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Arcadia faces tough times ahead

David Shepherd, longstanding Arcadia chief operating officer has resigned from the retailer, followed by its interim chairman Jamie Drummond-Smith whose exit coincided with the approval of Arcadia’s much publicised CVA. Reports have it that the group is now working, under the direction of CEO Ian Grabiner, to separate out each of its retail brands with a view to finding prospective buyers for one or more of them. Any sale would fall under the scrutiny of the Pensions Regulator because of the deficit in the group’s retirement funds. Its CVA agreement green-lighted the closure of an initial 23 stores with a further 25 earmarked to follow, whilst reduced rents are being paid for some of its other locations. The business was also successful in reaching agreement to close its 11 US stores after landlords who had threatened to block Arcadia’s plans eventually accepted an out of court settlement. Market watchers say that buyers for the brands will be very thin on the ground in the current climate.

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