Embattled retail boss Sir Philip Green is reportedly looking to sever his ties with as many as 67 Arcadia stores in a bid to save the troubled fashion firm.
According to reports in today’s FT, a swathe of high street and shopping centre stores under Green’s Arcadia group – which includes Topshop and Dorothy Perkins – could be closed amid challenging retail conditions.
The newspaper said that Green is sounding out potential occupiers to take over the outlets, which cost Arcadia roughly £11m in annual rent.
Like a number of major high street retail firms, Arcadia has been hit by rising rents and higher business rates in recent years, which come at a time when competition from online rivals has also been heating up.
Earlier this month Arcadia revealed it he was working on a restructuring, saying in a statement that it was suffering "an exceptionally challenging retail market" in the UK.
The group said that it was "exploring options", sparking speculation over potential job cuts and store closures.
Today's news is the latest sign of trouble for the scandal-hit Topshop owner, who has also been at the centre of harassment allegations in recent months.
The billionaire, who has denied recent accusations of sexual harassment and racial abuse, has faced growing calls to lose his knighthood from politicians follows explosive reports in the Telegraph over the mogul's conduct.
Earlier this year Karen Brady unexpectedly quit as chair of Green's holding company Taveta Investments in the wake of the reports, in a move that came two weeks after saying that she owed it to staff to stay at the firm.