York stores to close as Philip Green’s retail empire faces collapse

Two Arcadia brands are to close in York as part of attempts to save Sir Philip Green’s retail empire from administration.

The Arcadia Group’s Dorothy Perkins and Burton sites at Coney Street in York will shut as part of the planned closure of 23 stores across the UK, according to the BBC.

In total, 520 jobs are at risk across the retail outlets. In addition to the closures, the group has organised Company Voluntary Arrangements, which will see the rents cut at 194 stores.

Stores under the Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Topshop brands will be affected. It will also include its 11 Topshop stores in the US.

The company has been hit by the move to online retail, intense competition in the ‘fast fashion’ sector, rising business rates, inflexible rent agreements and unprofitable stores holding the rest of the company back.

200 stores have already closed over the past three years.

Arcadia is just the latest in a long line of retail businesses that have fallen by the wayside. Debenhams, Poundworld, Maplin, HMV, House of Fraser and former Arcadia company BHS, which it sold to known bankrupt and inexperienced director David Chappelle for £1 in 2015, have all faced insolvency.

Arcadia Group dates from 1903 when the Burton menswear stores were first founded. The group acquired womenswear brands Dorothy Perkins and Topshop, as well as Evans, Outfit, Wallis and Miss Selfridge. A Green family vehicle acquired Arcadia in 2002 and delisted it.

Sir Philip Green and his wife Christina dropped down the Sunday Times Rich List 2019 this year, losing their status as billionaires after their fortunes fell by half.

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