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UK News 15,000 jobs at risk as Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail empire nears collapse

15:46  27 november  2020
15:46  27 november  2020 Source:   msn.com

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More than 15 , 000 jobs at the Arcadia Group, which also owns Burton and Dorothy Perkins, could be at risk with the firm 'set to appoint The Arcadia Group, which also owns Burton and Dorothy Perkins, is set to appoint administrators from Deloitte within the next week, according to Sky News.

Sir Philip Green is preparing to launch a dramatic restructuring plan for his retail empire , which could come at the cost of hundreds of jobs . The insolvency mechanism has been used by a slew of major retailers over the past year, frequently resulting in the closure of some stores and resulting job losses.

Sir Philip Green’s retail empire is on the brink of collapse with around 15,000 jobs at risk.

a sign above a store in a brick building: 15,000 jobs at risk as Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail empire nears collapse (Yui Mok/PA) © Yui Mok 15,000 jobs at risk as Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail empire nears collapse (Yui Mok/PA)

The Arcadia Group, which runs the Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton brands, is expected to appoint Deloitte as administrators in the coming days.

The company said it is “working on a number of contingency options”, after Sky News reported that the group’s future is in doubt.

Sources close to the process confirmed the reports to the PA news agency.

An Arcadia spokesman said: “We are aware of the recent media speculation surrounding the future of Arcadia.

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Green ’ s retail empire has suffered falling sales as it struggles against online competition from Asos and Boohoo, while shoppers have switched from buying clothes to other pursuits. The restructuring experts Jamie Drummond Smith and Peter Bloxham recently joined the boards of Topshop, Arcadia

The retail group's chief executive described the move as a 'tough decision' made in a bid to save the business as more and more consumers opt to shop online. Sir Philip Green ' s Arcadia Group has confirmed plans to shut 23 stores, putting 520 jobs at risk .

“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.

Philip Green wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Retail tycoon Sir Philip Green took control of Arcadia Group in 2002 (lsabel Infantes/PA) © Provided by PA Media Retail tycoon Sir Philip Green took control of Arcadia Group in 2002 (lsabel Infantes/PA)

“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 could tumble into administration as soon as Monday, Sky News reported on Friday.

The group had been in emergency talks with lenders in a bid to secure a £30 million loan to help shore up its finances.

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Sir Philip Green has made a last-ditch attempt to save his retail empire from collapse by seeking a less severe rent reduction from landlords of his stores. Earlier this week, a vote on Sir Philip ' s rescue deal for Arcadia , which includes Topshop, was postponed after some landlords refused to back it.

Sir Philip Green ' s Topshop empire today revealed redundancy plans, with the Arcadia group The grim day for retail also saw Sir Philip Green ' s Arcadia Group blame 'very challenging times' as it Over 1, 000 more jobs could be axed if 20 stores at risk of closure shut. Bensons for Beds, also fell

If the insolvency is confirmed, it is expected to trigger a scramble among creditors to get control of company assets.

It is the latest retailer to have been hammered by the closure of stores in the face of coronavirus, with rivals including Debenhams, Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group and Oasis Warehouse all sliding into insolvency since the pandemic struck in March.

The group has more than 500 retail stores across the UK with the majority of these currently shut as a result of England’s second national lockdown, which will end next week.

Earlier this year, Arcadia revealed plans to cut around 500 of its 2,500 head office jobs amid a restructure in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Richard Lim, chief executive of Retail Economics, said: “Efforts to turn around the business appear to have faltered with the impact of the pandemic too significant a challenge for the once much-loved retailer.

“Clothing has been the hardest hit sector with the disruption to the way we live, work and play undermining the need for new outfits for many consumers.

“However their demise has been accelerated because of an online proposition that falls way behind that of their competitors.

“Years of underinvestment in the digital channel has severely restricted their ability to trade successfully through this hugely difficult period.”

Dave Gill, national officer at the Usdaw union, said: “This is a devastating blow for workers at Arcadia and could not have come at a worse time, just before Christmas.

“We are seeking urgent meetings with management and we urge them to end their longstanding anti-union stance and engage with us.”

ALEX BRUMMER: Future shock for UK retail .
Anyone wandering down the High Street lately would have recognised that Debenhams and the Arcadia brands were the walking dead. It is ghastly for the 25,000 staff at the two firms. Retail failures normally happen immediately after Christmas when quarter day rents fall due and credit insurance is withdrawn, making it impossible to source supplies. © Provided by This Is Money Ripe to fall: Debenhams' was an outdated department store chain caught in a crowded middle market with none of the cachet that has kept M&S and John Lewis ticking over Much energy will now be spent seeking to apportion blame for the collapse.

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