Arcadia Group, the British retail company, owned by Philip Green that includes the Topshop clothing chain, has gone into administration, a form of bankruptcy, the company said Monday. It is one of the biggest retail collapses in Britain since the start of the pandemic.
Deloitte has been appointed as the administrator. Arcadia, which has 444 stores in Britain, 22 overseas, and about 13,000 employees, said it would keep operating during administration.
Ian Grabiner, the group's chief executive, said in a statement that he had hoped the company could "ride out" the pandemic. "Ultimately, however, in the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe," he added.
No layoffs were announced Monday, but it remained unclear how many jobs could be saved as the administrator deals with the group's finances.
Arcadia was reportedly seeking a £30 million ($40 million) lifeline. Still, on Monday, the Fraser Group, a retail chain owned by a rival businessman, Mike Ashley, said its offer of a £50 million loan was rejected.
On Friday, Arcadia said lockdowns to curb the coronavirus's spread had had a "material impact" on its business. In recent years, the company has struggled to keep up with fast-fashion online rivals. Its dependency on physical stores has been a disadvantage as the virus has sped up the British high street's long-running demise.