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Publisher's Summary

Penguin Audio presents Damaged Goods by Oliver Shah. 

In March 2015, British businessman and the chairman of Arcadia Group Sir Philip Green sold BHS for £1 to Retail Acquisitions, owned by Dominic Chappell, a serial bankrupt who filed BHS for administration shortly after. By April 2016, BHS had debts of £1.3bn, including a pensions deficit of £571m. 

Damaged Goods follows Green's journey to the big time, the sale of BHS and the subsequent investigation that concluded with Green paying £363m to the Pensions Regulator. 

In Damaged Goods, Oliver Shah, the award-winning journalist who first broke the story, shines a light on Green's past and Arcadia's uncertain future; this is the extraordinary account of the retail magnate Sir Philip Green's life and his relationship with the high street.

©2018 Oliver Shah (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars

Well written, well read and well done!

Sir Philip is a remarkable character! These observations of the making of a real-life tycoon highlight the unglamorous climb to the top.

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  • Philo
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 07-03-18

Well-written, punchy tale of a wheeler-dealer

If you like a business story with colorful characters, quotes and events, this should be to your liking. The author reads his story and does a great job all around. He knows how to craft a sentence out of short, high-impact words, coming out listenable and easy to understand. He knows how to tell a story through little action scenes between people one can relate to. That includes trades of some sophistication, where this author shows a real gift of simplicity and clarity. The icilng on the cake is a very skillfully paced reading by him, breaking sentences into punchy phrases.
Beyond the level of the principal characters, is a wider story of changes in British retail business, banking and culture, from the 90s into the 2000s. Of interest is the shifting of the old Eton type elite crowd (in banking, politics, fashion and so on) toward finally kissing up to a character as crude and blunt (though charismatically so) as this one. Many were attracted by this charisma but ultimately were ejected from the ensuing pig-wrestling match with some harsh lessons, bruises and sometimes some nice cash. The world keeps generating these sorts, born traders with big hungers and sharp mouths and elbows, in a hurry. And when the time comes to throw others under the bus, they are poised and ready. Meanwhile various bystanders like this author and myself (myself as a prof) interpret all this to a public. It takes all kinds.

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  • B fox
  • 07-04-18

Very realistic

After working for Arcadia for many years this book is so real. Such a shame as the company was very forward thinking yet over the years became backward. With Senior Management away from the Brands taking a similar style to Philip acting like bullies down the line and favouring friends rather than treating employees as equals. Well done Oliver a great book .

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • stevieg
  • 07-17-18

How do they sleep at night?

If you thought you knew about the BHS scandal - think again.
If you thought you knew how low people would go to line their own pockets and in doing so attempt to deprive BHS pensioners of their entitlements - think again.

Oliver Shah and his Editor must be congratulated for having the courage to take on Philip Green, despite being physically threatened and subjected to vulgar abuse.

This excellently researched book takes the reader through every twist and turn of the sordid saga and the author makes an excellent job of narrating it.

Anyone remotely interested in retailing or in finding out how seemingly respectable city institutions collude and behave, will be both shocked and absorbed in equal measure.

How Philip Green has retained on his knighthood is beyond belief. Perhaps this book will give people like Frank Field an opportunity to lobby Parliament accordingly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • K. Tobin
  • 07-16-18

Excellent account of outrageous greed

Oliver Shah's business biography of Philip Green and the BHS pensions scandal of 2016 is essential listening. The shocking way in which the Greens were able to pay themselves billions in BHS dividends in 15 years then sell the business off to bankrupt charlatan Dominic Chappell for £1 with a huge pension deficit and let him run the British institution off a cliff within 18 months is a story that encapsulates why there is so much antipathy and anger in Britain toward the wealthy. Shah pulls no punches in this scathing and informative account of Green's career and I hope he will write another business book soon. He also narrates the book himself and does a fine job. His paraphrasing of Green's constant swearing is sometimes very funny but also shows what a nasty man he is too, who on earth would want to work for someone like him?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon197
  • 09-17-18

Eye opening must read for anyone in finance

Story of greed and the many lives ruined by Sir Philip Green due to collapse of BHS.

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  • Steve K
  • 09-12-18

Nothing Sensational

Went on too long and didn't reveal anything you either didn't know or wouldn't have expected about Philip Green

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  • edward chorlton
  • 09-05-18

Hard hitting story

Oliver Shah opens a can of worms with this book spilling the beans on the shady character that is PG (am loathe to call him sir) this man robbed the BHS staff off properly and did it with a sick mind. Mr. Shah tells is as it was/is and should be commended for the telling of the life of Green. BRILLIANT BOOK

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  • Mr. Stephen Pitcher
  • 09-05-18

Brilliant!

Superb book. A really good listen and so much I was not aware of. Must listen

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  • robert harris
  • 09-01-18

Interesting

A ery interesting book and well researched good book and very fascinating would recommend it

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-30-18

Entertaining and enlightening

Well worth listening too, interesting to hear all the details and an entertaining story. Can only feel sorry for the BHS staff, confirms what you might think of PG but it may be he wasn’t entirely to blame for the whole debacle.

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  • akyuz@tinyworld.co.uk
  • 08-27-18

Fantastic Book

Great book. Reads like a thriller even though it’s non-fiction, I can’t put it down.

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  • Adam Webb
  • 08-28-18

Probing first rate writing

What a great piece of investigative journalism converted into a book. Exceptionally researched yet concise with a balanced approach to the characters particularly Phillip green. Great narration. I’ve been lucky to listen to this and John Carryrou’s ‘Bad Blood’.