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Green: 'No Silver Bullet' To Fix Economy

(c) Sky News 2013

Topshop boss Sir Philip Green has told Sky News that most big retailers want to have fewer high street stores.

The chief executive of Arcadia, which has around 2,500 UK fashion stores, including BHS and Miss Selfridge, said there is "no silver bullet" to fix the economy.

Sir Philip said the plight of the British High Street is no different to that in the United States.

"There's a total reshape due to e-commerce, due to how people are shopping, due to click and collect, due to the new world we live in. If you talk to nearly any retailer and ask if they'd like to have fewer shops, yes they would," he told Sky News during London Fashion Week.

The rags-to-riches businessman is less than optimistic about the economy: "I think we're flat-lining. I don't see any disaster.

"Obviously we've got a multitude of different businesses. Topshop is not down, it's faring OK. But each market is different. The market is tough.

"You've got to make an excuse about the weather over the past few weeks ... but when the weather is normal, business is reasonable. It's not great but it's not a disaster."

Arcadia has been reviewing the future of 250 stores whose leases are due to expire soon. Sir Philip insists many will remain open, while others could move to vacant retail space nearby.

Before the last election, he gave his backing to the Conservatives saying that David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne "understand what needs to be done ... they just get it".

Asked if he still thinks so, Sir Philip said: "I haven't heard anything from anyone else. There isn't a silver bullet, whether you're red, yellow or blue.

"It's like a business. You've got to keep grinding away. It's not pleasant!"