More Arcadia shops to close, Miss Selfridge flagship to be axed
When the news emerged in recent days that Arcadia was planning to close 23 of its shops as part of a long-time-coming CVA strategy, it seemed like a relatively small number. But now it has emerged that even more shops could close with the axe set to fall particularly heavily on Miss Selfridge and Evans.
Reports have said that the Miss Selfridge London flagship store will close in July and the brand will move in with its next door neighbour Topshop. It employs around 50 staff at present, many of whom will be redeployed in the Miss Selfridge concession inside Topshop.
This has raised concerns about the wider future of the brand which is facing significant numbers of closures across the UK if the CVA proposal is approved by creditors next week.
The decision to close the London shop is particularly interesting because it’s said to be one of the few profitable locations that the brand is operating. But despite its profitability, the Guardian reported that the property will be leased to another retailer as it can command a higher rent to generate more cash than continuing to operate it as a standalone. Demand will be high, despite tough times on the high street, as the store is in one of the most heavily trafficked areas of Oxford Street.
The news about the flagship comes as it has also emerged that, on top of the 23 Arcadia shops slated for closure (six of them under the Miss Selfridge brand), another 25 stores will close as the group puts the property holding companies of Miss Selfridge and Evans into administration.
The two chains have 107 stores stores in total and combined sales of around £200 million. Expansion plans for the brands in future will include selling in other retailers’ outlets and online.
It’s currently unclear what will eventually happen to the 150-strong Miss Selfridge head office team. They're housed in the former BHS HQ, the lease of which is expected to expire in under a year.
Meanwhile, Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green has been sent a letter regarding the company’s pension fund by Independent MP Frank Field, urging him to put some of his own money into the fund to plug its giant black hole.
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