Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia will be hit hard by last week’s announcement that Debenhams plans to close up to a third of its stores, around 50 branches, in the next three to five years.
The retail tycoon’s brands, including Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Wallis and Evans, operate around 350 concessions across the Debenhams current 165-strong store estate.
Debenhams announced last week that it would be closing around 50 stores following its biggest loss in its 240-year history. The Sunday Telegraph estimates that this could result in around 100 Arcadia concessions being closed.
It was another blow in a tough week for Green, who was last week exposed in the House of Lords as the wealthy businessman behind the British #MeToo scandal. It was revealed that Green had used NDAs to prevent allegations of bullying, sexual harassment and racism from former employers.
After Lord Hain used parliamentary privilege to name Green in the House of Lords (Green had secured a temporary injunction preventing the media from naming him in relation to the accusations), Green issued a statement in which he denied the accusations saying: “To the extent that it is suggested that I have been guilty of unlawful sexual or racist behaviour, I categorically and wholly deny these allegations.”
Over the weekend Green granted an interview to the Mail on Sunday in which he described exchanges with employees as “banter”. “I’ve been in business for more than 40 years. There has obviously from time to time been some banter, but as far as I’m concerned that’s never been offensive,” Green told the newspaper.
“I’ve got a good relationship with all my staff. In all that time, until the recent issues, I’ve not had one litigation or complaint. If anything I’ve said has caused offence, I’m happy to apologise. Nothing I’ve said was ever meant to be offensive. Many people have worked for the family for many years and I’ve never had any problems,” he said.