Thursday 2 April 2020 6:45 pm

Arcadia furloughs 14,500 staff following coronavirus shutdown

Retailer Arcadia today said it was furloughing 14,500 of its workers after it shut its stores because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Topshop-owner also said that its board and senior leadership team were taking a salary reduction of between 25 per cent and 50 per cent.

Arcadia closed its physical stores two weeks ago as a government shutdown loomed.

Read more: Arcadia cancels supplier orders amid coronavirus crisis

All store employees have been furloughed effective from 21 March and the majority of head office employees will be furloughed from 5 April, the company said.

Arcadia said it was placing 14,500 out of its 16,000 staff on furlough.

Under the government programme, companies can furlough employees who will then be paid 80 per cent of their salary up to £2,500 by the state. They cannot work for the company during this period. 

A significantly reduced number of head office employees will continue in their roles to “provide essential functions for the group,” Arcadia said.

The company also said its online operations were continuing at a reduced capacity and in accordance with the guidelines recommended by the government. 

Group chief executive Ian Grabiner said he had elected to receive no salary or benefits until further notice. 

Read more: Coronavirus: Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia pauses pension scheme payments

“The actions we have taken are essential in order that we can manage our business through these unprecedented times.

“We are grateful for the support and understanding of our staff and all of our stakeholders during this incredibly challenging time.

“We look forward to opening our store doors again as soon as it is safe to do so and welcoming back our colleagues and customers,” Grabiner said.

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