Arcadia Group, the British retail company owned by Philip Green, which includes the Topshop clothing chain, has entered the administration as a form of bankruptcy, the company said on Monday. This is one of the largest retail collapses in Britain since the beginning of the pandemic.
Deloitte has been appointed administrator. Arcadia, which has 444 stores in the UK, 22 overseas and about 13,000 employees, said it would continue to operate during the administration.
Ian Greibiner, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement that he hoped the company would “drive out”
No layoffs were announced on Monday, but it remains unclear how many jobs can be saved as the administrator handles the group’s finances.
Arcadia is reportedly looking for a £ 30m ($ 40m) lifeline, but on Monday Fraser Group, a retail chain owned by rival businessman Mike Ashley, said its offer of a £ 50m loan was rejected.
On Friday, Arcadia said blockades to curb the spread of the coronavirus had a “significant impact” on its business. In recent years, the company has struggled to cope with fast-paced online fashion competitors, and its dependence on physical stores has been a drawback as the virus hastened the long-term demise of the British street.
Earlier this month, during a blockade period when insignificant shops were forced to close in England, pedestrian traffic in British retail space had fallen by 60 per cent from last year, according to Springboard. Online retail sales in the UK have risen 45% since February, while clothing sales – online and in person – have fallen 14%, the National Statistics Office said earlier this month.
Last year, Arcadia signed a company voluntary agreement, a type of agreement in which insolvent companies can enter into creditors and continue to operate. He closed more than 80 stores and renegotiated the rents of others. He also filed for bankruptcy in the United States and closed all his stores there.
The collapse of Arcadia is a new low in Mr Green’s career, once considered the “king of the main street” but recently the subject of accusations of racial and sexual harassment. He lives in Monaco, is often photographed on board his own A 295-foot-long yacht used to travel to London by private jet.
In 2006, Mr. Green was a Knight for Retail Services. But Mr Green’s reputation was damaged after he sold BHS, a department store chain founded in 1928, for £ 1 in 2015, and the company collapsed a year later with a pension deficit of £ 571 million. £. This sparked a parliamentary inquiry and in 2017 Mr Green agreed to pay £ 363 million into the pension scheme.