Jobs and stores could be cut at Topshop as beleaguered Sir Philip Green sees sales fall

Billionaire's company Arcadia says high street pressures are to blame for drop in profits

Colin Drury
Saturday 16 March 2019 20:05

Beleaguered Topshop boss Sir Philip Green may cut jobs and close stores following an ongoing slump in sales at his retail empire.

The billionaire’s company, Arcadia Group – which also owns Miss Selfridge, Evans and Wallis – said it was exploring ways to make the business more efficient in an “exceptionally challenging retail market”.

Staff cuts and a reduction of stores were both being considered, it added - but gave no further details.

The announcement follows a torrid two years for Sir Philip.

In October, he found himself at the centre of allegations – vehemently denied – of racist and sexist bullying of staff and claims he then used non-disclosure agreements to keep such accusations secret.

Before that, the 67-year-old was widely criticised - and faced calls to be stripped of his knighthood - over the demise of BHS which led to the loss of 11,000 jobs. The high street chain collapsed shortly after the tycoon sold it for £1 .

The latest statement from Arcadia made no mention of either scandals and suggested the business was suffering only because of the wider retail pressures which have already caused a range of other chains, including HMV, Mothercare and House of Fraser, to close outlets and make redundancies.

It said: “Given the continued pressures that are specific to the UK high street we are exploring several options to enable the business to operate in a more efficient manner…

"None of the options being explored involve a significant number of redundancies or store closures. The business continues to operate as usual including all payments being made to suppliers as normal.”

The statement came after media speculation that Sir Philip was considering taking a company voluntary arrangement, a form of insolvency that would allow rent cuts to be sort and make it easier to close unwanted stores.

Previously, it emerged in January that the business had hired advisers at Deloitte to explore a restructuring options.

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