css-14iz86j-BoldText {font size: bold;} Sir Philip Green’s failure to invest in his Arcadia retail empire made his downfall “inevitable,” said a former head of his best-known brand, Topshop. p>

Arcadia, which includes Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, is about to collapse and is at risk 13000 jobs

Jane Shepherdson CBE, credited with transforming Topshop into a global brand, said she expected an online retailer to buy the brand and close most of the stores

But Ms. Shepherdson, who ran Topshop until 2006, said her problems go back much further than the coronavirus outbreak

She told the BBC program World at One that Sir Philip had ignored the rise of online shopping and was now cluttered with a large and expensive store that was mostly closed due to Covid

“Furthermore, I think the fact that he absolutely refused to invest any business [in Arcadia] means that it was pretty much inevitable [it would fail]”

She said the “most likely scenario” for Topshop is that an online retailer would buy the brand, add it to their own portfolio and close most of the stores

“It’s incredibly sad the worst is for all of the employees in the business who are mostly women who become unemployed

“The supply chains are also being hit massively. I can imagine that orders will be canceled shortly”

Ms. Shepherdson also accused Sir Philip of being a bully when she worked for him, adding that he “was yelling at people the whole time that he was disrespectful, dismissive, rude”

“The reason I left was because I spent five years keeping him at bay, which I thought was my business, Topshop, and at that point I realized I was no longer doing him I could and would keep my distance. I actually had to work with him if I stayed and I absolutely didn’t want that “

Arcadia is a sprawling retail company that owns a portion of the high street fashion brands including Miss Selfridge, Topman, Wallis, and Evans

Questions about the future of Sir Philip’s retail empire were asked Friday after it emerged that talks with potential lenders over a $ 30 million loan were over GBP had failed

Arcadia was looking for additional money as coronavirus “had a significant impact on commerce” in its businesses

It now needs a respite from its creditors and, in order to achieve this, has to file an application for administration

Administration protects a company from its creditors while it is put back on an even keel or when parts or all of it are sold

The court must approve the appointment of specialist bankruptcy trustees who will then look for the best way to raise money to pay off their debts and keep the business or parts of the business going where possible, the process can take up to a year

Even before the coronavirus, Arcadia’s best-known names were battling newer online fashion retailers like Asos, Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing

Former City Secretary and former chairman of Marks and Spencer, Paul Myners, told the BBC: “Covid was obviously a significant factor, but the truth is that this group of brands has been bleeding for 15 years It has become insignificant.” p>

“Sir Philip has never really embraced the opportunity or challenge of online trading. He has not invested in this area at all”

On Sunday, a senior Arcadia Group source told BBC business editor Simon Jack: “We tried to save it a year ago when it was poured £ 200m into the business and pension fund, but it is now impossible to operate”

On Friday, menswear retailer Moss Bros embarked on a business reorganization after saying it had been “badly affected” by Covid-19

Earlier this month, fashion chains Peacocks and Jaeger were added to the management after the owner of the Edinburgh Woolen Mill Group failed to find a buyer

Sir Philip bought Arcadia Group in 2002. His wife, Lady Cristina Green, is the majority owner of the parent company Taveta Investments

Much of their wealth comes from a pound sterling2 billion Dividend payment Sir Philip took from Arcadia and paid to his wife in 2005. Since Lady Green lives in Monaco, it was paid to her tax free

In one colorful career, Sir Philip has been hailed as the “King of the High Street” and branded as the “unacceptable face of capitalism”

Adding to the uncertainty faced by thousands of Arcadia employees is a valued hole in the company’s pension fund turning 10Has 000 members

On Sunday, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Stephen Timms urged the Green family to fill the gap

“Whatever happens to the group, the Green family needs to make up the deficit in the Arcadia Pension Fund,” the Labor MP said, adding that he will raise the matter with the Pension Commission

Pension advisor John Ralfe told the BBC that if Sir Philip used his personal assets to close the hole in the Arcadia pension pot, it would ensure workers enrolled in the scheme receive their full pension

But he said that Arcadia workers should get most of their pension through the Pension Fund, even if it didn’t allow for a full top-up

Sir Philip was previously controversial for selling BHS, the former department store chain, to businessman Dominic Chappell for £ 1 the following year, BHS went with the loss of 11000 jobs and a pension deficit of 571 million GBP broke

Sir Philip has reached an agreement with the Pension Commission to invest £ 363 million in this scheme. Meanwhile, Mr Chappell was recently sentenced to six years in prison for tax evasion

The collapse of Arcadia could affect Debenhams as it is feared it could prevent the department store chain from being sold to JD Sports

Arcadia is the largest concession in Debenhams and has a turnover of around 75 million GBP It sells brands like Miss Selfridge and Evans in the department store group

JD Sports had a rescue deal to buy Debenhams, which is currently under management for the second time in a year

Debenhams has had around 6 since May500 jobs cut and currently employs around 12000 employees in 124 branches

According to a source close to JD Sports, the appointment of administrators for Arcadia would make the company “more thought-provoking.”

Some stores may close, but Arcadia brands are household names and are likely to survive in some form

Boohoo is viewed as a potential buyer for some of its well-known brands such as Topshop

The 13000 Arcadia workers have to wait anxiously One told the BBC: “I am very worried about what will happen to us, especially since it is so close to Christmas

“It’s been a very difficult time, I’m in a role where I can work from home, but I’m not relying on something for me – I’ve started looking for other jobs to apply “

Holders of vouchers and gift cards from the various Arcadia brands are also faced with uncertainties – with the risk that these cards will become worthless

If the brand collapses, cardholders owe the money but are low on creditors’ priority lists to be repaid after assets are sold

BBC business correspondent Dominic O’Connell says, like many other clothing retailers grappling with shutting down the pandemic, bankruptcy is the only option

But, he says, two questions remain: Can individual companies find new owners to take over, and how strong will public pressure be on the Greens to make up for any deficits in Arcadia pension systems?

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Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55125802