The fashion group has warned its owners that it will leave stores where leases have break times or are due to expire.
The Guardian understands that this decision does not necessarily mean that the stores will close permanently, but that the retailer may enter into negotiations with the owners on how to keep them open. In March, the company asked landlords for rent reductions and suspended payments to its pension plan.
Potential closings should not be centered on particular brands and the number of stores that may be affected has not been confirmed. All 550 of the group’s stores across the UK are closed because coronavirus foreclosure measures, which could last until June, prevent Britons from buying anything other than food and basic necessities.
Like other retailers, Arcadia is facing financial turmoil and earlier this month, 14,500 of its 16,000 employees would be on leave and apply for the government’s emergency salary plan.
But the retail group had been hit by financial problems before the Covid-19 crisis. Its street brands reported losses before tax of £ 505.1 million for the year to September 2018, according to accounts published on Companies House.
A series of voluntary business deals (AVCs) were offered in May of last year as part of a broader three-year stimulus package, which led to the closure of 23 stores and lower rent for many others.
As part of the rescue deal, the group’s US operations were put under administration and 25 other Evans and Miss Selfridge stores were closed.
The Debenhams department store on Friday confirmed the closure of seven stores with the loss of more than 422 jobs after taking office last week.
Meanwhile, struggling fashion chains Oasis and Warehouse collapsed in the administration, putting 2,300 jobs at risk.
Arcadia declined to comment.