Arcadia concessions at risk as Debenhams plans closures
The Arcadia retail empire has been dealt a fresh blow after Debenhams’ decision to close 50 of its 166 stores put dozens of Arcadia concessions operating under Wallis, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins at risk of disappearing.
Philip Green’s Arcadia has around 350 concessions in Debenhams stores, which generate an estimated £100m in combined annual sales. If Debenhams moves forward with its store closure plan, around 100 Arcadia concessions could eventually disappear.
Debenhams is trying to trim its store estate after falling victim to the faster-than-expected rise of online shopping, which coupled with higher costs and weak consumer spending, is leading to mass closures across Britain’s high street this year.
Arcadia is also feeling the pressure, with revenues declining by 30% to £1.9bn over the last few years, according to The Telegraph. Excluding one-off items, the group’s pre-tax profit fell by more than half to £82m last year, and its flagship brand Topshop sank to a loss of £11m, compared with profits of £59m a year earlier.
Arcadia’s concession revenues also took a hit with the controversial collapse of BHS in 2016, losing a £100m annual revenue stream.
But the group’s woes are more than financial, with the company now also battling a looming PR crisis after Philip Green was named as the leading businessman at the centre of a sexual harassment scandal. The billionaire chairman is facing racism, sexual harassment and bullying allegations from five alleged victims, but he has “categorically denied” the accusations.
Meanwhile, human rights groups and activists are calling on Beyonce to drop the commercial partnership she has with Topshop for her Ivy Park brand in light of the allegations.
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