A pedestrian walks past a closed Arcshop clothing store operated by Arcadia on Oxford Street in central London, England on November 27, 2020.
AFP via Getty Images
Retailers Next, Boohoo, Marks and Spencer and ASOS are reportedly eyeing parts of the fallen Arcadia empire of British billionaire Philip Green, which collapsed in administration after the former King of the High Street lost his crown.
The privately held company, which owns brands such as Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Burton and the fashion chain Topshop, is a major retailer with 444 stores, including 22 international. In 2014, a flagship store opened on New York's Fifth Avenue, which has since closed.
Deloitte has been appointed administrator and plans to keep the stores trading for the time being, but 13,000 jobs are at risk.
Retailers around the world have struggled to survive as people stay home to protect themselves from COVID-19. Many have also been forced by governments to close their doors to limit the number of places where citizens can mingle.
The fashion chain J.Crew filed for bankruptcy in the US earlier this year, while Neiman Marcus filed for Chapter 11, a form of bankruptcy, together with JC Penney and Brooks Brothers.
A large number of fashion chains and business groups faced with the high cost of running stores in shopping malls and on main streets faced problems prior to the pandemic and faced stiff competition from online-only competitors such as Amazon
Arcadia is managed on a dark day for UK retail as UK department store chain Debenhams went into liquidation on Tuesday after failing to find a buyer. It had broken into administration earlier this year and FRP Advisory had been appointed administrator.
Debenhams employs 12,000 people in 124 branches. This means 25,000 jobs in the UK have been put at risk in 24 hours.
Read: Debenhams is the youngest UK retailer to announce a tranche of job cuts from its headquarters
In a statement, Ian Grabiner, Chief Executive of Arcadia said, “This is an incredibly sad day for all of our colleagues, as well as for our suppliers and our many other stakeholders. Given the toughest trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe. Our priority now is to work with the administrators to achieve the best possible outcome for all of our stakeholders, especially our hardworking employees. "
Deloitte said it will "evaluate all options available for Arcadia". A variety of competing retail groups will examine parts of Arcadia to determine if they would be a good fit for them. Arcadia's biggest rivals are Next, Marks & Spencer
The Arcadia government will be a blow to Green, one of Britain's most controversial tycoons, criticized for the level of taxes paid and charged with sexist and racist behavior, all of which he has denied.