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Arcadia reportedly on brink of administration

By Huw Hughes

27 Nov 2020

Business

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia could reportedly fall into administration as early as next week, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.

The group, whose portfolio includes Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, is preparing to appoint administrators from Deloitte following failed talks between Arcadia and its lenders over a 30 million pound loan, Sky News reports.

One source saying it could happen as soon as Monday, though another said the plan was yet to be finalised and could still be delayed.

Responding to the reports in a statement, an Arcadia spokesperson said: “We are aware of the recent media speculation surrounding the future of Arcadia. The forced closure of our stores for sustained periods as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a material impact on trading across our businesses.

“As a result, the Arcadia boards have been working on a number of contingency options to secure the future of the Group’s brands. The brands continue to trade and our stores will be opening again in England and ROI as soon as the government Covid-19 restrictions are lifted next week.”

Arcadia Group poised to appoint administrators

If the administration goes ahead, it is expected to trigger a rush among creditors to get their hands on the group’s assets.

According to Sky, online fast-fashion giant Boohoo Group could be among the prospective suitors for the company, raising the possibility of Arcadia becoming an online-only business.

The Topshop owner currently has around 15,000 staff and operates around 500 standalone stores, many of which are still shut due to England’s lockdown.

It is thought to be unlikely that Sir Philip Green will seek to buy back any of Arcadia's trading operations from administrators, Sky said.

Like many fashion retailers, Arcadia has been hard hit in recent months by store closures and plummeting footfall, and has taken a number of measures to mitigate the impact.

In July, the business announced it would be cutting around 500 jobs from its 2,500-strong head office workforce.

Photo credit: FashionUnited