Arcadia Group, the owner of high street fashion brands including Topman, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, faces collapse in just a matter of days, according to reports.
Up to 15,000 workers could lose their jobs if the company – which is owned by owned by one of the country’s richest men, Sir Philip Green – goes under.
There was anger from staff this morning, many of whom found out from the press before hearing from their own employer. Arcadia’s response was to email employees a generic statement about “media speculation” it had also sent to the press, despite two major outlets having independently stood the story up.
“I think the worst thing is that it was on the news before we were told anything,” one worker told HuffPost UK. “It’s been all over the work WhatsApp all morning. Some staff members saw it before even management did. That email doesn’t really tell us much either. People are certainly panicking.”
They added: “It would be a nightmare [if thousands of people lost their jobs] there won’t be enough jobs to go round, a lot of the shops in this town have closed as well, I have already started looking and jobs in fashion retail just aren’t there. I think a lot of people will look at supermarkets instead.”
Arcadia Group became part of Taveta Investments, owned by Sir Philip and his family, in 2002. It is expected to appoint administrators from Deloitte as soon as next week, Sky News and the Press Association reported.
Sir Philip’s retail empire embarked upon a major restructuring process last year to cut costs.
Since the start of the pandemic, 500 jobs have been lost at the mogul’s company.
A spokesperson for Arcadia said: “We are aware of the recent media speculation surrounding the future of Arcadia. The forced closure of our stores for sustained periods as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a material impact on trading across our businesses.
“As a result, the Arcadia boards have been working on a number of contingency options to secure the future of the group’s brands. The brands continue to trade and our stores will be opening again in England and ROI as soon as the government Covid-19 restrictions are lifted next week.”