Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail empire has fallen into administration with 13,000 jobs at risk, administrators have confirmed.
They run stores across the north and north-east including Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Burton, Miss Selfridge and Evans.
A statement from administrators Deloitte said: “No redundancies are being announced today as a result of the appointment and stores will continue to trade.
“The Joint Administrators are assessing all options available to the Group. The administrators will be honouring all online orders made over the Black Friday weekend and will continue to be operating all the existing sale channels of the business.”
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.”
He added: “Our stores will remain open or reopen when permitted under the Government Covid-19 restrictions, our online platforms will be fully operational and supplies to all of our partners will continue.”
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.”
Retail trade union Usdaw said it will seek an urgent meeting with Arcadia’s administrators in an attempt to save jobs and ensure staff are treated fairly.
Usdaw national officer Dave Gill said: “Now that Arcadia is in administration it is crucial that the voice of staff is heard over the future of the business and that is best done through their trade union.
“We are seeking urgent meetings and need assurances on what efforts are being made to save jobs, the plan for stores to continue trading and the funding of the pension scheme. In the meantime we are providing our members with the support and advice they need at this very difficult time.
“Over 200,000 retail job losses and 20,000 store closures this year are absolutely devastating and lay bare the scale of the challenge the industry faces. Each one of those job losses is a personal tragedy for the individual worker and store closures are scarring our high streets and communities.
“What retail needs is a joined up strategy of unions, employers and Government working together to develop a recovery plan. Usdaw has long called for an industrial strategy for retail, as part of our ‘Save our Shops’ campaign, to help a sector that was already struggling before the coronavirus emergency.
“There are substantial issues that need to be addressed likes rents, rates and taxation, to create a level playing field between high streets and online retail. Those issues will not be resolved with ‘sticking plaster’ measures like today’s 24-hour opening Government announcement.
“Retail is crucial to our town and city centres, it employs around three million people across the UK. The Government must take this seriously; we need a recovery plan to get the industry back on its feet.”