Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has confirmed it is considering a deal to buy some of Arcadia’s brands, including Topshop, after the Sir Philip Green-owned retail empire collapsed at the end of last month.
Chris Wootton, Frasers’ chief financial officer, told the BBC the group “tends to look at almost everything on the high street”, as it prepares to scoop up retail titans that have buckled under the weight of the pandemic.
“The process has only just started so there’s a long way to go as to ascertain what — if anything — we look at with [Arcadia]”, he added.
Arcadia, which also includes major fashion brands Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, entered administration on 30 November, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.
Wootton added that the group was still in discussions over a potential buyout of Debenhams, which last week announced it will shut its 124 UK stores unless it finds a buyer.
Both Debenhams and Arcadia’s brands had been struggling prior to the pandemic, but saw sales plummet during the two nationwide lockdowns.
It comes after Frasers has seen profit surge during the coronavirus crisis, despite a slump in sales.
The fashion chain said it received a huge boost from business rates relief handed out during the pandemic for several of its high street brands, including House of Frasers.
Frasers-owned retail empire Sport Directs this morning raised the lower end of its annual forecast as it reported a 25 per cent rise in first-half core earnings.
The group upped the bottom end of its profit forecast by 10 per cent, adding that it now expected annual growth between 20 per cent and 30 per cent.
Frasers was forced to close the bulk of its stores across Europe as a result of to national lockdowns, but saw a boom in its online business, which benefited from a surge in demand for loungewear and athleisure during the pandemic.