Topshop in Cork set to reopen despite fears parent company may be 'on the brink of collapse'

Topshop in Cork set to reopen despite fears parent company may be 'on the brink of collapse'

Topshop on Opera Lane in Cork city will reopen on Tuesday, despite fears over the future of its parent company Arcadia Group.

Topshop will reopen in Cork tomorrow despite its parent company Arcadia being in significant financial difficulty.

Plans for an emergency multi-million loan to Sir Philip Green's struggling Arcadia Group have reportedly fallen through.

Sir Philip's retail empire, which includes the Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton brands, has been revealed to be on the brink of collapse with around 15,000 jobs at risk.

Senior sources at the company have told the BBC they do not expect a last-minute rescue deal, which had been flagged by Mike Ashley's Frasers Group.

Deloitte are expected to be appointed as administrators in the coming days.

Despite this, a spokesperson for Arcadia Group confirmed to The Echo that Topshop on Opera Lane, and other stores under the Arcadia banner across Ireland, will reopen along with other non-essential retail outlets on Tuesday as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

The spokesperson also reiterated a statement released by Arcadia on Friday which stated: “We are aware of the recent media speculation surrounding the future of Arcadia. The forced closure of our stores for sustained periods as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a material impact on trading across our businesses.

“As a result, the Arcadia boards have been working on a number of contingency options to secure the future of the Group’s brands. The brands continue to trade and our stores will be opening again in England and ROI as soon as the Government Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.” 

One of those contingency plans is an offer from Frasers Group, which runs Sports Direct and House of Fraser, amounts to a £50 million loan, Mr Ashley's company confirmed.

Frasers Group said: "The company can confirm that it has made an offer and provided draft terms to the Arcadia Group for a loan of up to £50 million and is now awaiting a substantive response.

"Should the Company and the Arcadia Group's efforts to agree an emergency funding package fail and the Arcadia Group enter into administration, the company would be interested in participating in any sale process."

Sky News quoted Chris Wootton, Frasers' chief financial officer, as saying: "We hope that Sir Philip Green and the Arcadia Group will contact us today to discuss how we can support them and help save as many jobs as possible."

Arcadia had been in emergency talks with lenders in a bid to secure a £30 million loan to help shore up its finances.

If the insolvency is confirmed, it is expected to trigger a scramble among creditors to get control of company assets.

It is the latest retailer to have been hammered by the closure of stores in the face of coronavirus, with rivals including Debenhams, Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group and Oasis Warehouse all sliding into insolvency since the pandemic struck in March.

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