The owner of Arcadia, Lady Christina Green, is set to bring forward a payment of £50m that will go into the collapsed group’s pension scheme.
The £50m installment was originally scheduled to be paid in September of next year, but has been brought forward in light of the retailer’s collapse earlier this week.
In a statement to Retail Sector, an Arcadia spokesperson said: “Last year Lady Green committed to paying £100m into the company’s pension scheme in three instalments.
“Two instalments of the amount of £25m each as agreed have already been paid, the third and final instalment of £50m was not due to be paid until September 2021.”
They added: “Lady Green is going to bring this payment forward to be paid in the next 7/10 days to complete the £100m commitment of payment.”
It comes as Arcadia collapsed into administration on Monday (1 December), placing 13,000 jobs at risk.
The retail empire had failed to secure urgent funding needed to keep it afloat following the effects of the pandemic.
The group has now appointed joint administrators from Deloitte, who confirmed that they are “assessing all options available” to the group. Redundancies are yet to be announced, and stores will continue to operate as normal for the time being.
Ian Grabiner, CEO of Arcadia, said: “This is an incredibly sad day for all of our colleagues as well as our suppliers and our many other stakeholders. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic including the forced closure of our stores for prolonged periods has severely impacted on trading across all of our brands.
“Throughout this immensely challenging time our priority has been to protect jobs and preserve the financial stability of the group in the hope that we could ride out the pandemic and come out fighting on the other side. Ultimately, however, in the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe.”
He added: “Our priority now is to work closely with the administrators to deliver the best possible outcome for all our stakeholders, in particular our hard-working employees across the group. Throughout this process, trading will continue across all of our brands.