We suppose it follows that if good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people some pretty disgusting things are going to happen to Philip Green's Arcadia group of 'fashion retail brands'. And so it may, as it is reported this lunchtime (Friday 27 November) that the retail group, which owns Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Evans is on the verge of Administration, with Deloitte having already worked out they have no compliance issues with taking this job.
The insolvency intervention could start as soon as next week with the media reporting that up to 13,000 jobs could be put at risk. The alternative view is that this could be the best thing that ever happened to the retail group and those employees, as its 550 shops are expected to trade in the Administration, with Christmas shoppers booking their slots on park-and-rides around Great Britain for next Friday, and they may finally be rid of Philip Green and his dainty suede children-sized Gucci loafers. Even those living in tier three will be able to go out to stock up on polyester and viscose Big & Tall Blue Skinny Fit Stripe Trousers for £5.40 from Burton (which is an absolute rip off at that price), although they must wear a face mask when shopping and are advised to carry a pointy stick, in case they bump into Sir Philip in store.
An Arcadia spokesperson said: “We are aware of the recent media speculation surrounding the future of Arcadia. The forced closure of our stores for sustained periods as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a material impact on trading across our businesses. However, we are selling a Green Dasiy Midi Ruffle Tea Dress for just £20 (down from £42) in our Topshop Stores, a Bravissimo Jennifer Velvet Dress, a snip at just £39 in Miss Selfridge and mid-grey graphic check slim fit suit troursers in Burtons, a steal at £13.50."
"Didn't Burtons stop buying stock in 1978?" asked one of the journalists surrounding this spokesperson.
"Yes, but we still have stock to sell and classic fashion is timeless," came the reply. Timeless like a broken watch.
It is thought that if the Administration goes ahead the various brands in the Arcadia group could be sold off individually and retail labels such as Karen Millen, Warehouse and Oasis have learnt that you cannot Boohoo over spilt milk, as they found themselves being absorbed into the avaricious online retailer's ever-widening slough. Topshop is probably the greatest target, despite having a 71 percent 'bad' rating on Trustpilot and selling cable knitted jumpers that look as if they were actually made out of cable.
It appears that Sir Philip has had enough of retail in Great Britain and this could be his last hoorah. Ironically this is exactly the word that will fill his ears when those who work for him discover he is finally leaving our shores forever. Green does not seem to want to be involved in the purchase of any of the labels within the Arcadia group, which may seem surprising. However, it is a mystery that could be solved by John Ralfe, an independent pensions expert, who believes that the retailer’s deficit could be as much as £350 million on a buy-out basis.
Green got stuffed before when shedding himself of BHS for a solitary £1, and eventually had to plug a pensions' deficit within the company by finding £363 million and was described in the press as "the unacceptable face of capitalism". That is so unfair; Sir Philip Green is the unacceptable face of so many more things and actually gives two ears, two eyes, a nose, a mouth and twelve chins a very bad name.