Magazine article The Spectator

Sardines Do a Brisk Trade in the High Street, So Long as No One Opens the Tins

Magazine article The Spectator

Sardines Do a Brisk Trade in the High Street, So Long as No One Opens the Tins

Article excerpt

One of the first laws of trade is that that there are two kinds of sardine. One is for eating, but the other kind is for buying and selling, so there is no need to open the tins and risk disappointment. Every so often, this perception sweeps through the High Street and store wars break out. Retail is detail, as we all know, and hard work and competitive, too, so why bother when it is so much more fun to buy and sell shops? More rewarding, even, if you get your timing right. Just at the moment Top Shop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Evans (the friends of the fuller figure) are all in the shop window, arranged in a job lot and labelled Arcadia. They have caught the eye of Philip Green, the retail kingpin, who wants to bid for them -- helped, so he thought, by an Icelandic retailer called Baugur, which would let Mr Green buy its shares in Arcadia and then buy three groups of stores back from him. …

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