FASHION chain the Arcadia Group – which has its famous brand names across Hampshire – has avoided administration after landlords agreed to throw it a lifeline.

Although the deal saves thousands of jobs at the chain, the company will have to overcome a series of further hurdles.

Sir Philip Green’s retail empire – which includes Topshop, Burton and Miss Selfridge – won support for a series of company voluntary arrangements (CVA) designed to avoid it going into administration.

Around 1,000 jobs are at risk from the closure of 23 stores as part of the agreement, while another 25 will be shut under a wider restructuring.

Arcadia’s chief executive Ian Grabiner said: “After many months of engaging with all our key stakeholders, taking on board their feedback, and sharing our turnaround plans, the future of Arcadia, our thousands of colleagues, and our extensive supplier base is now on a much firmer footing.

“From today, with the right structure in place to reduce our cost base and create a stable financial platform for the group, we can execute our business turnaround plan to drive growth through our digital and wholesale channels, while ensuring our store portfolio remains at the heart of our customer offer.

“I am confident about the future of Arcadia and our ability to provide our customers with the very best multi-channel experience, deliver the fashion trends that they demand, and ultimately inspire a renewed loyalty to our brands that will support the long-term growth of our business.”

But some landlords were reported to have voted against the agreements.

Speaking after the meeting but before the result, Oliver Buhus from supplier Paragon Clothing said landlords had been “ruthless and self-serving”.

“There’s no sense of taking an initiative to act collectively, it’s each landlord for himself,” he said.

The proposals, revealed last month, involve the closure of 23 stores in the UK and Ireland.

Southampton has Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis in its Debenhams store, as well as Topman and Topshop in Above Bar.

Eastleigh has Burton and Dorothy Perkins stores. Fareham has a Dorothy Perkins, Topman and Topshop.

Winchester has Dorothy Perkins and Wallis in its Debenhams. Whiteley also has a Topshop, while Bradbeers in Romsey has a Wallis concession.


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