Thousands of Arcadia Group Staff Face Anxious Wait as Business Collapses into Administration

Thousands of Arcadia Group Staff Face Anxious Wait as Business Collapses into Administration.

Almost 13,000 staff of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group face an anxious wait after the business announced it was going into administration. The high street giant, which includes the Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton brands, has hired the firm Deloitte to handle the next steps after the pandemic “severely impacted” sales.

The group, which runs 444 stores in the UK and 22 overseas, said 9,294 employees are currently on furlough. No redundancies have been announced as a result of the appointment and stores will continue to trade, the administrators said.

The administrators said they will be “assessing all options available”, which could see brands sold off in separate rescue deals. Meanwhile, many of the stores affected are due to reopen on Wednesday when England’s lockdown is lifted. Ian Grabiner, chief executive of Arcadia, said: “This is an incredibly sad day for all of our colleagues as well as our suppliers and our many other stakeholders. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the forced closure of our stores for prolonged periods, has severely impacted on trading across all of our brands.

“Throughout this immensely challenging time, our priority has been to protect jobs and preserve the financial stability of the group in the hope that we could ride out the pandemic and come out fighting on the other side. Ultimately, however, in the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe.”

Retail trade union Usdaw has said it is seeking urgent meetings with Arcadia’s administrators in a bid to preserve jobs.

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Tony Winterburn

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