UK department stores have become an endangered species. The country has lost 83% of its main department stores since the collapse of the BHS chain in 2016, reflecting how hard the high street has been hit.
Gap is going online-only in the UK and Republic of Ireland with news on Wednesday that it’s closing all 81 of its stores in the British Isles, rather than just the 19 that had already been announced for closure in July.
Giant fashion group Arcadia is believed to be on the verge of the worst UK corporate collapse of the Covid crisis, with the firm expected to go into administration as early as Monday. This would put 13,000 jobs at risk.
Arcadia is moving fast following the approval of its CVA and it has said it will cut 170 jobs at its HQ. The company is “proposing to make some structural changes in order to support and deliver the turnaround plan.”
Double the number of Arcadia shops expected could close with the axe to fall heavily on Miss Selfridge and Evans, the former to lose its London flagship as it can command a rich rent from other retailers.
Arcadia revealed some details of its long-rumoured CVA plan late Wednesday afternoon with an exit from its US stores and closures in the UK and Ireland that will affect 520 jobs. It will also focus more on digital.
The latest Sunday Times Rich List at the weekend saw Arcadia boss Philip Green falling out of the billionaire’s club with the newspaper assigning no value to his controlling stake in the Arcadia fashion retail empire.
If we could be a fly on any wall, it would be the Arcadia boardroom on Tuesday with the board set to meet to talk about the future of the company’s various fashion chains in the UK and beyond, and its expected CVA.
Budget fashion chain Select is reportedly preparing an administration filing, a move that would put 2,000 jobs on the line. The firm had already entered a CVA to reduce its rent bill and continue operating.