Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland outlets avoid the axe as Arcadia Group announces plan to shut down 23 stores

Under pressure: Sir Philip Green
Under pressure: Sir Philip Green

By Henry Saker-Clark

The Northern Ireland stores in Sir Philip Green's Arcadia Group appear to have escaped the axe after the retail company announced plans to shut 23 stores in the UK and Ireland, putting 520 jobs at risk, as part of a rescue plan.

Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Topshop and Topman stores have been earmarked for closure as part of a company voluntary arrangement.

Six of the closures are in the Republic.

The retail group's proposals will also see rent cut at another 194 outlets. All of the retailer's 11 Topman and Topshop stores in the US are also set to close.

As part of the plan, Lady Green, wife of Sir Philip and ultimate owner of Arcadia, has offered landlords a 20% stake of any proceeds if the group is eventually sold.

Lady Green will also inject £50m of equity into the business, on top of £50m she had already loaned the company.

Arcadia directors will hold meeting with creditors on June 5 to seek approval for the proposals.

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The plans need the consent of 75% of creditors.

Arcadia chief executive Ian Grabiner said: "Against a backdrop of challenging retail headwinds, changing consumer habits and ever-increasing online competition, we have seriously considered all possible strategic options to return the group to a stable financial platform.

"This has been a tough but necessary decision for the business."

Belfast Telegraph