Arcadia retail empire goes into administration, it is confirmed
- Credit: Ella Wilkinson
Norfolk and Waveney's high streets have been dealt a blow after administrators confirmed Sir Philip Green's retail empire Arcadia has collapsed into administration.
Around 13,000 jobs are at risk following the announcement that the group, owner of brands including Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Burton, has hired administrators Deloitte.
The retail giant has 43 stores across Norfolk and Waveney, which could be at risk of closure.
Speaking earlier to this newspaper on the impact of the group falling into administration, Joshua Bamford, director for the Centre of Retail Research, in Norwich's Rose Lane, said: "This situation is a lot more than gloomy, it's a death sentence for the high street."
No redundancies are being announced yet as a result of the appointment and stores will continue to trade, the administrators said.
It comes after Mike Ashley's Frasers Group said an offer for a £50m lifeline for Arcadia was rejected.
Ian Grabiner, chief executive of Arcadia, said: "This is an incredibly sad day for all of our colleagues as well as our suppliers and our many other stakeholders.
"The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the forced closure of our stores for prolonged periods, has severely impacted on trading across all of our brands.
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"Throughout this immensely challenging time our priority has been to protect jobs and preserve the financial stability of the group in the hope that we could ride out the pandemic and come out fighting on the other side.
"Ultimately, however, in the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe."
Matt Smith, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: "We will now work with the existing management team and broader stakeholders to assess all options available for the future of the group's businesses.
"It is our intention to continue to trade all of the brands and we look forward to welcoming customers back into stores when many of them are allowed to reopen.
"We will be rapidly seeking expressions of interest and expect to identify one or more buyers to ensure the future success of the businesses."