Arcadia: print supplier exposure not clear

Jo Francis
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Arcadia’s collapse into administration appears likely to leave its remaining print suppliers out of pocket, although some had already stopped printing for the troubled group and there are hopes that printers will have limited exposure because of its well-documented problems.

TopShop is one of the many brands under the Arcadia umbrella
TopShop is one of the many brands under the Arcadia umbrella

Administrators from Deloitte were appointed at 26 Arcadia group companies yesterday evening (30 November).

Arcadia’s high street brands include TopShop, TopMan, Wallis, Evans and Miss Selfridge.

The group's administration is also likely to mean the end of the line for Debenhams, which is now expected to go into liquidation after JD Sports withdrew its bid for the business.

Arcadia has 444 stores of its own as well as hundreds of concessions, and was the biggest concession operator at Debenhams. The two companies employ 25,000 people, and there are fears about the likely knock-on fall-out on the supply chain.

The BBC News at Ten last night showed a TopShop and TopMan store in Scotland with the windows plastered in sale posters.

One former supplier of display graphics to Arcadia commented: “They hadn’t been significant anyway but we were trading up until the first lockdown. They didn’t appreciate us pushing so hard for payment though and (thankfully for us) haven’t been in touch since the summer.”

A retail print expert said he had long been concerned about the way Arcadia treated its suppliers: “To be honest the writing has been on the wall for over a year for both, so anyone that’s been supplying them without cash up front needs their heads looking into.”

Paragon Group acquired the Debenhams in-house print operation Magenta Print & Display two years ago. It subsequently rebranded its UK graphics services business as Service Graphics with Magenta becoming part of Service Graphics Display.

Service Graphics had not commented at the time of writing.

Another print supplier, Huddersfield-based Leach, had also previously supplied high-end lightbox graphics to TopShop. 

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