Struggling retail business owner Arcadia Group has brought in administrators, putting the future of around 13,000 employees at risk.
Sir Philip Green’s collection of high street brands – including Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Topman, and Burton – had previously rested on a knife edge when the coronavirus pandemic hit hard to sell.
A collapse would prove catastrophic for any city center in the country.
Arcadia was on the verge of appointing administrators from Deloitte after talks on a £ 30 million loan failed on Friday.
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Deloitte has announced that none of the Group’s employees will be laid off immediately and that business will continue to operate as usual.
Ian Grabiner, CEO of Arcadia, said today is “an incredibly sad day for all of our colleagues as well as our suppliers and our many other stakeholders”.
“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the forced closure of our stores for extended periods of time, have severely affected trade in all of our brands.
“During this immensely challenging time, our priority has been to protect jobs and maintain the Group’s financial stability in the hope that we can overcome the pandemic and fight on the other side.”
“Ultimately, given the toughest trading conditions we have ever seen, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe.
“Our priority now is to work closely with the administrators to achieve the best possible outcome for all of our stakeholders, especially our hardworking people across the Group.”
Grabiner said trading will continue as usual and planned reopenings will take place as planned.
Matt Smith, Joint Administrator at Deloitte, said, “Arcadia is in the heart of the High Street and has been committed to combating the effects of Covid-19 this year.
“Now the effects of the closures in connection with the greater challenges for stationary retail have led to a critical financing requirement for the group and today’s administration.
“We will now work with the existing management team and broader stakeholders to evaluate all available options for the future of the Group’s business.”