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Gloucestershire Business News

Topshop safe - for now

High street giant Arcadia Group has narrowly avoided collapse, but some stores will still close.

The group - whose brands include Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Burton - needed to get 75 per cent support in a series of rescue deal votes among creditors, as reported by Sky.

Under company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) and wider restructuring plans, owner Sir Philip Green plans to close 48 of his 566 stores to cut costs. There is no news yet on which stores those will be. There are Topshop stores in Cheltenham and Gloucester, a Burton and Dorothy Perkins store in Cirencester and an Outfit store in Cheltenham, stocking all of the Arcadia brands.

Landlords held up the vote by a week, as they hung on for improved terms on the rent cuts they were being asked to approve. The company's second biggest landlord, Into Properties, owner of a number of large shopping centres, was particularly opposed to the terms. The company said they were unfair to tenants paying full rents.

Sir Philip Green said the knock-on effect on the company's supply chain all over the world if the company had collapsed would have been very damaging.

Lady Tina Green, who is the ultimate owner of the business, pledged an additional £50m of investment to help lift Arcadia's offering and bolster support for the CVAs.

The retailer says it will now be able to go forward with its plans to turn the company around by growing its digital channels and ensuring its stores remain at the heart of the business.

Punchline said: "Arcadia stores have been a high street staple for many years and would have been a big loss to town centres. Fingers crossed for the Gloucestershire stores, and the staff who work there, that they aren't among the closures."

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