Peter Simon founded this fashion retailer after being inspired by indigenous textiles while travelling through South Asia. A spell of selling shaggy woollen coats and hand-printed garments on London’s Portobello Road was followed in 1973 by the opening of the first Monsoon store in Knightsbridge. Several decades of growth followed. After launching the Accessorize brand as well as homewares and children’s clothing subsidiaries, the company now runs 400 stores in Britain and Ireland. Simon remains chairman, and last year delisted the company for £755m. Sales were £531m in 2007.

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Company details
ActivityClothing and accessories retailer
LocationWest London
Sales £m531
Profit £m74
Year endMay 07
Principal shareholdersPeter Simon and family

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* Supplied by company † Annualised figure