Philip Green’s retail empire Arcadia calls in administrators

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LONDON (AP) – British retail empire Arcadia Group, which owns well-known fashion chains including Topshop, went into bankruptcy protection on Monday, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.

In another blow to a retail industry hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, Arcadia said it had called in administrators from Deloitte after the pandemic “severely impacted” sales across its brands.

Overseen by tycoon Philip Green, one of Britain’s best-known and most controversial business figures, Arcadia includes brand such as Burton, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins. It runs 444 stores in the U.K. and 22 overseas. They have suffered during the pandemic, which has seen shops shut during periods of lockdown.

Competition also has increased from low-cost rivals like Primark, as well as from online disrupters such as ASOS and Boohoo. Critics have also said that the 68-year-old Green, who has been embroiled in a series of controversies over the past few years, hasn’t invested enough in the businesses to get them in shape to deal with the new competition in retail.

There was no immediate announcement of layoffs or store closures.

“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,” said Matt Smith, joint administrator at Deloitte.

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