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.