High street crisis: Arcadia store closures spark 714 job losses – Green empire on brink | UK | News (Reports)

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Sir Philip Green’s retail empire, which employs around 13,000 people and 444 UK stores, collapsed into administration at the start of December after it became the latest company hammered by the coronavirus pandemic. It is understood the latest round of cuts will result in the closure of all 21 of the group’s Outfit stores.

Outfit, which was acquired by Topshop owner Arcadia from Sears in 1999, is not a fashion brand itself but sells all of Arcadia’s retail brands in out-of-town destinations for shoppers.

The move comes a day after the deadline for rescue bids set by administrators at Deloitte.

High street stalwart Next is among retail groups to have placed bids to take control of the retail empire.

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Deloitte is expected to receive bids worth more than £200million in the process, which could be completed by the end of the month.

Next has been touted as one of the most likely victors in the process, with the listed retailer bidding for the group in partnership with US hedge fund Davidson Kempner.

It faces competition from high street rival JD Sports, which has held talks over a joint bid with US retail giant Authentic Brands.

Last month, administrators agreed the sale of Arcadia’s plus-sized brand Evans to Australian firm City Chic Collective in a £23million deal.

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The Arcadia jobs cuts come less than a week after administrators for Jaeger warned 233 staff faced redundancy following the fashion brand’s acquisition by Marks & Spencer (M&S).

Jaeger’s 63 stores and concession will be permanently closed after they were not bought as part of the deal.

Administrators at FRP Advisory said that 22 head office staff and 211 store staff had been made redundant as a result.

Six head office staff and seven warehouse staff have been retained by the administrators to assist them in their duties.

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Tony Wright, joint administrator of Jaeger Retail Limited and partner at FRP, said: “The transaction with M&S provides a future for this well-known brand and, in competition with a number of bids, has provided the best outcome for creditors.

“Unfortunately, we will now progress with the permanent closure of the remaining store portfolio and work with the affected staff to access redundancy payment and support.”

The move to buy up Jaeger fits with M&S’s new strategy of selling third-party brands, with existing tie-ups with the likes of Nobody’s Child and Ghost.

It is also thought to be among those in the running for some of Arcadia brands.

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