in the crown of billionaire Sir Philip Green’s retail empire.

But with the chain losing its sheen amid tough competition there are fresh attempts to keep it ahead of the game.

In the latest shake-up at Sir Philip’s parent company Arcadia, Top Shop’s creative boss Kate Phelan is leaving, as is Top Man’s Gordon Richardson.

Arcadia has announced that they will be replaced in a combined role by former Vogue art director David Hagglund.

In addition to this latest creative appointment, a new chief executive starts next month – Paul Price.

It signals a new era for Top Shop, once the go-to destination for young shoppers keen to snap up the very latest fashion trends on the High Street.

Profits at Arcadia, which also includes Miss Selfridge, Burton, and Dorothy Perkins, plunged by 79% last year.

Tough competition in the clothing market – and the failure of the now-defunct BHS chain – contributed to the poor performance.

Ms Phelan moved to Top Shop from fashion magazine Vogue in 2011, and Mr Richardson has been at Top Man for 17 years.


In Arcadia’s statement, Sir Philip said: “The appointment of David Hagglund, in the newly combined role, continues to mark the start of a new era for Topshop Topman in moving both brands forward in their ongoing global expansion.

“I am delighted to welcome David who will be joining Paul Price, our new chief executive, on the same day and I look forward to working with them both to drive the business forward.”

Top of their agenda will be Top Shop’s future. Nimbler online rivals such as Boohoo and Misguided are eroding Top Shop’s market share. They’re cheaper, too.

Online retailer Boohoo thanks to new overseas markets.

And online fashion retailer Asos has also been eating Top Shop’s cake, with sales jumping in its .

We will have to wait and see whether Top Shop seeks to move upmarket, or tries to up its game in the fiercely competitive online world.

Topshop bosses out of fashion in Arcadia shake-up

People walk past Topshop, Oxford Street

Top Shop is the jewel in the crown of billionaire Sir Philip Green’s retail empire.

But with the chain losing its sheen amid tough competition there are fresh attempts to keep it ahead of the game.

In the latest shake-up at Sir Philip’s parent company Arcadia, Top Shop’s creative boss Kate Phelan is leaving, as is Top Man’s Gordon Richardson.

Arcadia has announced that they will be replaced in a combined role by former Vogue art director David Hagglund.

In addition to this latest creative appointment, a new chief executive starts next month – Paul Price.

It signals a new era for Top Shop, once the go-to destination for young shoppers keen to snap up the very latest fashion trends on the High Street.

Profits at Arcadia, which also includes Miss Selfridge, Burton, and Dorothy Perkins, plunged by 79% last year.

Tough competition in the clothing market – and the failure of the now-defunct BHS chain – contributed to the poor performance.

Ms Phelan moved to Top Shop from fashion magazine Vogue in 2011, and Mr Richardson has been at Top Man for 17 years.


In Arcadia’s statement, Sir Philip said: “The appointment of David Hagglund, in the newly combined role, continues to mark the start of a new era for Topshop Topman in moving both brands forward in their ongoing global expansion.

“I am delighted to welcome David who will be joining Paul Price, our new chief executive, on the same day and I look forward to working with them both to drive the business forward.”

Top of their agenda will be Top Shop’s future. Nimbler online rivals such as Boohoo and Misguided are eroding Top Shop’s market share. They’re cheaper, too.

Online retailer Boohoo thanks to new overseas markets.

And online fashion retailer Asos has also been eating Top Shop’s cake, with sales jumping in its .

We will have to wait and see whether Top Shop seeks to move upmarket, or tries to up its game in the fiercely competitive online world.

Asda grows again after three-year slump

Asda logo

Supermarket chain Asda has reported its first quarterly like-for-like sales growth for three years.

Sales rose 1.8% in the second quarter after a bumper Easter, Asda owner Walmart said.

Figures were boosted by a combination of price cuts, more customers and rising inflation.

Last year Asda reported its worst quarterly performance on record when sales tumbled by 7.5%.

Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon said the world’s biggest retail was “encouraged” by the UK result.

“In June, I visited Asda to see the progress being made. Customers are responding to investments in price and store experience by visiting the stores more often and increasing their basket sizes,” he said.

“There’s still much more to be done, but we’re clearly headed in the right direction.”

Asda is the third-largest UK supermarket chain behind Tesco and Sainsbury’s, .

Pain in Spain: are tourists still welcome?

Striking workers of the private Grupo Eulen security company at the El Prat airport in Barcelona, 16 August 2017

Visitors to Barcelona may be expecting some hostility after the anti-tourism protests that have shaken one of Spain’s biggest holiday destinations.

On arriving at the city’s airport, they may notice signs that all is not well.

But any protesters with raised fists are more likely to be striking airport workers in pursuit of better pay and working conditions.

Spanish Civil Guards have been called in to handle security as the indefinite stoppage goes on.

Once the tourists arrive in the city centre, they are likely to notice anti-tourist graffiti or signs telling them that rents are now unaffordable for locals because of the demand for holiday accommodation.

Such campaigns are now being seen elsewhere in Spain, the world’s third-biggest tourism destination, while the tourism industry is concerned at the potential global effect.

“Tourism is of immense economic benefit to European destinations and has become even more important in recent years,” says a spokesperson for Abta, the UK travel agents’ association.

“Most people appreciate these benefits and accept that at certain times of year, they will have to share their cities with significant numbers of tourists from around the world.”

Abta, perhaps unsurprisingly, blames the problem on the rise of online services such as Airbnb, which threaten its members’ traditional business model while promoting a huge expansion in illegal tourist accommodation in cities such as Barcelona.


“The rapid growth of the peer-to-peer economy in recent years has led to significant increases in visitors to some cities, but due to the lack of licensing and regulation in this sector, it is impossible to fully understand tourism numbers,” it says.

“We need mechanisms in place to manage numbers in crowded destinations, for the benefit of holidaymakers, destination residents and the travel industry. Logically, these measures would need to take account of both hotel visitors and peer-to-peer accommodation users.”

Abta may have a point, though. According to some estimates, as many as 40% of Barcelona’s tourist apartments are being rented out without the authorities’ permission, making it much harder for local people to find affordable accommodation.

For now, tour guide operators and other local businesses say privately that the anti-tourist backlash has made little difference to the influx of visitors.

And the Spanish government must be hoping they are right.

More than 75 million tourists visited the country last year, and the number is expected to hit a record 83 million in 2017.

With Spain still recovering from its crippling economic crisis, tourism is more important to national well-being than ever before.

Lucy Fuggle, head of content at TrekkSoft, which provides logistics and software to travel firms, sees the discontent as a sign that tourism needs to change. “The backlash is concerning, but more so for the sentiment than the economic impact,” she says.


“Tourism will continue – there’s no doubt about that – but we see some changes that need to happen, such as improved regulations and better distribution of visitors across cities.

“In our work with tour and activity suppliers and tourism boards, we’ve noticed that visitors are increasingly seeking unique experiences in less ‘typical’ destinations,” Ms Fuggle says.

“It’s a step away from the cookie-cutter package trip, and if more visitors turn to this, we could see less dense distribution in struggling cities such as Barcelona and Venice. It comes at a greater cost to the consumer than budget city breaks, however.”

It’s probably too late for the protesters to have much impact on this year’s tourism numbers.

The surge in visitor numbers is being fuelled by powerful global economic forces. As the appeal of other once-popular destinations such as Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt is waning because of security concerns, Spain looks even more attractive as a haven for sun-worshippers.

But the impact of the anti-tourist campaign could well be felt in 2018 and beyond.

The Catalan Tourist Board is a regular exhibitor at London’s World Travel Market tourism fair, held every November, along with 11 other Spanish travel organisations.

After some bumper years, the Spanish tourism industry will have to work hard to ensure that it too does not fall out of fashion.

Daily Stormer: Cloudflare drops neo-Nazi site


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The Daily Stormer has been a source of significant controversy in recent days

A neo-Nazi site that disparaged a woman who died during protests in Charlottesville has faced another wave of rejection by web companies.

The Daily Stormer’s account with Cloudflare – which protects websites from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks – has been terminated.

Cloudflare’s chief executive Matthew Prince said he had “had enough”, in a .

However, he added that he felt conflicted over the decision.

“Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the internet,” wrote Mr Prince.

“No-one should have that power.”

On Sunday, the Daily Stormer published an article denigrating Heather Heyer, 32, who was killed after a car rammed into protesters against a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

This led to a backlash in which the site had to switch domain name registrars twice in 24 hours, after from their services.

Cloudflare’s service involves handling web users’ requests to view a site and filtering out those that appear to be coming from systems set up to overload the site.

Without such protection, websites can sometimes be knocked offline.

Mr Prince said leaving the site open to DDoS attacks could lead to “vigilante justice”, published later on Wednesday.

However, he also said: “Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion.

“The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology.”

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EXPLAINED: What is a DDoS attack?

Earlier in the week, the Daily Stormer was set up as a site on the dark web and later relocated its open web presence to a Russian domain name ending “.ru”.

A spokesman for the Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor said it had asked web firm Ru-Center to shut this down.

A BBC check on Thursday morning found that the .ru address no longer appeared to be working.

The Daily Stormer has faced frustration elsewhere in recent days.

Three Twitter accounts associated with the site that had previously been active were suddenly listed as “suspended” on Wednesday.

And cyber-security researcher Joseph Evers an internet chat channel he said was used by staff at the Daily Stormer.

Describing himself as having once been a “free speech absolutist”, Mr Evers added: “I’m glad to do my small part in countering white supremacy.”

Besides the Daily Stormer’s case, this week Paypal reiterated its stance on blocking donations to organisations that promote hate, violence or racial intolerance.

“This includes organizations that advocate racist views, such as the KKK, white supremacist groups or Nazi groups,” the payment-processing firm said.

Internet companies were facing a “dilemma” over how to balance support for freedom of speech with a desire not to encourage hate groups, said Prof Eric Heinze, at Queen Mary, University of London.

“Had the Charlottesville events not occurred, the hate sites would still be operating from Cloudflare, GoDaddy, and other such venues,” he told the BBC.

“Some might call it satisfactory to wait until actual harm occurs before closing such a site. But others will say that’s too little and too late.”

UK retail sales growth continues in July

Supermarket shopper

UK retail sales growth slowed in July as consumers cut back on buying most goods other than food, according to the latest official figures.

Sales grew by 0.3% compared with June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Strong food sales drove the growth, while most of the other main sectors showed a decrease.

The gap between wages and inflation is continuing to widen, putting pressure on household spending.

In June sales rose by 0.6% against May.

Ole Black, ONS senior statistician, said it was a “relatively subdued picture” in retail sales”.

“Strong food sales have been responsible for the growth of 0.3% in July compared with June, as all other main sectors have shown a decrease. Whilst the overall growth is the same as in June, trends in growth in different sectors are proving quite volatile,” he said.

UK retail sales growth slows in July

Supermarket shopper

UK retail sales growth slowed in July as consumers cut back on buying most goods other than food, according to the latest official figures.

Sales grew by 0.3% compared with June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Strong food sales drove the growth, while most of the other main sectors showed a decrease.

The gap between wages and inflation is continuing to widen, putting pressure on household spending.

In June sales rose by 0.6% against May.

Ole Black, ONS senior statistician, said it was a “relatively subdued picture” in retail sales”.

“Strong food sales have been responsible for the growth of 0.3% in July compared with June, as all other main sectors have shown a decrease. Whilst the overall growth is the same as in June, trends in growth in different sectors are proving quite volatile,” he said.

Hyundai vows to produce longer-range electric car

Hyundai electric car at motor show

Korean carmaker Hyundai is wading further into the electric vehicle market, promising a car that can go 500km (311 miles) on each charge.

Hyundai already has an electric model on the market, but its range lags behind its competitors’ models.

Along with its affiliate Kia, Hyundai is planning 31 eco-friendly models by 2020.

The latest move comes amid increasing competition in the market for ecologically-friendly cars.

Hyundai’s environmentally-conscious new additions will include three plug-in hybrid vehicles, eight battery-powered cars and two fuel-cell vehicles.

The company also has plans to develop its first dedicated facility for pure electric vehicles, which will allow it to produce a variety of cars with longer driving ranges.

Its current electric model, the Ioniq, has a range of 280km, less than GM’s Bolt or Tesla’s Model 3, which both have ranges in excess of 350km.


Automotive analyst Robin Zhu from Bernstein Research says Hyundai’s new model would be competitive when it comes out after 2021, even though its high-end competitor Tesla will probably exceed its expected range by then.

“For econo-boxes that go from A to B, you need to be competitive, but as long as they offer the right product for the right value, the onus is not on Hyundai to do something groundbreaking,” he said.

Hyundai’s latest push into the electric market comes amid growing global competition for electric cars.

In addition to electric-only manufacturers such as Tesla and Faraday Future, major US, Japanese and European carmakers are now offering electric options.

According to the International Energy Agency, new registrations of electric cars hit a record in 2016, with more than 750,000 sales.

While electric cars have the highest market share in Norway, far more are sold in China.

China accounted for more than 40% of the electric cars sold last year, more than double the amount sold in the United States.

The consultancy McKinsey said Chinese manufacturers produced 43% of the 873,000 electric vehicles built worldwide in 2016.

Robin Zhu said the Chinese market is partly driven by generous government subsidies, and it’s unlikely that Chinese manufacturers will continue to dominate over the long-term.

“Right now, VW’s market share is almost 0%. But it’s not going to be 0% when they pull up their socks and do it,” he said.

Apple boss Tim Cook joins Donald Trump condemnation

Tim Cook

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has become the latest boss to criticise President Donald Trump over his response to the white nationalist rallies in Virginia.

Mr Cook said he did not agree there was a “moral equivalence” between white supremacists and “those who oppose them”.

Mr Trump after top bosses resigned.

Mr Cook said Apple will also make donations to human rights charities.

In an email to staff Mr Cook said: “I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights.

“Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”

He added that “in the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in Charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organisations who work to rid our country of hate”.

Apple will donate $1m to both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. It will also match two-for-one any staff donations to these and several other human rights groups until 30 September, Mr Cook said.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump has said he was scrapping two business councils after more bosses quit over his handling of the violent clashes in Virginia.

Business leaders left the White House manufacturing council after the backlash against how he reacted to the far-right rally last weekend.

The clashes culminated in a woman’s death and nearly 20 wounded when a car ploughed into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters.

Mr Trump’s reaction has sparked outrage and generated global headlines.

His announcement on Twitter came as the heads of 3M, Campbell Soup, Johnson & Johnson and United Technologies announced their resignations on Wednesday.


Mr Trump said: “Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both.”

Before Mr Trump’s announcement, the Strategy and Policy Forum announced it was a joint decision to disband the council.

Businesses have been under pressure to distance themselves from Mr Trump over his handling of the clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

On Monday, Mr Trump belatedly condemned the white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups that rallied in a small Virginia town on Sunday.

But in a rancorous news conference on Tuesday he backtracked and again blamed left-wing counter-protesters for the violence too.

JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon, a member of the Strategy and Policy Forum, released a separate statement on Wednesday saying he strongly disagreed with Mr Trump’s recent statements, adding that “fanning divisiveness is not the answer”.

“Constructive economic and regulatory policies are not enough and will not matter if we do not address the divisions in our country. It is a leader’s role, in business or government, to bring people together, not tear them apart,” he said.

Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup said she could not continue to participate in the advisory panel after Mr Trump’s comments. Activists had called on Campbell Soup, among other firms, to take action.

HBO social media hacked in latest cyber security breach

Jon Snow and Drogon

HBO’s Facebook and Twitter accounts have been compromised in the latest cyber security breach to hit the firm.

A group called OurMine appeared to take control of the main HBO accounts, as well as those for the network’s shows including Game of Thrones.

One posts said “OurMine are here. we are just testing your security”.

It is the latest cyber security headache for the entertainment firm after hackers released Game of Thrones scripts and company data.


Some of the social media posts were removed quickly afterwards.

HBO did not immediately respond to the BBC’s request for comment.

OurMine has a reputation for hacking high profile Twitter accounts.

Last year it , as well as Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, and Google chief executive Sundar Pichai.


The hack is the latest in a string of security setbacks for HBO in recent weeks.

Unidentified hackers claim to have stolen 1.5TB of data from the company in July.

Out of the haul they released Game of Thrones scripts, company documents and unbroadcast episodes of HBO’s other shows including and Insecure.

Separately, for leaking an episode of Game of Thrones before it aired. The accused were current and former employees of a Mumbai-based company that stores and processes the series for an online streaming service.

Next came a leak in Europe. An episode of the fantasy show was on to its broadcaster’s Spanish and Nordic streaming platforms days before it was scheduled to be broadcast.

The episode, titled Death is the Enemy, has since been withdrawn, but not before it was copied and circulated on several file-sharing platforms.