Philip Green’s Arcadia fights for survival after COVID-19 hit
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The company declined to comment beyond its statement. Deloitte was not immediately available to comment.
Even before the pandemic, bricks and mortar clothing retail in Britain was facing a major structural challenge with the economics of operating stores on traditional leases proving increasingly difficult as more trade migrates online.
Already this year Debenhams, Oasis, Warehouse, Laura Ashley, Peacocks and Jaeger have fallen into administration.
Arcadia’s demise would likely bring down the curtain on the 68-year old Green’s extraordinary career.
He was once known as the “king of the high street” and twice tried and failed to buy Marks & Spencer.
In 2005 Arcadia famously took on more debt and paid Green’s wife Tina, Arcadia’s registered owner, a 1.2 billion pound dividend.
But Green’s star has dramatically waned in recent years.
His reputation was badly damaged by the collapse of department store chain BHS in 2016 and its aftermath. Green had sold BHS to a collection of little-known investors for a nominal sum of a pound the previous year.
Then in 2018, Green was named in Britain’s parliament as having taken legal action to try to prevent publication of allegations of sexual harassment against him. He has denied the allegations.
($1 = 0.7500 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton/Guy Faulconbridge and Carmel Crimmins)