This is a tale of the 'Emperors New Clothes' and how arrogance and fashion led cloth ears has led to the collapse of a retail empire, and the human casualties who paid the price.

Back in the late 1990's an online movement was gradually taking place, this was the birth of eCommerce around the globe.

At first there were just a few of eCommerce sites, these included book stores, music stores, and the inevitable world of 'online 'porn'.

And even back then there were lots of people just wanting to earn some extra income from something they already knew a lot about. 

This was at a time when most retail brands thought it nothing other than a fad, an irritation maybe, and something that if embraced would 'cannibalise' their existing physical store portfolio.

So instead of embracing it many chose to ignore it, and others set up their online store out of FOMO.   

History, economics and now Covid has shown what happened to that kind of internalised thinking from the boardroom leaders. 

Arcadia is now becoming famous again, but not for it's connection to consumers. 

This time it's reputed to become the biggest retail fallout of 2020 - several thousand of employees are no doubt going to be having an extremely worrying festive season.

I'ts been well documented why these High St giants have lost ground to their digitally and socially savvy counterparts like Boohoo, MissGuided, and several others.

All whilst Sir Phil and Lady Phil enjoyed the fruits of their earlier 20th Century endeavours in the sunny South of France.

"What's in style right now is streetwear, and Topshop hasn't got much of that," 

Ms Armstrong is a typical consumer, someone who used to shop there often, but has since moved onto other brands.

Meanwhile, she says that people younger than her don't see Topshop's styles as being "on trend".

Virtually every one of the Arcadia stable employs what can be called it's own customer demographic. 

Unfortunately it seems that Sir Phil knew better, he's on record for not being the greatest of listeners. 

Had it not been for the involvement of the pension regulator and his name hitting the headlines for his debacle with the BHS pension deficit, I doubt he would have stepped up to the mark then.

The most valuable question he could have asked his young on trend employees is "how do you prefer to shop today?"

Unfortunately Sir Phil decided he knew better and continued to operate his version of old school retailing, whilst his up and coming competitors simply did what he wasn't prepared to to do - listen to the consumer, be aware of changes in  their behaviour and empower his bright young employees to create a business fit for today's consumer.

Sure, he, like other analog minded retailers will continue to blame it on Covid, or the high rent excuse - just like all other retailers we see going to the wall.

This time Sir Phil and Lady Phil will be heading off into the retail sunset, no doubt be delighted to offset Arcadia's demise in the knowledge they have already trousered their own pension funds.

Virtually all of these so called established on/offline retail companies are still operating in an analog way, when the 21st Century is a digital and socially connected world. 

The consumer of today is tech savvy, socially aware, and places more value in what their peers and friendship circle tell them, than the corporate 'advertise and promote' mentality that all businesses seem to have adopted in the social media landscape.

Statistics show that people trust the recommendations of an influencer they follow more than any other form of advertising. In fact, 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions, and 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. Why?

Consumers want to hear from other consumers. This is largely due to their trustworthiness, their relatability and the fact that their followers value their opinion more highly than a celebrity or brand.

And what really makes these 'influencers' really stand out?

They engage, and listen to what's being said - unlike brands like Arcadia!.