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Zara has made it clear that they're not headed to Middle America, USA, anytime soon. "The United States is a graveyard of European retailers. Everyone who has gone there has struggled," they said recently. Uniqlo reiterated that sentiment, saying the Japanese company is more likely to open a second shop in San Francisco before heading to LA, and definitely before heading to Chicago.
But now Topshop will cautiously go where other fast fashion chains across either pond won't. Following the grand opening of the Los Angeles flagship tomorrow, the British chain will look to opportunities in Miami, DC, Boston, and San Francisco (sidenote: Zara already has locations in each of these cities), along with 50 or so other stores in undisclosed locations.
To be fair, Topshop has some home-grown help. In December, Los Angeles-based investment company Leonard Green & Partners purchased a 25 percent stake in Topshop and Topman with the explicit goal of "increasing the retailer's US sales to $1 billion and doubling global sales over the next three to four years," according to WWD.
But Topshop will be taking it slow. Topshop/man's are testing the US waters with 14 shop-in-shops at Nordstrom, and mall stores will be carefully selected. in the words of Topshop owner Sir Philip Green, "If you go across America, there will be 15, 20, 25 malls you want to be in, the key ones, and the others you have to be choosy about. [...] We are going to go carefully and cherry-pick locations. We will take our time."
· Topshop Steams Ahead on West Coast [WWD]
· Topshop and Topman Have Arrived at Your Local Nordstrom [Racked]
· Why Zara Probably Won't Expand in the US Any Time Soon: The Midwest and Sizing [Racked]