The messy proposal put forward to save Arcadia Group has been backed by creditors, saving the retail group from administration and averting the loss of 18,000 fashion retail jobs and the closure of hundreds of stores.
Owned by disgraced retail mogul Philip Green, Arcadia Group operates some of the UK and Europe’s biggest names in fast fashion, including Topshop and Topman, which both sell a swathe of licensed apparel, accessories, novelties and gifts.
Notably Green teamed with Beyoncé to develop and launch the pop star’s athleisurewear brand Ivy Park at Topshop. That partnership was cut short late last year when the singer bought the brand outright and cut ties with Green as he battled sexual misconduct allegations.
Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Wallis also fall under the Arcadia banner and have largely been saved.
Crisis talks held by the Arcadia board and stakeholders yesterday involved seven separate CVAs, each aimed at freezing rent payments and curbing the losses the group has experienced in recent years.
At least 75 per cent of creditors and half of the retailer’s landlords – the minimum figure necessary to push the agreement through – agreed to the deal. Chairman Green won backing from landlords, who stand to lose millions from the arrangement, by offering a 20 per cent stake in the business and promising to pump tens of millions into developing the stores.
At least 23 stores will be shut and rents will be cut on 200 remaining locations. Topshop, the group’s most successful brand, will pull out of international markets, shutting its 11 US stores completely and leaving just one vestigial shop open in Australia.
Arcadia blamed “challenging market conditions” for its poor performance, warning stakeholders yesterday that if the deal was not passed it would likely topple into liquidation “immediately or after a short time period”.