// Arcadia Group administrators to shut 31 stores with 714 job losses
// The latest cuts includes closure of all 21 Outfit stores. Not clear which stores will be affected in remaining 10 slated for closure
// Move comes a day after the deadline for rescue bids set by administrators at Deloitte
Arcadia Group administrators are reportedly set to shut down another 31 of the fashion group’s stores by the end of January, resulting in the loss of 714 more jobs.
Sir Philip Green’s retail empire collapsed into administration at the start of December after it became the latest retail firm hammered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is understood that the latest set of cuts, first reported by The Times, will result in the closure of all 21 of Arcadia’s Outfit stores.
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Outfit, which was acquired by Arcadia from Sears in 1999, is not a fashion brand itself but sells items from all of Arcadia’s retail brands in out-of-town destinations for shoppers.
It is not clear which of Arcadia’s other fascias will be affected by the remaining 10 stores closures.
Arcadia and Deloitte declined to comment on the closure update.
The move comes a day after the deadline for rescue bids set by administrators at Deloitte.
Deloitte is expected to receive bids worth more than £200 million in the process, which could be completed by the end of the month.
High street stalwart Next is among retail groups to have placed bids to take control of the retail empire.
Next has also been touted as one of the most likely victors in the process, with the listed retailer bidding for Arcadia in partnership with US hedge fund Davidson Kempner.
It faces competition from high street rival JD Sports, which has held talks over a joint bid with US retail giant Authentic Brands.
Boohoo Group and Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group are also thought to be among the bidders.
It has been widely speculated that Boohoo’s bid would not include Arcadia’s store estate, just as it had done with Karen Millen and Oasis & Warehouse recently.
So far only one Arcadia fascia has been rescued, Evans, which was sold to Australian firm City Chic for £23 million – although Evans’ stores were not part of the deal.
When Arcadia fell into administration, it placed hundreds of stores and up to 13,000 jobs at risk.
With Evans sold off and Outfit now permanently closing all its stores, Arcadia’s remaining fascias include Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Burton, Miss Selfridge and the flagship Topshop.
Meanwhile, it has been reportedly estimated that Arcadia’s pension fund has a £350 million deficit and Green is facing renewed pressure to plug it with his own money, just as he did so with the BHS pension deficit after it collapsed in 2016.
with PA Wires