Editorial: Green eyes the storm ahead

How he manages to weather these adverse conditions will be interesting to watch.

by Matthew Gwyther, mt editor

In the wild and dark jungle that is British retailing, Philip Green is one of two top bananas. The other is Sir Terry Leahy, but Green outdoes the Tesco boss because, although Leahy is extremely well paid on £3 million per annum, Green is worth an estimated £4.85 billion. Just try saying that figure out loud. And he sports the biggest watch you've ever clapped eyes on (see the opening spread of this month's MT Interview). It's interesting how many photographic portraits of Green, including ours, catch him while he's licking his lips. We had a great idea to snap him on a lilo in the pool of his Monaco home under the cover headline 'Sexy Beast', but he was having none of it. Maybe next time ...

MT meets the legendary Green at a time when - after many years of brightly ker-chinging cash tills and stampede-like rates of footfall across the nation's retail acres - things are starting to get rough on the high street.

Simon Wolfson of Next has admitted that his company faces the most trying trading conditions since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister. French Connection's figures have turned scary since Joe Public fell out of love with its crass logo. M&S, from which this summer I purchased for £20 a nicely made Panama hat not available at Primark, remains in turmoil.

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