Burberry Chief Merchandising Officer Paul Price is set to take the chief executive spot at Topshop Topman, effective Sept. 4, according to a press release from parent Arcadia Group emailed to Retail Dive.
Price is American and began his retail career at Bloomingdale’s, now owned by Macy’s, and has been in the CMO role at Burberry’s for almost 10 years, according to Arcadia. Between Bloomingdale's and Burberry he also had roles at Lucky Brand Jeans, Williams Sonoma and Banana Republic.
He replaces Mary Homer, who left Topshop earlier this year after 30 years (more than 10 years in the top managing director spot), to lead furniture, home goods and clothing retailer The White Company.
Topshop is in the stable of British retail company Arcadia Group, led by Sir Philip Green, which also includes Miss Selfridge, Outfit and the now-defunct BHS department store chain.
Homer led an expansion of Topshop that raised its profile, including in the U.S., where the brand has 10 stores (not to mention its second largest flagship in New York), as well as pop-ups in Nordstrom department stores. The retailer is often branded as a “fast-fashion” company because of its large assortment of trendy styles, though it doesn’t sport the leaner prices of retailers like H&M and Zara. In his statement emailed to Retail Dive, Green indicated that this strategy will continue.
“I believe Paul will be a great catalyst in leading the next phase of Topshop Topman’s global expansion,” he said.
It’s not clear whether bringing on Price also reflects any new strategy to move Topshop upmarket. Burberry enjoyed a rebound under former CEO Angela Ahrendts (now Apple’s head of retail), pivoting from a stale reputation for stuffiness back to high quality, fashion relevance. But Burberry has struggled somewhat of late, burdened by the strong dollar and tension in the luxury market. Ahrendts’ replacement Christopher Bailey stepped down from the CEO role last year amid some criticism that, also serving as the brand’s creative lead, he was somewhat overwhelmed. Bailey was replaced by former Celine CEO Marco Gobbetti. Burberry late last year also reportedly rejected several offers to be taken over from comeback luxury brand Coach.