Debenhams to be wound down putting 12,000 jobs at risk – as it happened

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, with 25,000 jobs now at risk across two UK stricken retailers

The crisis gripping the UK’s high street has intensified today, with 25,000 jobs now at risk across two major chains.

Related: Philip Green’s Arcadia Group collapses into administration

“All reasonable steps were taken to complete a transaction that would secure the future of Debenhams. However, the economic landscape is extremely challenging and, coupled with the uncertainty facing the UK retail industry, a viable deal could not be reached.

The decision to move forward with a closure programme has been carefully assessed and, while we remain hopeful that alternative proposals for the business may yet be received, we deeply regret that circumstances force us to commence this course of action.

The news from Arcadia and Debenhams this morning is devastating for thousands of employees. I told @BBCNews this morning that the government must set out what they will do to support them – including pressing Philip Green to do the right thing and plug the Arcadia pension deficit

A devastating day for the high street with 25,000 jobs at Arcadia and Debenhams at risk right before Christmas. The Government must outline how it will support those affected, and press Philip Green to do the right thing for his employees’ pensions.

Having extracted so much wealth from the Arcadia business, Philip and Tina Green owe a moral debt to its workers, and should have to meet the cost of the pension shortfall, as they were made to following the collapse of BHS. 2/2

Related: Debenhams set to close all stores with possible loss of 12,000 jobs

Adrian Palmer, professor of marketing at Henley Business School, says Debenham’s collapse highlights that department stores are now being supplanted by new formats – such as ‘pop-up’ retailers as well as online specialists.

“The collapse of Arcadia and Debenhams has been long predicted, with causes that pre-date COVID-19. Lack of investment and slow adoption of online sales hit these companies hard, at a time when online sales now account for 26.1% of all UK retail sales.

But a long-term trend affecting them has been the gradual demise of department stores. They have lost out to niche retailers who focus on selling a limited product portfolio, doing so more efficiently and with greater depth of selection than general-purpose department stores.

“The Arcadia administration has put the brakes on JD Sports’ proposed rescue deal for Debenhams and it looks like time may finally be running out.

Whilst the traditional department store offering may well be a thing of the past, there should be a bright future for a holistic ‘house of brands’ retail proposition, the principle purpose of which is to showcase products and to provide a bit of theatre and an afternoon out for shoppers, as part of a wider digital strategy.

The 12k jobs are the main concern in Debenhams’ demise but what will happen to its estate? Who now wants beautiful buildings like this on Briggate, Leeds, partly in the terracotta of Frank Matcham’s County Arcade & partly 1936 Art Deco when it was built for Matthias Robinson?

Despite the sensitive ongoing issues, this outcome is symbolic of the current unforgiving retail climate brought on by the pandemic despite any uptake in online performance during lockdown.

A lack of brand resonance has played a key part here, as the enduring customer loyalty that has sustained many throughout the industry becomes even more discerning and selective.

In the City, the FTSE 100 index of blue-chip shares has posted its biggest daily jump in over three weeks.

Optimism over the global economic recovery, vaccine rollouts, and a touch of Brexit deal hopes all drove shares higher – despite the gloom in Britain’s retail sector.

Hopes continues to circulate in regards to vaccines being developed for Covid-19. The OECD now predicts that global GDP will contract by 4.2% this year, which is an improvement on the previous forecast of -4.5%. At the same time, it lowered its 2021 forecast to 4.2% from 5%.

The bullish sentiment is seen across the board as hospitality, transport, travel and property stocks are higher too. House builders like Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Redrow have been helped by the wider bullish mood and the Nationwide report that house prices increased by 6.5% on an annual basis in November.

Heads-up: Sky’s Adam Parsons tweets that the Brexit trade talks might not have moved into the tunnel after all!

Sources from both UK and EU Brexit teams tell me they are bemused by idea that talks have “entered the tunnel”.
One says “negotiations cannot become any more intense.”

Times – Brexit talks are in the tunnel

Sky – Brexit talks are not in the tunnel

Here’s Reuters’ take on the pound’s jump:

Sterling jumped to as high as $1.3442 on Tuesday after Times Radio said that Brexit trade deal talks have entered the “tunnel” stage of negotiations.

The pound surged to hit a three-month high of $1.3442 at 1610 GMT, gaining half a percent in around 5 minutes.

Sterling has hit a three-month high against the US dollar this evening, after a report that the UK-EU trade deal talks have entered the ‘tunnel’ stage of intensive negotiations.

The pound surged after Tom Newton Dunn, Chief Political Commentator on Times Radio tweeted that “UK-EU trade deal talks have, at long last, entered the mythical tunnel”.

UK-EU trade deal talks have, at long last, entered the mythical tunnel. Michel Barnier has stopped internal debriefs to the wider EU, his last was on Friday. Hopes (on both sides) of a deal by the end of this week – but could still yet all fall apart. More on @TimesRadio now.

Neither side formally confirming tunnel status yet. No10 never recognise the term, but also not denying it. Source says: “Outstanding issues remain. Negotiations continue”. But as a senior EU source says, “if it looks like a tunnel, and sounds like a tunnel, it’s a tunnel”.

Tunnel talk driving £ ⬆️

This is a Brussels-coined term for intensified Brexit negotiations intended to take place between small teams from the UK and EU, insulated as far as possible from the pressures of leaks and media scrutiny.

The talks involve only senior negotiators, with no documents, media briefings, or anything else that could be used to derail the process.

Related: Entering ‘the tunnel’: what does it mean for the Brexit talks?

Debenham’s former chairman, Sir Ian Cheshire, is hopeful that some jobs will be saved at the stricken department store chain.

Cheshire told Sky News this morning that it was a “sad day” for Debenhams, particularly for its staff in the run-up to Christmas.

“The whole challenge of Debenhams has been, from the time I was there, is there’s a fantastic business inside it – probably 70 stores and a very good website which I’m sure someone will be buying, so I don’t think all these jobs are going….

There’s never a good time to lose your job but it must be really hard for the thousands of #ArcadiaGroup & #Debenhams workers who could be facing redundancy. @acasorguk has lots of useful information on redundancy rights & there’s a telephone helpline

Earlier in parliament, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Government “stands ready” to help workers affected by job losses at Arcadia and Debenhams.

Press Association has the details:

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Sunak said: “The news about Arcadia, and indeed Debenhams, is deeply worrying for employees and their families and the Government stands ready to support them.

“With regard to various things that are ongoing, there are negotiations between various parties and the companies at the moment – particularly with regard to pensions – and it wouldn’t be right for me to comment specifically on those.

UK to suffer more economic pain from coronavirus crisis than any other leading economy apart from Argentina – OECD. Towards end of next year, UK economy forecast to be still 6.4% smaller than in q4 2019.

The OECD’s latest economic outlook makes tough reading for the UK – showing that Britain’s economy will be among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

The Paris-based thinktank expects the UK economy to shrink by 11.2% this year, and only grow by 4.2% in 2021 and 4.1% in 2022.

A deterioration could prompt additional restrictions on economic activity and lead to a slower recovery.”

Towards the end of next year, Britain’s economy would still be 6.4 per cent smaller than it was in the fourth quarter of 2019, the OECD predicted. This was better than Argentina’s projected loss of 7.9 per cent, but lower than all other leading economies.

China’s economy was on course to be 9.7 per cent larger than it was at the end of 2019, with gains also seen in South Korea and Indonesia. The US was set to have lost only 0.1 per cent and the eurozone 3 per cent.

“We’re not out of the woods. We’re still in the midst of a pandemic crisis, which means that policy still has a lot to do.

Related: Don’t cut government spending to boost Covid rebound – OECD

The collapse of Debenhams will leave vacant spaces on the high street that will “impossible to fill” in a like-for-like way, warns Dr Gordon Fletcher of University of Salford Business School.

Today’s announcement reconfirms what has long been known. The UK high street is increasingly a fragile house of cards that suffers from a concentration of ownership, insufficient investment to keep pace with online developments and a general lack of dynamism and engagement between brands and consumers.

“This decision affects the 200 year old chain’s 124 outlets and 12,000 employees across the country. It is a closure of the chain that mirrors the complete failure of Woolworths over ten years ago.

UK factories are holding up better than the retailers…..thanks to Brexit stockpiling.

New figures this morning showed that output growth, and new business orders, both accelerated last month, helping to slow (but not stop) the downturn in employment.

The upcoming end to the Brexit transition period meanwhile led to rising levels of input purchasing, stockpiling of raw materials and stronger gains in new export business as EU-based clients brought forward orders.

Job shedding continued last month and new business could drop off a cliff in January as potential border disruptions are thrown into the mix.

The prospect of an extended recession continues to hover above the UK economy until clarity around a Brexit deal is reached and hopes for an effective vaccine supply chain are realised bringing much-needed normality.”

Related: Brexit stockpiling gave UK manufacturers boost in November

Consumer journalist Harry Wallop makes a good point – people haven’t stopped shopping, but they’re shopping less on the high street.

Debenhams and Arcadia double collapse is as big as Woolworths 12yrs ago – 25,000 staff in total and over 800 stores.
And yet official figures show retail spending is holding up. Shopping isn’t in crisis. The high street is.

Chloe Collins, senior retail analyst at GlobalData Retail, shows how Debenhams fortunes have waned in recent years:

Five years ago, Debenhams was the sixth largest clothing retailer in the UK, now it no longer even sits in the top ten. John Lewis has taken its place as the go-to department store as it offers a more exciting experience for shoppers and partners with more relevant brands.

Debenhams’ store closures may be a saving grace for @marksandspencer – 48.4% of Debenhams’ UK clothing shoppers also shopped for clothing at M&S in the 12 months to April 2020, so the latter is likely to benefit from transferred spend.

Pippa Stephens, retail analyst at GlobalData, fears there’s little chance that Debenhams’ administrators will receive a late offer to prevent the business closing down.

She says:

Arcadia’s brands have an opportunity to survive if broken up but after operating in its second round of administration for some time, Debenhams’ hopes of living on are slim.

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group may be interested in taking some stores. However, with the group having a history of pushing rent reductions and delaying payments, this could add unwelcome pressure for landlords.

Although JD Sports has pulled out of its rescue bid for Debenhams, it may also now decide to take on some of these units in order to expand its presence on the high street, while the spaces could also be desirable for Next, since the retailer has already opened beauty halls in some of the former Debenhams sites

More Debenhams history here:

Debenhams in happier days when it wholesaled as well as retailed. Ads from 1935 & 1903. What would Victorian-era boss Frank Debenham make of it all? NB In mid-1980s Burton Group owned Debs (then inc Harvey Nichols). I made fun about Ralph Halpern & Co shopping there. He laughed.

My advice for what it’s worth regarding Debenhams, Top Shop, Top Man etc: Use those gift vouchers as soon as possible and don’t ask for or buy vouchers for Christmas…

If Debenhams can’t be saved, then it will be a sad end to a retail story dating back 242 years.

The first store outside London was opened in Cheltenham in 1818, an exact replica of the Wigmore Street store. In the ensuing years the firm prospered from the Victorian fashion for family mourning by which widows and other female relatives adhered to a strict code of clothing and etiquette.

By 1950, Debenhams was the largest department store group in the UK, owning 84 companies and 110 stores. It continued to grow and in 1966 central buying was introduced for the first time.

i didn’t know that debenhams was 242 years old.

The UK retail crisis is particularly painful for female workers, as they make up roughly three in five jobs in the sector.

Young women on low pay were already struggling to get by before the coronavirus crisis hit and since then many have already suffered a loss of earnings due to redundancy, furlough or juggling precarious and insecure work with caring responsibilities.

The announcement that Debenhams stores are set to close with up to 12,000 job losses is likely to hit women especially hard, as the majority of retail jobs are done by women.

This means doing much more to protect jobs in sectors many young women work in including hospitality and retail, investing in the benefits system to better support young women, a jobs and training plan which has the needs of young women at its heart and ensuring investment in social infrastructure such as childcare.

Anything else risks turning the clock back on sex equality, leaving a generation of young women facing even greater struggles.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady says the crisis on UK high streets underlines the need for ‘urgent, targeted’ action to support sectors such as retail:

“The government must not watch from the side lines as thousands of high street jobs are lost.

“We need urgent and targeted action to save livelihoods in badly-hit industries – like retail- before it’s too late.

“There is a very stressful time for retail workers.

“The government must do all it can to help those who lose their jobs get back on their feet.

Tough times lie ahead for low- and middle-income households if the Government proceeds with its planned cut to Universal Credit next Spring – just at the time when the OBR expects unemployment to reach its peak.

Retail analyst Patrick O’Brien of GlobalData has a great example of how Debenhams’ former private equity owners trapped the firm in expensive property deals.

Back in 2005, Debenhams agreed a £495m sale-and-leaseback deal with property firm British Land (details here).

I think Debenhams story is primarily one of a lack of agility in a rapidly changing retail market. But its ability to adapt was hamstrung by property deals its owners made a long time ago. 1/3

For example, it sold 23 freeholds to British Land for £495m in 2005, in exchange for locking the business into 35 year leases. And while some may think that online growth has been a surprise, it absolutely has not. 2/3

In 2004 @rahrichardh ‘s Verdict (now part of GlobalData) was forecasting non-food online CAGR of 32.6% to 2009 (only slightly less than the growth that transpired). Still they did the deal, took the short term gains, but such moves put the business in a straight jacket. 3/3

Private equity groups Texas Pacific, CVC Capital Partners and Merrill Lynch Global – who owned Debenhams together with the management team led by John Lovering and Rob Templeman – retain a 43% stake in the business after the float. They sold 487m shares, nearly 57% of the group, and raised £950m. Some £250m is to be shared among the owners, and the rest will be used to reduce debts.

Some analysts had suggested investors might shun the float, on the grounds that management has squeezed every possible penny out of the business by actions such as selling its freehold property and extending payment dates to suppliers.

Related: Cool reception for Debenhams float

Shadow business minister Ed Miliband tweets:

A devastating day for the high street with 25,000 jobs at Arcadia and Debenhams at risk right before Christmas. The Government must outline how it will support those affected, and press Philip Green to do the right thing for his employees’ pensions.

Covid-19 may have accelerated the crisis in UK retail, but the problems at Debenhams (like Arcadia) predate the pandemic.

Back in April, Debenhams achieved the unwelcome distinction of filing for administration twice in 12 months.

“The reality is that Debenhams has been outmanoeuvred by more nimble competitors, failed to embrace change and was left with a tiring proposition.

The impact of the pandemic has accelerated its demise but underlying issues within the business were the root cause.”

Arcadia’s collapse last night pushed Debenhams closer to the brink, explains Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, the corporate restructuring firm.

“Coming so swiftly on the back of Arcadia’s collapse, today’s news represents a real bleak moment for the High Street.

Given how prominently Arcadia brands feature in its stores, the downfall of Sir Philip Green’s empire was always likely to leave Debenham’s rescue deal hanging by a thread. The pandemic has had a hugely corrosive effect on traditional retailers but especially for those with a significant physical presence on the High Street, which has largely been a consumer no-go zone for the majority of the year.”

“There will be myriad reasons behind JD Sports’ decision, but it is likely to have been particularly spooked by the inability to predict the future course of Covid restrictions, which could further limit footfall. Whatever their rationale, it’s clear the UK High Street is never going to look the same again.

Why did JD Sports walk away from talks to buy Debenhams? The JD explanation appears to be 1) we realised we have no experience of department store retailing and 2) our shareholders were in open revolt. Administration of Arcadia added uncertainty and made it easier to walk away.

Debenhams winding down; Arcadia in administration. Desperate times for Brittain’s high street retailers.
What Amazon started, Covid has accelerated.

JD Sports’ decision to walk away from rescue talks with Debenhams this morning was the trigger to start winding the department store chain down, my colleague Sarah Butler writes:

Debenhams is set to wind down the business and close all 124 stores after JD Sports ended discussions over a rescue deal for the struggling department store chain.

Administrators to Debenhams, which has been seeking a buyer since the summer, said the sale process had “not resulted in a deliverable proposal”. This means all 12,000 employees are likely to lose their jobs.

Debenhams set to close all stores with possible loss of 12,000 jobs

Lucy Powell MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers, says the government must protect the thousands of workers at risk at Debenhams and Arcadia.

That includes pushing Sir Philip Green to tackle Arcadia’s pension scheme deficit, Powell insists, saying:

This is devastating news for the 12,000 employees at Debenhams who are facing a very worrying Christmas, and comes on top of the news that Arcadia has gone into administration.

“The Government must urgently set out how it plans to support the people affected by the collapse of these companies, including pressing Philip Green to do the right thing and plug the Arcadia pension deficit.”

Related: Philip Green should do the honourable thing by Arcadia staff | Nils Pratley

The FT’s Jonathan Eley fears that Debenhams will go the same way as Woolworths, another high street stalwart, which collapsed after the financial crisis.

Debenhams went into administration in April

This is liquidation. The end. Some hopes that bits and bobs might be sold off, but overall the company is likely to disappear as Woolworths did in 2009

My colleague Zoe Wood points out that 25,000 retail workers are directly caught up in the crisis at Arcadia (Topshop, Evans, Burton, Miss Selfridge…) and Debenhams.

Feel for the 25,000 Debenhams and Arcadia workers turning up for work tomorrow…and the last thing rival stores need is a massive closing down sale on their doorstep

The decision to start winding up Debenhams comes just 14 hours after Arcadia fell into administration, creating a real shock across the UK retail sector.

Here’s George MacDonald of Retail Week:

A sombre day for retail. Debenhams to be wound down. Its 124 UK stores will trade to clear current and contracted stock, then close.

Gosh – the numbers are staggering.
Now 12000 jobs at risk (#Debenhams liquidation) just 24 hours after #Arcadia went into administration putting 13000 jobs at risk. Jobs are often more than money – they’re sometimes a person’s pride and integrity.

Here’s Reuters’ early take on the winding up of Debenhams:

British department store retailer Debenhams is to start a liquidation process that will see its stores close and the potential loss of 12,000 jobs, dealing another hammer blow to the country’s retail sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Debenhams administrators FRP Advisory said on Tuesday the decision to wind-down Debenhams followed its failure to find a buyer.

Geoff Rowley of FRP Advisory, a joint administrator to Debenhams, says administrators ‘deeply regret’ the decision to start closing the company.

Rowley also hasn’t given up hope that a buyer could be found — but says a ‘viable deal’ couldn’t be reached in the current economic climate.

“All reasonable steps were taken to complete a transaction that would secure the future of Debenhams. However, the economic landscape is extremely challenging and, coupled with the uncertainty facing the UK retail industry, a viable deal could not be reached. The decision to move forward with a closure programme has been carefully assessed and, while we remain hopeful that alternative proposals for the business may yet be received, we deeply regret that circumstances force us to commence this course of action.

“We are very grateful for the efforts of the management team and staff who have worked so hard throughout the most difficult of circumstances to keep the business trading. We would also like to thank the landlords, suppliers and partners who have continued to work with Debenhams through this turbulent period and can reassure them that all contractual obligations entered into in the administration period will be met in full.”

Newsflash: Debenhams administrators have decided to “wind down” the business, after JD Sports walked away from takeover talks.

The company’s administrators have announced that they will start the process of winding down Debenhams UK, which runs 124 stores, while still looking for offers for all or parts of the business.

Given the current trading environment and the likely prolonged effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook for a restructured operation is highly uncertain. The administrators have therefore regretfully concluded that they should commence a wind-down of Debenhams UK, whilst continuing to seek offers for all or parts of the business.

Debenhams will continue to trade through its 124 UK stores and online to clear its current and contracted stocks. On conclusion of this process, if no alternative offers have been received, the UK operations will close. This does not impact Magasin du Nord in Denmark, which continues to operate independently.

Breaking: Debenhams administrators have “regretfully concluded that they should commence a wind-down of Debenhams while continuing to seek offers for all or parts of the business”. Says outlook “highly uncertain”. Doesn’t include Magasin du Nord

The Financial Times reports that “Debenhams is likely to be liquidated and broken up”, now that JD Sports will not proceed with a bid.

A liquidation would put Debenhams 12,000 workers jobs at risk, just a few weeks before Christmas.

The news leaves the administrators with few other options, and comes just hours after Arcadia collapsed into administration, putting over 400 stores and 13,000 jobs at risk.

Debenhams has been in a ‘light touch’ administration since April – a new mechanism that lets company directors file for administration but retain day-to-day control of their business too.

The BBC’s Ben Thompson fears that JD Sports’ decision to terminate talks could be the ‘end of the road’ for Debenhams:

So JD confirms it’s pulled out of the deal to buy Debenhams. Probably the end of the road for the department store unless another buyer emerges. Waiting to hear from Debenhams…

Hearing Arcadia administration – and who will end up owning its brands – was the final straw for JD Sports pulling out of possible Debenhams takeover. Investor reaction another.

Yesterday – Arcadia files for administration

Today – Debenhams looks set to be liquidated

The High Street is being decimated at a rate of knots

Newsflash: JD Sports has just confirmed that it has broken off talks with Debenhams about a possible rescue deal.

JD Sports Fashion Plc, the leading retailer of sports, fashion and outdoor brands, confirms that discussions with the administrators of Debenhams regarding a potential acquisition of the UK business have now been terminated.

Another dark day for #Debenhams. JD Sport confirms, “discussions with the administrators…regarding a potential acquisition have now been terminated.” Spooked by the #Arcadia collapse – they were seen as the 242 yr old store’s last hope.

#Breaking JD Sports has confirmed it has pulled out of talks about a possible rescue of Debenhams following the collapse of Arcadia, putting 12,000 jobs at risk at the department store

Debenhams, which employs about 12,000 people, has been considering a potential sale since the summer after it went into administration in April for the second time in a year.

JD is thought to have been mainly interested in the Debenhams website but analysts said it was hoped it could take on almost half the group’s 124 outlets. The group saw a chance to move into a broader market and sell homewares, beauty products and smarter clothing to its existing customers.

Related: JD Sports expected to exit Debenhams rescue talks after Arcadia collapse

In other news… UK house prices have risen at the fastest rate in almost six years.

Prices have jumped 6.5% in the last year, Nationwide reports, with properties in national parks attracting a higher premium as some people look to escape the city…

Related: UK house prices soar as homes in national parks attract premium

Michael Gove has also refused to say whether Philip Green should use his fortune to repair the deficit in Arcadia’s pension scheme.

He told BBC Breakfast that there are “people better placed than me” to judge the right thing to do, “in order to do right by all those who work for Arcadia”.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove refuses to be drawn on calls for Sir Philip Green to use his personal finances to fill the pension deficit at the retail group.

Sir Ian Cheshire, former chairman of Debenhams, told the BBC this morning that Debenhams and Arcadia have both been ‘caught in a straitjacket’.

Asked about fears that JD Sports will abandon its rescue of Debenhams today, threatening 12,000 workers’ future, Cheshire says:

I feel desperately sorry for the thousands of people now worried about their jobs going into the Christmas period.

The human cost of this is the main issue I see.

How fast can you change when you are stuck with long leases and fixed costs, when the internet, athleisure and a degree of value players who have emerged means you have to evolve so much faster?

There will be a series of players interested in these brands because you have some fantastic, well-established brands inside there, caught in the wrong cost structure.

Related: Timeline: the rise and fall of Philip Green

Michael Gove, Minister for the Cabinet Office, has pointed out that ‘missteps’ by Arcadia’s management contributed to its collapse.

Speaking on Sky News this morning, Gove said Arcadia’s story was tragic:

“The Arcadia story is a tragic one and I’m not going to criticise any individual but there’s been a lot of reporting that points out some of the missteps that have been made by the management there.

There’s a broader question about the management of Arcadia….but I’m not going to get into the personalities of it.

I think most analysts would say there have been some missteps along the way.

A very grim day for the UK retail sector:

25,000 jobs now at risk on the high street as Arcadia and Debenhams reach the end of the line

Michael Gove on Arcadia: ‘not going to talk about one person but we know there have been missteps by the management there’

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

Related: Arcadia falls into administration putting 13,000 jobs at risk – business live

“Now that Arcadia is in administration, it is crucial that the voice of staff is heard over the future of the business and that is best done through their trade union.

“We are seeking urgent meetings and need assurances on what efforts are being made to save jobs, the plan for stores to continue trading and the funding of the pension scheme.

Out and about reporting for @BBCNewsbeat’s breakfast news in to Radio 1, 1X and Asian Network

Stood outside a Topshop, Evans and Wallace which are all next to each other on Oxford Street. Shows you the impact the collapse of Arcadia will have on the high street

“Staff just want to know if, and how, Green plans to fill the deficit in Arcadia’s pension schemes.

The main reason why a deficit in the pension fund has persisted over years is that the Greens extracted their famous £1.2bn dividend from Arcadia in 2005 which weakened its balance sheet and undermined its ability to make catch-up pension contributions in leaner trading years.”

Related: Tuesday briefing: Arcadia has fallen

Related: JD Sports expected to exit Debenhams rescue talks after Arcadia collapse

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