Arcadia Group is part of Taveta Investments, owned by billionaire Sir Philip Green and his family

Arcadia Group is part of Taveta Investments, owned by billionaire Sir Philip Green and his family

The struggling Arcadia retail group – owner of the Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Burton and Dorothy Perkins brands – is reported to be on the brink of collapse, putting around 13,000 jobs at risk.

UK media reports say talks with potential lenders have broken down, and that administrators could be appointed early next week.

Richard Lim, chief executive of research consultancy Retail Economics, says: "Efforts to turn around the business appear to have faltered with the impact of the pandemic too significant a challenge for the once much-loved retailer. 

"Clothing has been that the hardest hit sector with the disruption to the way we live, work and play undermining the need for new outfits for many consumers. However, their demise has been accelerated because of an online proposition that falls way behind that of their competitors. Years of underinvestment in the digital channel has severely restricted their ability to trade successfully through this hugely difficult period.

"If this business does eventually fail, it will leave gaps across many of our high streets where they have occupied shops for decades." 

The Arcadia Group was in bad shape before the pandemic hit, with its most recent accounts for the year to 1 September 2018 showing a pre-tax loss of GBP93.4m, compared to pre-tax profits of GBP164.6m in the previous year. Total turnover fell by 4.5% to GBP1.8bn, down from GBP1.9bn the year before, reflecting the "ongoing challenging global market conditions for retailers."

At the time, Arcadia said: "The retail landscape has changed dramatically over recent years and the increased competition from the high street and online retailers in particular has had a significant impact on our performance."