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From the position of the landlords and the pension bodies, it looks like he could do a lot better

Here comes Sir Philip Green, pleading poverty from Monaco. Or rather, it’s Lady Green, as owner of the Arcadia fashion empire, who wants to shrink the business by 23 stores and would like landlords to take a whack in the form of rent cuts and lease re-jigs on another 194 premises in the UK. Arcadia’s Topshops in the US will close. And the affected UK landlords can have 20% of the proceeds from any future sale of Arcadia.

One assumes the Greens think this proposal stands a sporting chance of being accepted by creditors, but two points are worth making. First, the proposed equity injection into Arcadia, at £50m, looks tiny. The company can grumble about “challenging retail headwinds” but the other reason for the state of disrepair is lack of investment. In the context of a group of Arcadia’s size, an extra £50m looks a drop in the Med.

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The group, which has 570 UK shops, needs support of landlords for a deal intended to cut costs

Sir Philip Green plans to close 23 UK stores with the loss of 520 jobs as part of a financial rescue plan for his retail empire, which takes in Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Evans and Burton.

The company is also asking landlords to take rent cuts on up to 194 of its 566 UK stores as part of a rescue package which will also involve the closure of all Topshop’s 11 US stores.

Related: Philip Green offers landlords 20% stake in Arcadia rescue plan

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Topshop and Dorothy Perkins among the 23 stores to close as part of the group’s proposals

Arcadia Group locations set for closure under Sir Philip Green’s CVA proposals (lead brand in brackets):

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MilkshakesBoots and plasticModel railwaysMulhouseWordsearch

No, Aditya Chakrabortty, it is not “political theatre” to throw milkshakes at people (Journal, 22 May), whoever they are. If you condone this you may as well condone the shouting of sexual abuse at females in the street – just a bit of banter, after all. I am no fan of Nigel Farage, but I don’t agree with this attitude – and I do not agree with printing a front-page picture of Farage showing the result of the assault. It simply encourages more of the same outrageous behaviour.
Pam Roud
Somersham, Cambridgeshire

• I too was very unhappy when Boots started packaging my repeat prescription in plastic bags (Report, 18 May). After complaining last year, I was fobbed off to my local recycling systems (although the bags are not recyclable). That they have signed up to the UK Plastics Pact is just a joke.
Julie Goulding
Manchester

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If plan cannot be agreed, the retail magnate’s firm may face administration

Sir Philip Green’s retail empire has offered landlords a 20% stake in the business as he aims to finalise a rescue restructure of his Topshop to Dororthy Perkins group as soon as Wednesday.

In talks intended to clear a path for the closure of about 60 of the group’s 570 stores and rent cuts on dozens more, Green has also offered a £50m cash investment for updating stores and online sales infrastructure at his Arcadia Group.

Related: Philip Green could close overseas stores as part of Arcadia rescue

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Brazil’s Natura Cosméticos reportedly expected to swoop on doorstep-selling firm

The Brazilian owner of the Body Shop has agreed to buy Avon Products in a deal that values the US cosmetics company at more than $2bn (£1.58bn), according to reports.

Natura Cosméticos was expected to announce the takeover as early as Wednesday, the Financial Times reported. After the deal, Natura would control more than three-quarters of the combined group. The remaining shares would be owned by Avon shareholders.

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M&S annual profits almost wiped out by a £440m bill for a modernisation programme

Marks & Spencer is accelerating its retreat from the high street by closing a further 20 of its full-line stores, which sell clothing and food under one roof.

The retailer said it planned to close 85 of its big high street stores, on top of the 35 it has already shut. The company is battling the transfer of clothing sales online and it had already told the City to expect about 100 closures.

Related: Jamie Oliver's empire collapses as 22 UK restaurants close

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Mulhouse has turned around its image and now boasts more shops opening than closing, thanks to smart planning, investment and community efforts

On a lane in what was once considered eastern France’s grimmest town, a street artist is up a ladder finishing a mural, the independent bookshop has a queue at the till, the organic cooperative is full of customers and Séverine Liebold’s arty independent tea shop is doing a brisk trade.

When Liebold opened Tilvist in Mulhouse three years ago, in a space that had been vacant for years, friends tried to persuade her against it. “They said: ‘Not Mulhouse, look elsewhere,’” she recalls. “But I stuck with my instinct, and I was right.”

As a series of crises puts Europe under strain, some cities are fighting back with innovative solutions. From hyper-specialist shops beating the online threat in Berlin to the Bulgarian city reversing the country's brain drain, from the Italian city finding new ways to tackle addiction to gambling to the Swedish town that has found innovative ways to combat extremism, we look at what European cities are doing to live better in our increasingly urban world.

The idea was to create somewhere where people feel good, to re-appropriate our town centre as a kind of agora, the place where everyone can meet

We can’t just concentrate on the small central perimeter, nor simply on shops – there has to be a vision of the town as a whole

Related: How the 'Las Vegas of Italy' is kicking its slot machine addiction

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Creditors have until 6 June to challenge two company voluntary arrangement deals

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct group is trying to muster support for a legal challenge to a Debenhams restructure package that was given the green light this month.

Creditors have until 6 June to challenge two company voluntary arrangement (CVA) deals under which Debenhams plans to to close at least 22 stores of the group’s 166 stores and reduce rents on dozens more.

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Retail empire needs to secure deal with landlords to avoid going into administration

Sir Philip Green is considering closing down overseas stores as part of a rescue restructure for his retail empire, which could be announced as early as this week.

Arcadia, the group led by Green which owns a string of ailing high street fashion brands including Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Wallis, says it needs to secure a deal involving about 50 UK store closures, rent cuts and a reduction in pension fund payments.

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