THE owners of Topshop is set to collapse within days, putting around 15,000 jobs at risk, according to reports, bringing worry to the rest of the retail sector. 

Sir Philip Green’s retail empire, which runs the Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton brands, is expected to appoint administrators for Deloitte in the coming days.

A supervisor at a rival retail brand in the North-East, who did not want to be named, said the potential collapse was worrying for the whole sector.

They said: "This worries me massively. Someone as big as Arcadia going makes you wonder how long it is before it happens to us. I've already thought, multiple times, about finding work in a more 'secure' sector but everyone is pretty much the same right now.

"We had a reshuffle and the fact I came through that with a job does make me hopefully but I'm not sure how many more lockdowns we could take as a company before store closures are made."

Arcadia could tumble into administration as soon as Monday, Sky News reported on Friday.

There are Topshop stores in Darlington, Durham, Wallsend, Washington, two in Middlesbrough and Thornaby. 

Arcadia Retail tycoon Sir Philip Green took control of Arcadia Group in 2002 (lIsabel Infantes/PA)

The retail group had been in emergency talks with lenders in a bid to secure a £30 million loan to help shore up its finances.

If the insolvency is confirmed, it is expected to trigger a scramble among creditors to get control of company assets.

Arcadia Group is the latest retailer to have been hammered by the closure of stores in the face of coronavirus, with rivals including Debenhams, Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group and Oasis Warehouse all sliding into insolvency since the pandemic struck in March.

The Northern Echo:

The Arcadia Group said: “We are aware of the recent media speculation surrounding the future of Arcadia. The forced closure of our stores for sustained periods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a material impact on trading across our businesses.

"As a result, the Arcadia boards have been working on a number of contingency options to secure the future of the Group’s brands.

"The brands continue to trade and our stores will be opening again in England and ROI as soon as the Government COVID-19 restrictions are lifted next week.”

The group has more than 500 retail stores across the UK, with the majority of these currently shut as a result of England’s second national lockdown, which will end next week.

Arcadia could not confirm whether staff were aware of the potential collapse before media reports.