Arcadia is wielding the axe on 170 head office jobs as Sir Philip Green’s fashion group ramps up its turnaround efforts.
Details of the job losses, first reported by The Guardian, emerged merely 24 hours after Arcadia was handed a lifeline by creditors, who voted in favour of a controversial company voluntary arrangement plan.
Following the ballot, Arcadia will close around 50 of its UK stores, with the loss of around 1,000 shopfloor jobs. A further 17,000 roles were saved following the vote.
In a short statement, an Arcadia spokesman said: “As outlined, the group are proposing to make some structural changes in order to support and deliver the turnaround plan.”
Arcadia staff were told of the job losses on Thursday.
The changes come as the group seeks to revive its fortunes after staving off collapse. It has put in place a three-year turnaround plan, aimed at rebuilding EBITDA from around £30m in 2018/19 to £117m by 2021/22.
The blueprint is built on four pillars: aggressively driving digital growth, doubling business-to-business revenue such as wholesale, boosting footfall and driving cost efficiencies.
Arcadia will improve its digital operations through initiatives to enhance customer experience and conversion rates, and by pursuing “digital external business opportunities”.
As part of that drive, the property arms of Miss Selfridge and Evans are poised to be put into administration in the coming weeks as Arcadia refocuses the brands on driving wholesale revenues, rather than sales through its own stores.
Miss Selfridge’s 150-strong central team had already feared for their future as a result of that plan, and the fact they are based in the office once occupied by BHS – the collapsed department store business also formerly owned by Green.
Arcadia is also shutting its 11 Topshop stores in the US, while the future of its last remaining shop in Australia is in doubt.