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Business minister hints at possible investigation into Arcadia collapse

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2 min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: An elderly woman wearing a face mask walks past a store encompassing Topshop, Topman, Burton and Dorothy Perkins on November 30, 2020 in London, England. Sir Philip Green's retail empire Arcadia, which includes Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Wallis is facing entering administration today putting 13,000 jobs at risk. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
An elderly woman wearing a face mask walks past a store encompassing Topshop, Topman, Burton and Dorothy Perkins on November 30, 2020 in London, England. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Sir Philip Green and executives at Arcadia could face a possible investigation into the collapse of the TopShop-owner.

Arcadia collapsed into administration on Monday night, putting 13,000 jobs at risk and creating uncertainty for pensioners. Management blamed the COVID-19 crises for the company’s demise.

Government ministers suggested executives could be at fault and hinted at a possible investigation into the company’s collapse.

READ MORE: TopShop-owner Arcadia collapses with 13,000 jobs on the line

“We know that there’s been a problem with the management there,” cabinet minister Michael Gove told Sky News on Tuesday.

Gove said there had been “a lot of reporting that points out some of the missteps that have been made by the management there” but declined to comment on any individuals. He called Arcadia’s collapse “tragic”.

Business minister Alok Sharma suggested there could be an official inquiry into Arcadia’s demise.

“Within 3 months, the Administrators have a duty to file a report on director conduct with The Insolvency Service – who will then determine whether a full investigation is required I will be keeping a very close eye on this process,” Sharma wrote on Twitter.

He called Arcadia’s collapse “incredibly sad.”

READ MORE: Pressure on Sir Philip Green to fill Arcadia's £350m pension scheme hole

Experts said Arcadia, which owns brands like TopShop, Burton, and Miss Selfridge, had been in decline for many years. The company relied on a strong High Street presence and failed to adapt to the growth on online shopping over the last decade.

Multimillionaire retail tycoon Sir Philip Green and his wife Tina bought Arcadia for £850m in 2002 and owned and ran it until its collapse.

Watch: Arcadia retail group collapses into administration