More than 13,000 British retail jobs are at risk after the fashion group Arcadia collapsed into administration late on Monday (November 30).
Arcadia is owned by British tycoon Sir Philip Green and is responsible for the likes of Topshop, Burton, and Dorothy Perkins.
Deloitte has been appointed the group's administrator and will now seek buyers for the brands.
It says no redundancies will be immediately announced and its some 500 stores in the UK and abroad will continue to trade for the time being.
Philip Green, who was pictured over the weekend in Monaco where his 130 million dollar super yacht is docked, did not respond to requests for comment.
But his CEO placed the retail group's demise on the global health crisis.
While lockdowns may have pushed Arcadia over the edge, the group's brands have been struggling in recent years, due to underinvestment and a failure to adapt to an online retail environment.
A restructuring deal was approved by creditors last year, cutting rents and closing stores, but proved only a temporary respite.
Arcadia's workforce also faces uncertainty over a deficit in the company's pension fund.
The UK government described the news of Arcadia's collapse as 'incredibly sad,' and says it will support those affected.
Arcadia's entry into adminstration is the country's biggest corporate failure of the health crisis, and represents a huge blow for the UK high street.