Topshop announced a major shake-up today. According to BBC, the British retailer is shuttering 23 stores throughout the UK and all of its 11 Topshop and Topman stores in the United States. The move puts 520 jobs in jeopardy and is widely considered a last-ditch effort by Topshop’s parent company, Arcadia Group, to avoid a “breakup.”
Arcadia Group’s CEO, Ian Grabiner, referred to the closures as “tough but necessary,” reports BBC. The company — which is also home to other British retailers like Miss Selfridge, Burton, Evans, Dorothy Perkins, and Wallis — has already closed 200 stores in the last three years.
Topshop, in particular, has faced several challenges in recent months. In 2018, Beyoncé bought back her athleisure line, Ivy Park, from Topshop after news broke about the alleged sexual harassment case against Philip Green, chairman of the Arcadia Group. Just last month, Beyoncé announced that she was relaunching Ivy Park by teaming up with Adidas.
“This is the partnership of a lifetime for me,” Beyoncé said in a press release. “Adidas has had tremendous success in pushing creative boundaries. We share a philosophy that puts creativity, growth and social responsibility at the forefront of business. I look forward to re-launching and expanding Ivy Park on a truly global scale with a proven, dynamic leader.”
BBC reports that in exchange for this latest round of store closures, “rents will be cut at another 194 stores at the Arcadia Group.” However, landlords and other creditors must agree to the proposal, which will be presented to them on June 5.
“No comment has been provided on timings,” Giles Robinson, a company spokesperson, tells Refinery29. “It's worth noting that the Topshop and Topman Group intends to continue its wholesale and digital businesses in the U.S., which are operated by different legal entities.”