Sir Philip Green’s fashion group Arcadia confirmed this morning that it has appointed the former boss of the De Vere hotel and leisure group as its new chairman.
The embattled retail firm has drafted in Andrew Coppel, who currently sits on the board of housebuilder MJ Gleeson.
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Coppel will replace corporate restructuring expert Jamie Drummond Smith, who stepped down as interim chairman in September after being appointed to steer the high street giant’s restructuring process.
In a statement this morning, Coppel said: “Whilst the Group is not immune to the challenges affecting the UK retail sector, it owns several outstanding high street brands.”
He added: “Despite the macro factors currently impacting retailing in the UK, I am confident that we can make good progress in the interests of all our stakeholders.”
The appointment comes after a torrid year for Green’s fashion empire, which has embarked on a controversial cost-cutting process known as a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
Amid intense competition from online rivals and rising property costs, Arcadia brands such as Topshop and Dorothy Perkins have struggled to boost profits and sales.
Arcadia reported an operating loss of £138m in the year ending 1 September 2018, its most recent financial filings, and a 4.5 per cent drop in turnover to £1.8bn.
As well as running De Vere group from 2010-15, Coppel currently chairs Dolphin Capital Investors and the Trustees of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.