Arcadia Group, which owns High Street retailers such as Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Burton, has collapsed into administration.
The collapse of the retail empire owned by British businessman and billionaire Philip Green has put 13,000 jobs at risk.
Administrators from Deloitte have been appointed after the pandemic ‘severely impacted’ sales across Arcadia brands.
The troubled retailers promoted Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts over the weekend, with Topshop and Miss Selfridge offering 25% off everything.
If you made a Black Friday or Christmas purchase from one of the affected stores, you might be concerned about your items not arriving or being stuck with clothes you want to return.
Here, we explain what the situation is at the moment for online orders, gift cards and returns.
Can I still use gift cards or vouchers?
For now, you can still spend your gift cards or vouchers, though some customers have experienced difficulties using them online.
The administrators told us the technical issues are being worked on, and that vouchers can be used in-store.
That said, gift cards can only be used to fund 50% of the total purchase, meaning you’ll have to pay for the other half with your own money.
It’s not uncommon for High Street stores to refuse gift vouchers after going bust.
We recommend against buying vouchers or gift cards for the beleaguered retailers as Christmas Presents this year.
If you’re holding onto a gift voucher for one of the retailers, we’d recommend spending it soon in case the stores stop accepting them entirely.
And if you’ve bought anyone a gift card for recent birthdays it’s worth letting them know too.
If the retailers do start refusing gift cards, you’ll need to make a claim in writing to the administrators with proof of your vouchers.
There’s no guarantee you’ll get all of your money back though, and it could take up to 12 months to process the claim properly.
|Arcadia Group retailers|
Can I return a Black Friday or Christmas purchase?
Arcadia brands are still trading despite falling into administration, so you should be able to make returns as normal for now.
But the retailers could take the decision not to accept returns, so it’s worth sending any unwanted items back as soon as possible to avoid losing out.
Which? also heard from customers who struggled to secure refunds from Arcadia-owned stores earlier on in the pandemic.
Dorothy Perkins customer, Jenny, had to chase her refund after sending back £80 worth of maternity clothes in the summer.
‘It was like my return disappeared into a void,’ she recalled. ‘I tried to contact Dorothy Perkins but there’s no phone number or email address, you can only submit an online form. I submitted a few of these forms but never had a response.’
Jenny was eventually refunded by Dorothy Perkins, but almost two months after returning the order in June.
If you are looking to get a refund we recommend taking a trip to the store or post office swiftly.
What if my order doesn’t arrive?
The administrators say they’ll be honouring all online orders made over the Black Friday weekend, and will continue trading in-store (in line with COVID-19 guidance), as well as online.
If this changes and your order isn’t delivered, you’ll need to write to the appointed administrators for a refund.
What if I’ve bought from a concession in Debenhams?
Arcadia is the biggest concession in Debenhams, and many stores will have a Topshop, Miss Selfridge or Dorothy Perkins to browse.
If you’ve bought something from a Debenhams concession and want to return or exchange it, it’s best to do this as promptly as possible.
It’s worth also noting that you can’t use any Arcadia vouchers at a concession in Debenhams.
We’ve asked Debenhams whether it will accept returns and exchanges for purchases made with Arcadia brands – we’ll update this page when we find out more.
What are my consumer rights when a company goes bust?
If you struggle to get your money back for unwanted, faulty or missing items, there are a few other routes to securing a refund.
- If you paid by credit card and spent more than £100, you can make a claim with your credit provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
- You can make a chargeback claim with your bank if you paid by debit card.
- You can make a claim in writing to the administrator explaining what you’re owed and what for.
Find out more about your rights when a retailer goes bust.