British retail magnate Philip Green’s Arcadia, which owns Topshop and many other British fashion brands, said it was working on a number of contingency options to secure its future after suffering heavy losses during the CCP virus pandemic.
“We are aware of the recent media speculation surrounding the future of Arcadia,” the company said in response to UK media reports that it is on the brink of collapse and 13,000 jobs are at risk.
“The forced closure of our stores for sustained periods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a material impact on trading across our businesses. As a result, the Arcadia boards have been working on a number of contingency options to secure the future of the Group’s brands,” it said in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times.
The firm said its brands continue to trade and its stores will be opening again in England and the Republic of Ireland as soon as the government’s COVID-19 restrictions are lifted next week.
Philip Green, 68, has had an extraordinary career and was once known as the “king of the high street.”
Arcadia, which Green purchased for £850 million in 2002, is a major force on the British high street. In addition to Topshop, it owns Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Evans, and Burton brands, trading from over 500 stores.
Other major retail businesses, such as Debenhams, Oasis, Warehouse, Laura Ashley, Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, Peacocks, and Jaeger have already fallen into insolvency.
Non-essential shops were ordered to close in England as the government imposed a second national lockdown earlier this month. The lockdown is set to end on Dec. 2, but different regions will still be subject to varying levels of local restrictions.
Shops in the other parts of the UK— Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—have also been affected by regional restrictions adopted by their respective local authorities.
The lockdown measures have hit business confidence. One in seven businesses in the UK have no or low confidence that they will survive the next three months, according to the latest official survey data released by the Office for National Statistics earlier this month.
Lily Zhou and Reuters contributed to this report.