Arcadia became the latest in a long line of high street retails to enter into a CVA following its approval by creditors yesterday.
Under the terms of the CVA Arcadia, which includes household names such as Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Topman and Miss Selfridge, will close a total of 48 of its stores albeit more stores could close if some landlords take up the option to take their premises back by way of an agreed surrender. In addition, the rent for almost 200 stores will be reduced by 25% - 50%. It is understood that a number of previous proposals had been rejected by landlords having initially included provisions to reduce the rent in some stores by as much as 70%. In a last ditch effort to get its landlords to back the deal Arcadia agreed to give those landlords affected by the CVA a 20% stake in the business and invest a further £50m to upgrade its remaining stores.
Whilst the CVA will avoid an immediate slump into administration that would have put up to 17,000 jobs at risk - and will therefore be welcomed by Arcadia’s other creditors and employees, it raises the question as to the efficacy of CVAs and particularly whether such agreements create an unfair playing field between competing high street retailors.
For now, it remains to be seen whether this will be the start of a new beginning or the beginning of the end for Philip Green’s retail empire.
Sir Philip Green's Arcadia retail empire has been saved by a rescue deal that will trigger the closure of 48 stores and a thousand jobs. The plan, covering stores including Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Wallis, was approved by Arcadia's creditors. After a week's delay and five hours of discussion Arcadia's landlords finally agreed to rent cuts, 23 store closures and 520 job losses.