Before Sir Philip Green, there was Sir Ralph Halpern. Sir Ralph started TopShop in 1964 as part of the Burton Group and, on the back of the brand’s success, rose to become group CEO. At one point under his tenure, the retail empire employed 60,000 staff across nearly 3,000 stores and he became the first UK CEO to earn a million pound salary.
But Halpern, like Green, is perhaps better known to the public for other reasons. In 1987, tales of his “five times a night” affair with a 19 year-old topless model hit the tabloids, making him a household name.
With 2020 being such a tough time for his old business what does Sir Ralph have to say about it now? Not much. He appears to have retired to MAGA country in Florida, where he spends his days retweeting conspiracy theories to 40 followers about Joe Biden’s links to China, anti-vax doctors and Uri Geller’s thoughts on how Covid was supposed to have been an Iranian biological weapon.