Administrators to Sir Philip Green’s collapsed retail empire Arcadia are planning to close a further 31 stores by the end of this month, resulting in more than 700 job losses.
The majority of the branches set to close are Outfit stores, which sold a range of Arcadia brands including Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge.
City A.M. understands that the decision to shutter the stores permanently is due to the prolonged closure of non-essential retailers during the latest national lockdown.
It also comes the day after the deadline for rescue offers for Arcadia’s brands.
High street giant Next is reportedly the frontrunner to snap up the Topshop-owner as part of a consortium with US investment firm David Kempner Capital Management.
Authentic Brands, the US owner of Barneys department store, and Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group are also involved in the sales process which is being carried out by Deloitte, the Sunday Times reported.
Arcadia collapsed into administration last year, putting 13,000 high street jobs at risk, in the biggest retail failure of the coronavirus pandemic so far.
It filed for administration after talks with lenders over a potential £30m loan fell through.
Arcadia had said it had been seeking the loan to help it survive following the “material impact on trading” prompted by the pandemic.
The collapse came 18 months after Green’s empire narrowly avoided administration by securing a company voluntary arrangement that led to 1,000 job cuts and 50 store closures.