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Topshop’s success since the swinging 60s

Letters
·1-min read
<span>Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

The rise of Topshop preceded the excellent Jane Shepherdson (The rock star of retail: how Topshop changed the face of fashion, 3 December). She brilliantly carried on a success story started in 1964 by Ralph Halpern, a management trainee at Peter Robinson, who opened Topshop departments in all the group’s department stores. They were soon leading the swinging 60s fashion revolution – swallowing the Oxford Circus store whole and becoming a high street phenomenon. I worked as a window display artist for the group – it was a brilliantly exciting time, and it’s very sad to see the way it’s ending.
Di Oliver
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

• While I agree that the peak of Topshop’s success was under Jane Shepherdson, the brand was already successful when she joined it as a merchandiser in the mid-80s. By the time of Philip Green’s takeover, she had progressed to brand director. Her rise from the buying floor to director is an excellent example of the opportunities that existed in a thriving retail sector. Regretfully, those days are behind us.
Martin McNamee
Retired director, Burton Group (now Arcadia)