Are Wal-Mart and Topshop in cahoots?
A source inside Topshop tells us that when Sir Philip Green was visiting the retailer’s New York flagship in late December 2009, he brought along a member of the Walton family.
Collectively, the Waltons still own 39% of Wal-Mart, which is a publicly-traded company. The unnamed Walton was given a tour of the store and a list of its best-selling items.
This could mean three things:
1. The Walton involved is an investor in Arcadia Group. Each of the Waltons–Jim, Rob, Alice–possess quite a large private fortune. Arcadia Group is a private company. There’s no reason why–for instance, Rob–isn’t investing any of his own personal money into Arcadia’s US expansion.
2. Phillip Green was asking this unnamed Walton for advice. If anyone knows how to merchandise on a mass level in the US, it’s Wal-Mart. Maybe this is the case of two billionaire pals casually conversing.
3. Wal-Mart and Topshop are somehow collaborating. While this makes most sense from a business standpoint, we find it hard to believe that Topshop would associate its brand directly with Wal-Mart. But stranger things have happened.