An Arcadia worker has today called on Sir Philip Green to sell his £100million superyacht to help staff amid the collapse of his retail empire – which came days after he was pictured casually walking through the streets of Monaco.
The group, which includes high street brands such as Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins, was plunged into administration last night, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.
It is also reportedly set to trigger the breakdown of a deal to save struggling Debenhams.
JD Sports could pull out of a rescue deal for the department store after the collapse of Arcadia, putting another 12,000 jobs at risk.
Today one customer assistant told the BBC that he thought Sir Philip, whose wife is the owner of the Arcadia group, should sell his £100million yacht to help staff.
Monaco resident Sir Philip was seen relaxing in the French principality, where he keeps the super yacht, over the weekend. He is planning a Christmas stay at a luxury Maldives resort, according to reports.
Speaking to Radio Four Today’s Programme, under the condition of anonymity, the Arcadia worker said: ‘We haven’t really been told what’s happening. All we know is we need to keep working as normal.
Sir Philip Green, pictured with wife Tina, saw his Arcadia empire collapse into administration last night
Monaco resident Sir Philip was seen relaxing in the French principality, where he keeps the super yacht, over the weekend
One Arcadia worker told the BBC they felt Sir Philip Green should sell his superyacht Lionheart (pictured: workers aboard the yacht when it was docked in Italy) in order to help staff
‘I have a pension but I’m not sure what’s going to happen to it. I think we may be out of a job.
‘I think he should sell his yacht and take money out of his own pocket to help his staff, to make sure people aren’t going to be without money for Christmas.’
Meanwhile, Sir Ian Chesire, former chairman of Debenhams, and current chairman of Barclays, said he felt ‘desperately sorry’ for those whose jobs were at risk.
But he told BBC Radio Four he was ‘not surprised’ that news of Arcadia’s collapse could have a knock on impact on Debenhams.
He said: ‘They’ve both dealt with the same problem of “how fast can you change?” particularly when you are stuck with long leases and costs and the internet. They were caught in a straight jacket.
‘The real problem now is that you have got to be so much faster and you have got have so much more online if you are going to survive the online pressures.’
It comes as reports suggest the future of Debenhams is hanging in the balance with JD Sports set to pull the plug on a rescue deal amid the collapse of the Arcadia retail group.
The JD Sports group were said to be closing in on a deal to buy the department store chain, which is in administration.
But the collapse of Arcadia has now threatened to derail the rescue of Debenhams, leaving the fate of 25,000 jobs in the balance.
Sir Philip Green’s empire owns Topshop, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins – and Arcadia and its eight brands collapsed into administration last night.
The group, which employs 13,000 people, is the biggest single concession in Debenhams stores and accounts for about £75million in sales.
Arcadia’s collapse could take the department store with it, as it could now be wound down, risking another 12,000 jobs.
JD Sports, which entered exclusive talks to rescue Debenhams last week, was reconsidering its position as Arcadia’s collapse would dent the department stores’ finances.
It is understood that sales of Arcadia brands make up around 5 per cent of Debenhams’ total revenues.
The Arcadia group, which employs 13,000 people, is the biggest single concession in Debenhams (pictured) stores and accounts for about £75million in sales
Investors flocked to buy JD stock yesterday, pushing its shares up 5.8 per cent, or 43p, to 776.2p, as they believe the takeover of such a distressed chain is risky.
It followed a day of drama which saw Arcadia reject an offer for a £50million rescue loan from Green’s bitter rival Mike Ashley, who runs House of Fraser and Sports Direct.
Ashley is expected to face off against online giant Boohoo to buy Arcadia’s bombed-out brands, with Topshop likely to garner the highest price tag.
Retail experts yesterday said Green and his wife Tina had failed to invest enough in the likes of Outfit, Burton and Miss Selfridge, or build a successful online business like rivals Zara, H&M and Boohoo.
A row also erupted yesterday over the company’s pension scheme after it emerged that there may be a £200million to £250million black hole.
The shortfall could result in 10,000 pensioners having their payouts cut by a fifth.
In 2017, Green had to put £363million into the pension scheme for BHS workers following calls for him to be stripped of his knighthood for ‘services to the retail industry’.
Former City Minister Lord Myners said Green was ‘an asset stripper’: ‘He doesn’t invest in his business, he milks them.’
Ian Grabiner, Arcadia’s boss, said: ‘In the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe.’
There will be no immediate job losses and stores will still trade.