A major fashion firm has made a final offer to landlords in a last-gasp bid to save dozens of stores across the UK and Ireland.
The future of six Irish stores depends on the outcome of negotiations between the Arcadia group and landlords at nearly 200 locations.
The company, which owns brands including Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, is set to shut 23 stores as part of a series of company voluntary agreements (CVAs).
The Irish stores facing potential closure include:
- Cork (Dorothy Perkins/Evans)
- Dublin - St Stephen's Green (Topshop/Miss Selfridge)
- Dublin - Jervis (Topshop Topman)
- Dublin - Henry Street (Evans/Wallis)
- Dublin - Liffey Valley (Wallis)
- Galway (Miss Selfridge)
The group has faced significant financial challenges in recent months – largely as a result of a massive mounting pension’s debt.
Talks were adjourned during the week after a number of landlords rejected a request for rents at the outlets to be reduced by between 30% and 70%.
In a statement today, the company said it had made a final request for rents at all 194 outlets to be reduced by between 25% and 50%.
It said the landlords that accepted the first offer will also benefit from the approved terms.
It said the shortfall will be “entirely funded” by Arcadia shareholder Tina Green – wife of company Chairman Philip Green. It said the initial cost to the couple is expected to be around £9.5m (€10.69m).
In a statement, Arcadia CEO Ian Grabiner said: “Having already secured the support of our pensions trustees, trade creditors and a significant number of landlords, we hope these final revised terms will ensure the majority of landlords support the CVA at next week’s vote.”
“Their support is vital for the long term sustainability of the Group, our 18,000 employees and our extensive network of loyal suppliers.”
The group has a total of 566 stores across the UK and Ireland.