Hotel veteran Andrew Coppel will take the reins of Sir Philip Green’s retail empire, Arcadia, which is facing a turnaround process as it prepares for perhaps its most important Christmas to date.
Coppel takes on the challenging job as the chairman of Arcadia, Topshop/Topman, and Taveta Investments. News of his potential appointment emerged last night.
He comes to the job just months after Arcadia entered a company voluntary agreement (CVA). which allowed it to keep trading, while paying off debt over time.
Arcadia had been thrown into turmoil after feeling the pinch from a struggling high street.
Coppel, 69, said he was “delighted” to be appointed to the chairman’s position, but hinted at how tricky the job could be.
“Whilst the group is not immune to the challenges affecting the UK retail sector, it owns several outstanding high street brands,” he said.
His experience in the property-heavy hotel sector is likely to be a major boon to his work with Arcadia, which has been forced to renegotiate terms with landlords.
He spent five years at the head of hotel group De Vere, and most of the 1990s and early 2000s at Queens Moat Houses, another hotel business.
Arcadia chief executive Ian Grabiner said: “Since we completed our restructuring process over the summer, we have been making good progress with our plans, focusing investment on delivering better customer experiences, improving our digital offer and extending our wholesale partnerships.
“Despite the ongoing headwinds for UK retailers, I am confident this progress will continue.”
Having won plaudits for amassing a retail empire which spanned BHS, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, Sir Philip Green has struggled to regain his reputation after BHS entered administration in 2016.
The businessman to whom Sir Philip sold BHS for £1 a year before it collapsed, Dominic Chappell, was earlier this month barred from being a company director for 10 years.
Investigators found that Mr Chappell had moved money around the business in the days leading up to its collapse.