Furious shoppers are calling for a mass boycott of stores owned by Sir Philip Green after the fashion mogul was outed as the subject of sexual harassment claims.
Calls for a boycott of the billionaires business, which includes Topshop and other brands owned by Arcadia, have gathered momentum as leading MPs also call for the business tycoon to be stripped of his knighthood, if the claims are proved to be true.
The 66-year-old was named in parliament yesterday as the man at the centre of sexual harassment and racial abuse allegations, claims which he has categorically denied.
Green has not been found guilty in a court or tribunal and the court order remains in place.
Online #pinknotgreen spread across social networks as people called for a boycott of his stores.
Shoppers outside Topshop’s flagship Oxford Street store said they were ‘disgusted’ at the allegations involving Sir Philip Green but when asked if they would be boycotting his stories, opinions were divided.
Mother of one Lindsey Thomas, 44, director of a plumbing company from Grimsby said: ‘I think the me too movement will have an effect, or at least I’m hopeful.
‘A lot of people will be put off going to Topshop, it certainly put me off.
‘I’ll be spending my money elsewhere.’
Biochem student at Uni of Manchester Hannah Dixon, 20, from Barcelona, said: ‘I’m disgusted and angry and won’t be shopping at Topshop ever again.
‘I don’t see how you could walk in.’
History student at Uni of Manchester Isabelle Parkin, 20, from North Yorkshire, said: ‘I won’t step foot in Topshop because it’s important that we don’t support these businesses.
‘You might think you’re just one person who isn’t shopping there, but it does matter, to show resistance,’
Another history student at Uni of Manchester Isabella Wood, 19, from Liverpool said she would also be boycotting.
‘I’m trying to boycott Topshop, even after the issue with them removing the feminist don’t wear pink display, I already wanted to,’ she said.
‘But with this, it’s only cemented that even further and I’ll never shop at Topshop again.’
But not everyone agreed that a boycott of the beloved store was the best way forward.
Former Topshop worker Kat Diggins-Barns, a 35-year-old pet business owner from Camberley in Surrey said: ‘I used to work for Topshop before all the horrible problems with BHS… From that and with this on top, I think he comes across as rude, insensitive and not a very nice person.
‘He is obviously a very clever man because of his business accruement but I don’t think he comes across very well.
‘I don’t buy much from the store anymore since I am in my mid-thirties and I can’t get away with wearing their crop tops anymore, not because of him.
‘I love Topshop and it would be a shame to see the shops take a hit from this because it is an amazing brand.
‘I would just hate for Topshop to be punished because of what he is doing.’
Ola Savage, a 28-year-old international arbitration lawyer from Fitzrovia, central London, said she ‘would probably still shop there.’
‘They have nice clothes.
‘I’m not shocked at the news but it is terrible.’
Silvano Guadagno, a 24-year-old business development executive from Bow, east London, said: ‘If the boss stays there, I probably wouldn’t shop there anymore.
‘I would avoid shops where there were issues with people high up to do with any allegations of mistreatment of staff, maternity, child labour etcetera.’
Andrea Smith, a 35-year-old from north London who works in advertising, said: ‘I was then thinking about doing my winter shopping and thought I would come to Topshop to get some staple pieces for my winter wardrobe.
‘If what they are saying is true, I would not want to support the brand so much.
‘But right now, it seems more like a lot of allegations.
‘I was surprised to hear that this ‘un-freedom’ of the press exists and I think it is right that he was outed. The public and people should know.’
Journalist Adam Saban, 28, visiting from Australia said: ‘It’s not on really. I’m of the belief that if they aren’t substantiated claims they shouldn’t be made public.’
Liz Lopez, a 32-year-old music accountant from Walthamstow in east London said: ‘It would affect my opinion of Topshop if he was found guilty and then stayed.’
‘I would try not want to shop there because of him, but if I was desperate and needed a new dress I would probably still take a look and buy from Topshop.
‘They have an edge on style.
‘I think the allegations will damage the reputation of the store but it is such a big brand that it would not affect it dramatically.
‘I don’t think it is going to disappear.’
Luca Moore, 17, a sales assistant from Cardiff, said: ‘Any money is too small a price to pay for being harassed or made to feel bullied at work.
Many people who were asked near Topshop’s flagship store said they loved the brand but the allegations made them ‘uncomfortable.’
Caitlin Warren, 16, is a student from Cardiff said: ‘I don’t know if what he’s alleged to have done will put me off shopping at Topshop, I like the clothes but it does make me feel uncomfortable with him being the man in charge. I wish that wasn’t the case.’
Sarah Davies, 21, is a retail supervisor from Bridgend agreed that she loved the brand.
‘I love the brand and I shop at Topshop a lot. There are so many young women like me and my friends that go to the stores and have little or no awareness of what goes on at the top.
‘If the decision makers are behaving so badly then are we safe as customers? It’s a trickle down affect and it is telling about how they really feel about women. That does concern me.’
Courtney Evans, 20, a barmaid from Mountain Ash, said: ‘If people haven’t heard of the allegations then it’s not going to make a big difference to the sales. You can see people still want to shop there regardless.
‘I don’t think that what the big boss does will concern shoppers who want a new outfit. They want the clothes not a moral debate.’
Jimi Miller, 22, is a student from Newport said: ‘The difficulty with so many campaigns and information out there to do with the moral compass of big bosses is I feel like I don’t know where to put my money any more.
‘Every business has done something wrong. Whether it’s #MeToo or they are exploiting workers abroad. It’s easier for people not to think about it and just shop where they always have.’
Grace Hughes, 17, a student from Cardiff said: ‘I do shop in Topshop but I find it expensive. I didn’t know about the scandal and I don’t think it affects me really. Maybe because I’m usually a River Island girl!’
A worker at Topshop Cardiff who didn’t want to be named said: ‘We’re been warned by management not to speak to the press but I want to say that we have been concerned about the fallout from this.
‘I wondered if we’d have protesters outside the shop. I know that people are reacting badly online to the news about our big boss and it has the potential to be damaging.
‘We are worried it will lose us customers and I’m personally uncomfortable.’