Monsoon and 'a load of bollocks'

The UK rag trade has produced more than its fair share of characters and Peter Simon the founder of Monsoon is certainly one. Today he’s announced – yet again – that he wishes to take the listed company private. Simon appears to have regretted floating his baby - which he started way back in the clearing purple haze of 1972, selling bo-ho Indian-inspired dresses – right from the start. (Although we’re sure he didn’t object to the enormous wealth the move brought him.)

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Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012
Monsoon has been having a terrible time of late and is way off the current fashion pace – a sign epitomised by the fact that Simon believed that hiring ageing also-ran Liz Hurley might be the answer to his brand’s style problems. Trading is currently “very poor” which is rag trade code for we might as well shut the stall and go home now. Simon has attempted to shake off the home market blues by going for a big expansion push abroad. With his Accessorize brand as a battering ram Monsoon now has a presence in 41 countries with 453 stores outside the UK . This hasn’t been without problems: the gear didn’t go down in storm in the Levant where, Simon complained, “In the Middle East we had problems with crosses.” Well, there’s a thing!

Simon’s relationship with the City has always been uneasy. When questioned about his running of the company he derided “all this corporate governance bollocks” which didn’t make him hugely popular with investors. He’s probably best running the show without a shower of red tape covering the trinkets and tie-dye.

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Finance Retail

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