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Sir Philip Green’s Topshop retail group ‘exploring options’

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Sir Philip Green is working on a turnaround plan for his Arcadia Group retail empire that includes Topshop and Miss Selfridge.

The billionaire’s company said in a statement that it was suffering “an exceptionally challenging retail market” in the UK.

Arcadia was therefore “exploring options” to bolster the business.

The statement emphasised that there would be no store closures, and all suppliers would be paid as usual.

There were reports earlier on Friday that Sir Philip was considering a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), a form of insolvency that would enable him to seek rent cuts and close unwanted stores.

Arcadia said that it was issuing its statement in response to that media speculation, but made no mention about a CVA nor a potential sale.

“Within an exceptionally challenging retail market and given the continued pressures that are specific to the UK high street we are exploring several options to enable the business to operate in a more efficient manner,” Arcadia said.

“None of the options being explored involve a significant number of redundancies or store closures. The business continues to operate as usual including all payments being made to suppliers as normal,” it added.

News that one of the UK’s biggest fashion retail groups is struggling comes after a string of High Street names hit financial trouble.

Debenhams, New Look, Mothercare, House of Fraser, and LK Bennett are among a roll-call of retailers hit by weak consumer confidence, higher costs, and fierce competition.

Many retail experts believe Topshop, Sir Philip’s prize asset, has fallen out of favour with today’s young consumers. Arcadia also owns Evans and Wallis.

Last year Sir Philip was embroiled in claims – strongly denied – of bullying and inappropriate behaviour. He was also criticised over the demise of department store chain BHS, which, after he sold it for just £1, collapsed a year later.

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