Today is the crunch date where the creditors will vote on the CVA proposal for Arcadia. In a boost to Sir Philip, the Pension Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund have said they will support the CVA following the commitment to put in £100m into the Pension Scheme. It is now upto the Landlords to decide if they want to support it but not doing so will almost certainly mean more empty shops.
It has been reported that Sir Phillip Green will now close a further 25 stores, under seperate insolvency proceedings. The stores to be closed will be mainly Evans, the plus sized clothing brand. Six Miss Selfridge stores will also be closed.
It has also been said that Arcadia’s 11 US Topman and Topshop stores will be shut.
Sir Phillip Green, who’s wife Lady Tina owns Arcadia Group, the parent company of Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridges, Burton, Topshop and Topman, reports the retail empire is struggling. The board plans to close 23 UK stores, with 520 jobs at risk. As a part of the 7 company voluntary arrangement schemes announced today, they propose to cut rent by upto 70% at 194 other locations, to facilitate a recovery. In a sweetener, Sir Philip has offered the landlords a 20% stake in the company. He has also promised that he will invest a further £50m into the stores. The vote on the proposals will be held on June 5th.
Ian Grabiner, Arcadia’s CEO, explained that all options to return the group to a financially stable position were assessed. However, with the challenging retail market, changing consumer habits and increasing pressure from online competition, a CVA approach was the most strategic business decision they could take. It is hoped that this will reduce cost base and allow commitments to pension trustees, staff and creditors to be met. It is also proposed that Lady Tina makes a substantial payment into the pension scheme to reduce the liability by up to £100m. it is understood that the schemes have a £565 million pension deficiency.
The Pensions Regulator has decided that the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) he has published doesn’t satisfy them. “We do not consider the proposals are sufficient to ensure that members of the scheme are adequately protected,” it stated.
What Happened to Arcadia?
Phillip Greens businesses have been branded ‘’worthless’’, due to pension struggles. This led to Green’s loss of his billionaire status. The company has also been facing huge competition from Zara, Primark, H&M and the online retailers.
We have seen early signs of the retail group struggling, as in March it emerged Deloitte was hired to carry out a business review. US investor, Leonard Green & Partners sold its 25 per cent stake in Topshop and Topman, back to the parent company for $1. It is believed that this simplified their structure and allowed the board to focus more on restructuring. We understand the companies like-for-like sales plunged by 7.5 per cent in the year to August 2018, with total sales falling to £1.7 billion, seeing a 10.5 per cent slump. This recent poor performance will weigh heavily on the minds of the creditors who need to be reassured that this can be reversed.
Has your store been affected?
- Aberdeen (Dorothy Perkins/Burton Menswear)
- Ashton Under Lyne (Topshop Topman)
- Bedford (Topshop Topman)
- Cheshunt (Outfit)
- Bluewater (Miss Selfridge)
- Fareham (Topshop Topman)
- Glasgow – Buchanan Street (Burton Menswear/Topman)
- Luton (Topshop Topman)
- Newcastle upon Tyne – Northumberland Street (Outfit)
- Nuneaton (Topshop Topman)
- Reading (Dorothy Perkins/Burton Menswear)
- Salisbury (Topshop Topman)
- Southend (Miss Selfridge)
- Stirling (Dorothy Perkins/Burton Menswear)
- Swindon (Miss Selfridge/Wallis/Evans)
- Swindon (Dorothy Perkins/Burton Menswear)
- York (Dorothy Perkins/Burton Menswear)
- Cork (Dorothy Perkins/Evans)
- Dublin – St Stephen’s Green (Topshop/Miss Selfridge)
- Dublin – Jervis (Topshop Topman)
- Dublin – Henry Street (Evans/Wallis)
- Dublin – Liffey Valley (Wallis); Galway (Miss Selfridge)