Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds stores close as Topshop sold to online giant

A man walks past the Topshop flagship store at Oxford Circus, London, part of the Arcadia Group. Pic

A man walks past the former Topshop flagship store at Oxford Circus, London. - Credit: KIRSTY O'CONNOR/PA WIRE

Topshop stores across Suffolk and north Essex will not reopen when the lockdown ends after ASOS bought the fashion brand.

The stores — located in Ipswich's Sailmakers shopping centre, the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds and in Colchester's Lion Walk Shopping Centre — will close after the online giant purchased Topshop's brand, stock and intellectual property but not its 70 stores.

ASOS paid £330million for Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT. The funds will go to the creditors of the former Arcadia group.

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds, the town's business improvement district, said: "It is disappointing but not a surprise.

"The Arcadia group has struggled for a number of years. And Covid has just brought the inevitable on sooner.

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"I don't anticipate this will be the last of this sort of news for large retail empires. It's just the way consumer consumer behaviour is altering.

"Topshop was based in one of the largest units in the Arc and there will be casualties among local people who will be looking for new jobs, which is always sad.

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"But all we can do as a town is look to move forward and hope that in the not too distant future a new tenant can be identified."

Mr Cordell said he was sure the Arc's landlords would be looking at various possibilities when it came to letting the unit.

"It can sound patronising and like platitudes but from difficulties there is an opportunity for change," Mr Cordell said. "Businesses that can change and adapt are the ones that are going to do best."

As part of the buyout, approximately 300 former Arcadia group employees across design, buying and retail partnerships will transfer to ASOS.

Arcadia's liquidator, Deloitte, is still in discussions with a potential buy for Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis. 

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