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Sir Philip Green criticised for pursuing taxpayer cash to furlough staff

Sir Philip Green topshop topman arcadia furlough monaco
Some Arcadia staff had gone back to work after the reopening of 631 stores, while others remained furloughed
// Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green has been criticised for taking millions of taxpayers’ cash to furlough staff
// Arcadia furloughed 14,500 staff in April under Rishi Sunak’s coronavirus job retention scheme

Sir Philip Green has reportedly come under fire for continuing to take millions of taxpayers’ money to furlough Arcadia workers.

Arcadia Group, which owns retailers Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge, with Topshop and Topman being its flagship brands, furloughed 14,500 staff in April under the coronavirus job retention scheme.

Some staff had gone back to work after the reopening of 631 stores, while others remained furloughed, The Sunday Times reported.


The criticisms came after Green was spotted in Monaco this week browsing multimillion pound luxury yachts.

His decision to keep using the scheme – which pays 80 per cent of wages – is in stark contrast to other retailers who have refunded HMRC after deciding that they no longer need the financial assistance.

Fast-fashion company Boohoo is returning furlough money.

The retailer’s owner Mahmud Kamani said you should give back “especially when you’re doing OK”.

Critics have questioned how much Green needs to rely on taxpayers’ money to keep his business afloat.

He has lived in the tax haven of Monaco since 1998 and has a fortune of £930 million according to The Sunday Times Rich List.

Former Labour MP Frank Fields, who criticised Green when BHS collapsed in 2016 after he sold it, said Green seems to be “replaying the past”.

Green has faced repeated calls to lose his knighthood in the past after a series of controversies.

Last year, Lord Hain claimed the businessman had “multiple” grievance claims against him, to which Green denied.

The allegations were revealed using the cloak of parliamentary privilege to identify the Topshop boss as the person behind a legal injunction, which was initially preventing the Daily Telegraph from publishing allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse.

Green has not been to the UK since the claims surfaced in October 2018 and has run Arcadia either from his penthouse in Monaco or from Lionheart, his family’s £100 million superyacht.

Arcadia was struggling prior to the coronavirus crisis, since recording an operating loss of £138 million on turnover of £1.8 billion in 2018.

Last year, Arcadia carried out a CVA in an effort to cut rents and close some shops.

It is not alone in its current demise as the Covid-19 crisis has manifested the struggles of some retailers on the UK high street.

Department store chain Debenhams recently revealed that 20 of its stores will never reopen, while many others are closing outlets.

Fast fashion retailer Quiz is closing 11 stores permanently, while Victoria’s Secret and Monsoon Accessorize recently went into administration.

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