Sir Philip Green’s retail empire Arcadia Group faces collapse in days

Around 13,000 jobs will be at risk if the curtain comes down on the Topshop, Burton, Miss Selfridge and Wallis owner

Sir Philip Green’s retail empire Arcadia Group is facing collapse within days.

According to Sky News, the owner of Topshop, Burton, Miss Selfridge and Wallis is preparing to appoint administrators from Deloitte as early as next week.

If insolvency is confirmed, creditors will circle to get their hands on the company’s assets, including its online operations and 500 UK standalone stores, the majority of which have been closed due to England’s second Covid-19 lockdown.

The collapse of the group also puts 13,000 retail workers’ jobs at risk, in what has been a disastrous year for the sector with Boots, John Lewis, Harrods and Selfridges already announcing redundancies.

Arcadia has already cut around 500 jobs from its head office earlier this year.

In a statement to Cosmetics Business, Arcadia Group 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 Republic of Ireland as soon as the Government Covid-19 restrictions are lifted next week.”

Rumours of the beauty and fashion group’s demise circulated earlier this month when it was reported to be in talks with lenders to borrow £30m.

The loan would have staved off the group's collapse as it attempts to recover from lost sales during the pandemic.

If the group does collapse, it could be the latest big retail player to fall into insolvency during a turbulent 2020 for the high street.

Debenhams hired administrators to oversee its sale earlier this year after being forced to close in the first UK-wide lockdown.

Meanwhile, US beauty and fashion retail chain JCPenney filed for bankruptcy in May as it entered a restructuring support agreement with lenders.

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