Belfast Telegraph

Fears for hundreds of Arcadia jobs in Northern Ireland as group secures backing for store closures

Sir Philip Green’s retail empire includes Topshop, Wallis, Evans and Burton (PA)
Sir Philip Green’s retail empire includes Topshop, Wallis, Evans and Burton (PA)

By Alys Key

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail empire, which employs hundreds of people in Northern Ireland, has scraped through plans to close stores after a knife-edge vote received the backing of landlords.

The group — which owns Topshop, Burton and other high street brands — announced yesterday that its company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) had all been voted through at a reconvened meeting of creditors.

Its store estate in Northern Ireland includes around 78 Topshop, Burton, Evans, Wallis, Outfit, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins outlets.

The figure includes both stand-alone stores and the many concessions which Arcadia operates within independent fashion outlets, including Menarys and Ulster Stores.

The arrangements agreed yesterday mean that around 1,000 jobs are at risk as 23 stores close under the CVA, while another 25 will be shuttered as part of a wider restructuring.  However, none of the stores affected are in Northern Ireland.

Landlords will also receive smaller amounts of rent on certain properties, with some reduced to half the original price.

Arcadia’s chief executive Ian Grabiner said: “We are extremely grateful to our creditors for supporting these proposals and to Lady Green for her continued support.

“After many months of engaging with all our key stakeholders, taking on board their feedback, and sharing our turnaround plans, the future of Arcadia, our thousands of colleagues, and our extensive supplier base is now on a much firmer footing.

“From today, with the right structure in place to reduce our cost base and create a stable financial platform for the group, we can execute our business turnaround plan to drive growth through our digital and wholesale channels, while ensuring our store portfolio remains at the heart of our customer offer.

“I am confident about the future of Arcadia and our ability to provide our customers with the very best multi-channel experience, deliver the fashion trends that they demand, and ultimately inspire a renewed loyalty to our brands that will support the long-term growth of our business.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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