Chloe Shakesby

JD Sports set to quit Debenhams rescue talks as Arcadia falls into administration

A UK retail group is expected to pull out of talks to acquire Debenhams after the collapse of one of its biggest concession holders.

JD Sports is reportedly reconsidering its plans to acquire high street chain Debenhams, which has concessions largely owned by Arcadia, which fell into administration last night (30 November).

More than 13,000 jobs are at risk with the fall of Arcadia, which has said that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are the driving factor behind the news.

Administrator Deloitte announced that it is seeking buyers for Arcadia’s brands, which include Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Burton and Outfit.

The group currently has 444 sites in the UK and 22 abroad, with Deloitte confirming that stores will continue to trade online for the moment.

With JD Sports as the last bidder for Debenhams, a further 12,000 jobs could be put in jeopardy if it pulls out of the rescue deal.

Matt Smith, Deloitte’s joint administrator, commented: “We will be rapidly seeking expressions of interest and expect to identify one or more buyers to ensure the future success of the businesses.”

Arcadia’s CEO Ian Grabiner said: “In the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe.”

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