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Updated: Arcadia names new chairman

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has appointed Andrew Coppel as its new chairman, following a turbulent year for the embattled retail empire.

As the chairman of both Taveta Investments, Arcadia’s holding company, and Top Shop Top Man Ltd, Coppel will be responsible for each boards’ “effectiveness and corporate governance, as well as supporting the executive team with the delivery of their turnaround strategy” the group said.

He joins from accountancy firm OH Associates, where he has held the role of managing director since 2015. Coppel also serves as the current chairman of property investment company Dolphin Capital Investors, and non-executive director of house builder MJ Gleeson, 

Coppel takes over from Jamie Drummond-Smith, a corporate restructuring expert who stepped down as interim chairman in September, after five months in the role.

The newly appointed chairman said: “Whilst [Arcadia Group] is not immune to the challenges affecting the UK retail sector, it owns several outstanding high street brands.

“Following the approval of the CVA, the group has a stable platform from which to move forward… Despite the macro factors currently impacting retailing in the UK, I am confident that we can make good progress in the interests of all our stakeholders.”

The news comes at the end of a challenging year for the business. Arcadia successfully passed seven CVAs in June this year, which included the closure of 48 of its UK and Irish stores and slashing rents across the remainder of its portfolio.

The group’s brands comprise Topshop, Topman, Wallis, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge and Outfit. As part of the CVAs, Topshop and Topman’s retail operations in the US were placed into administration.

In September, Arcadia reported an operating loss of £138m for the 53 weeks to 1 September 2018, admitting it could require additional financing to deliver its turnaround.

It was the first time in seven years that Green’s empire has reported a loss, falling into the red from a £199m profit in 2017.

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