Fashion is big business, but do you ever think about who owns your favourite fashion brands? My Voucher Codes set out to find out, asking ‘Who Owns Our High Street Fashion Brands?’ They looked at some of the biggest fashion brands in the industry including Topshop, Gap and H&M to see who actually owns them, their humble beginnings and how they dominated the fashion industry.
During My Voucher Codes research, they found that some of the biggest fashion brands in the world are owned by just 4 companies; H&M Group, Inditex, Gap Inc. and Arcadia. These 4 companies own large shares of the fashion sector, but there are other companies chomping at the heels of the fashion elite.
Erling Persson founded H&M in 1947, and unbeknown to him would create one of the world’s biggest fashion retailers. H&M Groups currently own 6 fashion retailers in the group, generating £1.7 billion in annual net income. Current retailers which residue under the H&M Group umbarella are COS (Collection of Style), & Other Stories, Cheap Monday, Monki, Weekday and H&M. The Persson family are still involved with the day to day running of the company.
Run by multibillionaire Amanico Ortega, Inditex owns 8 multinational fashion brands including Zara, Stradivarius, Bershka and Pull & Bear. Both Amancio Ortega and Rosalía Mera founded Zara in 1975, acquisitioning other retailers into the fold before setting up the holding company Inditex. Today Inditex generates an annual net income of £903 million, while owner Amanico Ortega is now the richest man in Europe with an estimated worth of over £50 billion.
GAP was established in 1969 by Donald and Doris Fisher and purchased Banana Republic in 1983. Since then the group have founded Old Navy (1994), Intermix (1993) and Athleta (2009) generating an annual net income of £684 million. The Fisher family are still involved with the day to day running of the company.
The Arcadis Group (formerly known as the Burton Group) run some of the UK’s biggest high street fashion brands. Burton’s menswear was founded in 1904 by Montague Burton and has added a range of retailers to the group over the past 113 years. The Arcadia Group’s operations include, Burton, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge which generate a net income of over £205 million.
Close on the heels
Established in 1970 by Richard Hayne and Scott Belair, Urban Outfitters generates an annual net income of £163 million. The group also owns and runs Free People, Anthropologie, Terrain and BHLDN under the URBN portfolio of brands.
Monsoon and Accessorize
Monsoon and Accessorize were founded by Peter Simon in 1973 and 1984 respectively and now generate an annual net income of £54 million. Peter Simon still runs both businesses with the help of Paul Allen as Chairman.
Boohoo/Pretty Little Things (Kamani Family)
During 2006, businessman Mahmud Kamani established online fashion retailer Boohoo and in 2014 floated the company retaining 40% of the shares. Boohoo now generates an annual net income of £9 million. Not to be outdone, in 2012 brothers Umar and Adam Kamani founded another online fashion retailer Pretty Little Things. These two fashion brands have been making huge strides in the fashion industry so far in their short lives.
Chris Reilly General Manager of My Voucher Codes commented on the research, saying:
“People rarely think twice about who actually owns their favourite retailers when shopping, just like most people probably don’t think about who owns their favourite grocery brands. But it is interesting to see how much fashion retail businesses make and which companies are tied together by the same holding company.”
Adding, “Like many things, we are starting to see smaller companies formed and launching, mainly online and taking a chunk of the market from existing retailers. With new online stores, companies have less start-up costs because they don’t need retail space and staff, with websites as their main platforms, business can form faster. However they can also fail faster.”