Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins owner Arcadia has gone into administration, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.The High Street giant has hired administrators from Deloitte after the pandemic "severely impacted" sales across the group.No redundancies would be announced immediately, it said in a statement.And Arcadia's stores will continue to trade as Deloitte considers all options available to the group.All orders made over the Black Friday weekend will also be honoured, the administrators added.
Sir Philip Green's retail empire had failed to secure extra funding to pay its debts after sales slumped during the pandemic.
The group, which runs 444 stores in the UK and 22 overseas, said 9,294 employees are currently on furlough.The administration will give Arcadia breathing space from creditors, such as landlords for its shops or clothing suppliers, while a buyer is sought for all or parts of the company. Arcadia executives will still hold day-to-day control over the business.
Ian Grabiner, the boss of Arcadia, said it marked an "incredibly sad" day for the group.
"The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the forced closure of our stores for prolonged periods, has severely impacted on trading across all of our brands," he said.
"Throughout this immensely challenging time our priority has been to protect jobs and preserve the financial stability of the group, in the hope that we could ride out the pandemic and come out fighting on the other side.
"Ultimately, however, in the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe."
Matt Smith, joint administrator at Deloitte, said that it would be working with Arcadia management to assess all of the options available to the group's brands, which also include Evans and Outfit.
He said Deloitte would rapidly seek expressions of interest and expected to identify one, or more, buyers to hopefully ensure the future of the businesses.
Fashion retailer Boohoo is seen as a potential buyer for some of Arcadia Group's big name brands, such as Topshop. In the past it has bought struggling brands Oasis, Warehouse, Karen Millen and Coast.