The retail company behind Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins has been forced to confirm it is facing major troubles after a news report alleged the group's future is in doubt.
It was reported that Arcadia, headed by Sir Philip Green and the brand behind around 78 stores here including Burtons, Topman, Wallis and concessions in Menarys stores, could tumble into administration as soon as Monday.
And Sky News said the group had been in emergency talks with lenders in a bid to secure a £30m 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.
Arcadia began showing major signs of distress last spring, closing around 25 stores nationally, and in June many creditors approved rental reductions to sustain the rest of the portfolio.
It has since closed its Outfit unit on Boucher Road, and with mounting pressures of a second lockdown it looks set to throw the towel, in putting 15,000 jobs at risk nationally.
In a statement Arcadia 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.
"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 restrictions are lifted next week."
Dorothy Perkins remains Arcadia's most widespread brand here, with around 20 outlets. Wallis has 18 shops and Topshop/Topman has 15, while there are 13 Miss Selfridge shops and 11 Burton stores.
However, Arcadia's reach across the province has been extended by its link-up with a number of independent retailers, including Menarys Retail Ltd.
Retail trade union Usdaw is calling on Arcadia management to engage in talks to try to save jobs in the run up to Christmas.