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The Arcadia Group has entered administration with its bosses citing the Covid-19 pandemic as a key reason for its financial woes.
Arcadia owns some of the most familiar brands on the UK high street, including Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Miss Selfridge.
No redundancies have been announced in the immediate aftermath of Arcadia’s entry into administration but the future is uncertain for its almost 13,000 employees around the country.
Stores and websites operated by the various Arcadia businesses are expected to continue trading, with most of the group’s shops due to reopen from December 2 after a period of closure made necessary by the coronavirus crisis.
“This is an incredibly sad day for all of our colleagues as well as our suppliers and our many other stakeholders,” Ian Grabiner, Arcadia’s chief executive, has said.
“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,” he noted.
Mr Grabiner said the hope was that Arcadia and its businesses might have been able to “ride out the pandemic and come out fighting on the other side” but those ambitions were thwarted ultimately by “the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced”.
There are several hundred shops leased directly by Arcadia companies in the UK and dozens of concessions operated by it within large supermarkets and department stores.
Over a hundred Arcadia shops have been closed permanently in recent years as the group sought to improve its operational position but lockdowns and other challenges over the course of 2020 eventually brought its finances to a critical juncture.
Deloitte representatives have been appointed as administrators at Arcadia, with one of those appointed, Mike Smith, saying the group suffered a “critical funding requirement” recently which effectively forced it into administration.
“It is our intention to continue to trade all of the brands, and we look forward to welcoming customers back into stores when many of them are allowed to reopen,” said Mr Smith, shortly after his appointment.
“We will be rapidly seeking expressions of interest and expect to identify one or more buyers to ensure the future success of the businesses,” he added.
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