Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green has dismissed a recent fall in profits at his retail business, saying that he could be “a buyer or a seller” of high street businesses thanks to the strength of his group's balance sheet.
Arcadia Group is said to be planning to open more than 150 new franchise stores across the globe in the next year, as its Topshop brand prepares to open 28 stores in 28 days in the US.
Arcadia’s Miss Selfridge this week announced the opening of its first store in Lebanon, in Beirut’s city centre. Having launched on Saturday 13 April, Miss Selfridge’s first store in the region runs across 180 square metres, and features a bespoke edit of the brand’s dresses, accessories and footwear.
The British high street heavy weight will be forced to make a number of redundancies at its head office as tough trading continues.
Arcadia, which employs 45,000, is likely to cut around 90 jobs out of about 3,000 across its five head office locations, most of which are in London.
A spokesperson for Arcadia said staff at the retail giant were informed about the anticipated job losses last week, which will mostly affect support roles and not store staff.
According to the source Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green came to the decision with the company’s directors that creating greater efficiencies were essential in the light of some of the most difficult trading conditions in memory.
Even with the cuts, Arcadia will continue to expand with its new US flagship Topshop and Topman opening in Chicago this week.
The billionaire businessman has spent the last weeks briefing hundreds of his senior staff to expect a sharp decline in profits for the financial year.
The retail conglomerate, which covers Topshop, Miss Selfridge, and BHS, is expected to release full-year results at the end of August.
Profits for the group are expected to have been struck down by crucial spending over the Christmas period took a hit this December with unusually bad weather stalling sales. Sir Philip has since stated he believes the disruption cost his £40 million in total.
Despite the drop, it is understood Sir Philip managed to further reduce the group’s borrowings, which are expected to fall to £300 million by the end of the year as the business continues to generate substantial cash levels.
Acadia Group moves to close stores at Blachardstown shopping centre in Dublin after 15 years of trading, where over a hundred jobs will be lost.The group's outlets in the centre include Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burtons, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Outfit and Evans. In a statement made yesterday, retail union Mandate's divisional organiser Brendan O’Hanlon said Arcadia staff were told “that because of the refusal of the Blanchardstown Centre’s management to agree to a reduction in the rents being charged the stores will close in September ."However the landlords have since confirmed no discussion or correspondence has taken place with regard to the rent of Arcadia's outlets.A spokesperson at the retail group has confirmed five instead of eight stores will be closed at the centre, and that leases were set to expire in September. He went onto say that Arcadia "looked forward to having discussions with Green Properties in due course."Arcadia went onto state in regards to the Blanchardstown Centre, "to renew the lease is not financially viable due to many economic reasons and costs.”O’Hanlon said staff were “shocked and disappointed” at the development, and that Mandate would be engaging with Arcadia to minimise the number of job losses and negotiate the best possible terms for those that would be made redundant.
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