It appears that Topshop in Sheffield has come the full circle.
The news that Topshop and Topman is closing on Fargate could end a long-time association with Sheffield city centre. According to a recently submitted planning application, Nos. 33-35 Fargate, look to be falling into Superdrug hands.
The irony is that Topshop was founded in Sheffield in 1964, a brand extension of the Peter Robinson department store, then situated at the corner of Castle Square (now occupied by easyHotel).
Peter Robinson was a women’s fashion chain, founded in 1873, that had become part of Burton’s in 1946.
It opened as Peter Robinson’s Top Shop, a youth brand, selling fashion by young British designers such as Polly Peck, Mary Quant, Gerald McCann, Mark Russell and Stirling Cooper.
The Top Shop name was later used for a large standalone store on Oxford Street, London, and expanded into further Peter Robinson branches at Ealing, Norwich and Bristol.
It wasn’t until 1973 that Top Shop was split from Peter Robinson, focusing on the 13-24 age groups, leaving the department store to concentrate on the over 25s.
The Top Shop (later Topshop) brand flourished, subsequently becoming part of Phillip Green’s Arcadia Group, with 500 shops worldwide, of which 300 were in the UK.
Alas, by the end of the 1970s, the Peter Robinson name had all but disappeared.
In Sheffield, C&A had absorbed the former Peter Robinson shop, and when it pulled out of the UK, the unit transferred to Primark.
However, as we well know, times have been difficult for Phillip Green. Last year, the Arcadia Group went through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with a significant number of stores closing.