The man who brought Topshop to Australian consumers has spilled on what went wrong.
Speaking at an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce event yesterday, Hilton Seskin said the business model for local operations was "broken".
Seskin revealed Topshop Australia had little control over inventory and prices for the domestic market.
He said products manufactured in Asia were shipped to a warehouse facility in the UK and repackaged and flown out to Australia.
Seskin said competitive pressures for retailers will continue to mount in a climate of prolific discounting.
Euromonitor senior researcher Bettina Kurnik confirmed the changing retail landscape.
“With the increasing competition on the A$18.8 billion Australian apparel market, established domestic brands and overseas entrants are vying for market share against a backdrop of weak consumer spending.
"Despite arriving to Australian shores to much fanfare in 2011, Topshop Topman has not been immune from competition from H&M, Zara and Uniqlo, with the brand’s combination of demographics, affordability and range contributing to its undoing.
"While Topshop Topman’s quirky apparel appeals to a younger demographic, its more premium offering and subsequent higher-end price positioning – for a fast-fashion brand – makes it less accessible to this demographic than H&M, for example, which has more of a diversified range at lower price points."
Topshop Australia appointed administrators in May.