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Sir Philip Green’s retail empire to shut 23 stores, putting 520 jobs at risk

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

Arcadia owns brands including Topshop, Topman, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge (Yui Mok/PA)
Arcadia owns brands including Topshop, Topman, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge (Yui Mok/PA)

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has 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 (CVA).

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 £50 million of equity into the business, on top of £50 million she had already loaned the company.

Arcadia directors will meet creditors at meetings on June 5 to seek approval for the proposals. Seventy five per cent of creditors will have to approve the plans.

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.

“We will ensure all potentially affected colleagues are kept fully informed as we seek approval from our creditors on today’s CVA proposals.”

Daniel Butters, partner at Deloitte, said: “Arcadia and its portfolio of iconic fashion brands have faced unprecedented market conditions in recent years, which have significantly impacted the group’s financial performance.

“These CVAs will provide a stable platform for Arcadia’s experienced and committed leadership team to implement its turnaround plan and ensure the long-term sustainability of the group.”

Speculation began early this year that Sir Philip would look to either sell off the company or close stores.

In March, Arcadia confirmed it was exploring options to improve efficiency in the business.

Later that month it hired property advisers to assess its estate while drawing up restructuring plans.

Last month US investor Leonard Green & Partners sold its 25% stake in Topshop and Topman back to the parent company, in a move which Arcadia said simplified its structure and would allow the board to focus on restructuring.

The news comes just weeks after Sir Philip failed to appear on the Sunday Times Rich List for the first time in 17 years.

His reputation has been left damaged by the 2016 collapse of BHS, which resulted in the loss of 11,000 jobs.

PA

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