15,000 jobs at risk as Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail empire ‘nears collapse’

Sir Philip Green's retail empire is on the brink of collapse with around 15,000 jobs at risk.

The Arcadia Group, which runs the Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton brands, is expected to appoint Deloitte as administrators in the coming days.

The company said it is "working on a number of contingency options", after Sky News reported that the group's future is in doubt.

Sources close to the process confirmed the reports to the PA news agency.

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II meets entrepreneur Sir Philip Green at St James's Palace in London during reception for business leaders celebrating the 175th anniversary of the Retail Trust.
Anna Wintour, editor of US Vogue Magazine and retailer Philip Green at the Preen show during the 2006 London Fashion Week (autumn/winter season), from Cardinal Place, central London, Wednesday 15 February 2006. Watch for PA story. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Andrew Parsons/PA
Kate Moss and Sir Philip Green arrive at the Holland Park Theatre in west London for the Top Shop Unique Spring/Summer show as part of London Fashion Week.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) comments on the tie worn by Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green during a visit for the official opening of the Fashion Retail Academy in central London.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair (right) talks to Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green during a visit for the official opening of the Fashion Retail Academy in central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 31 2006. Sir Philip Green today offered Tony Blair a job when his premiership ends - in the fashion industry.The Arcadia boss made the proposition as the Prime Minister attended the opening of the Fashion Retail Academy's new buildings in central London. See PA story POLITICS Blair. Photo credit should read: Fiona Hanson/WPA rota/PA.
Sir Philip Green and Kate Moss arrive for Swarovski Fashion Rocks for The Prince's Trust at the Royal Albert Hall in central London.
Sylvester Stallone and Philip Green arrive for the UK Premiere of Rambo at the Vue West End, London
Bernie Ecclestone chats to Sir Philip Green (right) at the Grand Prix and Fashion Unite at The Amber Lounge, Le Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel, Monaco.
Sir Philip Green and Naomi Campbell attend the launch of Mario Testino's 'Obsessed By You' exhibition at Phillips de Pury & Company, Howick Place, south London.
Sir Philip Green and Elizabeth Hurley at the afterparty for the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2008, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.
Simon Cowell and Sir Philip Green are seen leaving Vanilla in London.
Sir Philip Green and Kate Moss in the front row at the Topshop Unique Spring/Summer '10 catwalk show during London Fashion Week at the Topshop Venue, University of Westminster in London
Nicola Roberts and Sir Philip Green at the National Magazine Company 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty 2009 gala party at the Natural History Museum in London.
Arcadia Group owner Sir Philip Green and a group of Mrs Claus stop traffic on Oxford Street, London, to launch London's fifth annual Shop West End VIP Day (Very Important Pedestrian Day) on December 5, 2009, which will see Oxford Street and Regent Street closed to traffic from midday.
Naomi Campbell and Philip Green attend the Christopher Kane fashion show as part of London Fashion Week held at the TopShop venue in central London
Sir Philip Green, Chloe Green (centre) and Tina Green (left) arriving for the 2010 World Music Awards at the Sporting Club, Monte Carlo.
Prime Minister David Cameron talks to Sir Philip Green at Downing Street, central London during a meeting for business leaders.
Kate Moss with Sir Philip Green, owner of Arcadia Group, and his daughter Chloe, at Topshop's flagship Oxford Street store, London, where the model launched her last signature collection for the high street clothing chain.
Sir Philip Green and Simon Webbe attending the Retail Trust London Ball, at Grosvenor House in London.
Sir Philip Green with his daughter Chloe arrive for the Burberry Fashion Show at Hyde Park as part of the London Fashion Week.
Samantha Cameron reacts to owner of Top Shop Sir Philip Green showing off his Tom Ford designed tie to Tom Ford, (not pictured), during a reception for London Fashion Week at 10 Downing Street in London.
Yasmin Le Bon with Sir Philip Green as they arrive at the Harpers Bazaar Women of the Year Awards at Claridges Hotel in central London.
The Prince of Wales (left) talks with Sir Philip Green during a reception at St James Palace, London, to launch the London Collections: Men.
Sir Philip Green (left) and Ronnie Wood attending the TOPMAN Design autumn/winter London Fashion Week show, at the Royal Opera House in central London.
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An Arcadia spokesman 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 ROI as soon as the Government Covid-19 restrictions are lifted next week."

Arcadia could tumble into administration as soon as Monday, Sky News reported on Friday.

The 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.

Earlier this year, Arcadia revealed plans to cut around 500 of its 2,500 head office jobs amid a restructure in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Richard Lim, chief executive of Retail Economics, said: "Efforts to turn around the business appear to have faltered with the impact of the pandemic too significant a challenge for the once much-loved retailer.

"Clothing has been the hardest hit sector with the disruption to the way we live, work and play undermining the need for new outfits for many consumers.

"However their demise has been accelerated because of an online proposition that falls way behind that of their competitors.

"Years of underinvestment in the digital channel has severely restricted their ability to trade successfully through this hugely difficult period."

Dave Gill, national officer at the Usdaw union, 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 longstanding anti-union stance and engage with us."

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