Topshop owner Philip Green's Arcadia group set to collapse into administration within days
Sir Philip Green’s retail empire, which includes Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, is set to collapse within days, with around 15,000 jobs at risk, according to reports.
Arcadia could tumble into administration as soon as Monday, Sky News reported on Friday.
The retail group had been in emergency talks with lenders in a bid to secure a £30 million loan to help shore up its finances.
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.
Retail trade union Usdaw is calling on Arcadia management to engage in talks to try to save jobs and ensure staff are treated fairly. Usdaw also urges the Government to work with employers and the union to develop and an urgent recovery plan for retail, an industry that was already struggling before the pandemic.
Dave Gill, national officer for the shopworkers' union, Usdaw, 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 long-standing anti-union stance and engage with us. In the meantime we are providing our members with the support and advice they need at this difficult time.
“2020 has been a terrible year for the high street, with more than 125,000 retail jobs lost and over 13,000 shops permanently shut. Retail job losses and store closures are absolutely devastating and lays bare the scale of the challenge the industry faces. Each one of those job losses is a personal tragedy for the individual worker and store closures are scarring our high streets and communities."