TopShop and other Arcadia stores will only now accept gift cards as half of any purchase as group goes into administration with 13,000 workers facing the axe
- TopShop and other Arcadia stores stopped accepting gift cards online
- Even when used in stores they can only cover half the cost of a purchase
- Administrators are not required to accept gift cards at all but have chosen to
- Some 13,000 jobs are at risk as administrators try to find a new owner
Arcadia gift cards can only be used in full if shoppers spend double their value – as the group goes into administration with 13,000 workers facing the axe.
TopShop and other Arcadia stores stopped accepting gift cards online due to a technical glitch after the company went into administration on Monday.
But even when used in stores, gift cards can only be used to pay half of a purchase, the retail giant revealed on Thursday.
The company told shoppers: ‘Gift cards have been temporarily switched off until further notice. I can confirm you are still able to use gift cards in store, you will only be able to apply 50% of the gift card to your purchase.
TopShop and other Arcadia stores stopped accepting gift cards online due to a technical glitch after the company went into administration on Monday (file image)
‘Apologies for the inconvenience that has been caused.’
The Arcadia group runs 444 stores in the UK and 22 overseas, and includes the Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, and Burton brands.
Administrators for the business will give it space away from creditors to find a potential new buyer. They are not required to accept gift cards but have decided to take them as long as buyers use cash or card to cover 50 per cent of the purchase.
It means the cards are still worth their full value, but shoppers have to spend more to claim it.
Meanwhile, Lady Tina Green, the ultimate owner of the Arcadia fashion group, yesterday announced she was accelerating a planned £50million contribution to its pension fund.
The Arcadia group, owned by Sir Philip Green’s (pictured in Monaco on a 5km walk yesterday) wife Lady Tina Green, runs 444 stores in the UK and 22 overseas
A member of staff unlocking the main entrance for opening at the Topshop Topman store on Princes Street, Edinburgh on Tuesday
Last year she committed to paying £100million into the fund in three instalments as part of a restructuring plan for the group that was agreed by creditors.
In a statement yesterday she said two instalments of £25million had already been paid, with a third and final instalment of £50million not due to be paid until September 2021.
However, the statement said: ‘Lady Green is going to bring this payment forward to be paid in the next 7/10 days to complete the £100million commitment of payment.’
The move came after Ed Miliband said Lady Green and her husband Sir Philip must cover the entire shortfall in the company’s pension scheme. Analysts estimate a pension fund deficit of £350million.
Sir Philip and Lady Green (pictured in 2017) have been urged by MPs to cover the entire shortfall in the Arcadia Group’s pension fund
Mr Miliband, Labour’s shadow business secretary, said Sir Philip ‘owes a moral responsibility’ to Arcadia workers to fill the pensions blackhole.
Some 13,000 staff working across Arcadia brands which include Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton, now face an anxious wait, with Deloitte brought in to handle the next steps after the pandemic ‘severely impacted’ sales.
Some 9,294 employees are currently on furlough, no redundancies have yet been announced and stores will continue to trade, the administrators said, with many due to reopen as England’s lockdown was lifted yesterday.
A spokesman for The Pensions Regulator said it was working ‘to protect the position of the Arcadia pension schemes’ members to the fullest extent possible’.