Not one to mince his words people either love him, or hate him but it’s hard to dispute that Sir Philip Green is a multi-talented entrepreneur. Sir Philip fell into retail almost by accident but it's made him a fortune. Some go so far as to argue he’s the finest retailer of his generation and one of the best business brains in the UK.
A middle class, Croydon-born Jewish boy, who left school at 16 without a single qualification, he's now number 6 on the latest Sunday Times Rich list – up from 9th last year despite the recession. After leaving school, Philip Green worked for the family firm, one of the first shoe importers to bring products in from China and Hong Kong. Experience of international trade taught him about finance, credit, importing and product.
After four false starts he made his first million at 33, with Jean Jeannie. It was a struggling fashion chain when he bought it for £65,000 in the mid-1980s. He sold it six months later for £3m. Many such deals later, he owns the Arcadia group – running about an eighth of the UK clothing retail market. His empire is the second largest in the sector after Marks & Spencer. In 2005, he paid himself a £1.2bn dividend from Arcadia which he bought in 2002 with only a few million pounds of his own money.
This book explores the secrets of how Sir Philip Green built his business empire:
Chapter 1: From rag trader to business man who sells fashion.
Chapter 2: Find out what your customers want and give it to them, and more, in-store, online it's the experience that counts.
Chapter 3: Buy the best. Whatever your position in the market buy the best you can sell in your price range.
Chapter 4: Hire the best. Hang the CV – find out what they really can do.
Chapter 5: We're all in it together – the retailer, the customers and the suppliers. Without the suppliers there's nothing to sell – look after your supply chain.
Chapter 6: Efficiency rules even in the good time. It’s not the same as cost cutting.
Chapter 7: Borrow little, repay quickly and build the business. Service the debt, keep the costs down and worry about profits in the good times.
Chapter 8: Deals, deals, deals. Don't buy it if you can’t see what it needs to operate efficiently and the potential it offers you.
Chapter 9: The tough times - work harder to stay still. The more efficient you are going into recession the better you’re equipped to survive.
Chapter 10: Staying private rather than going public – the advantages and disadvantages.