Consumers holding gift cards or vouchers for Topshop, Topman, or Miss Selfridge have been advised to spend them over the next week as the fashion chains’ owner fights the the threat of collapse.
In recent years, shoppers at HMV, House of Fraser, Maplin, Toys R Us and Evans Cycles and several other stores, all had problems using, or were left holding, worthless gift cards after those stores went into administration.
Consumer website MoneySavingExpert.com warned last night that the same fate would have faced those holding gift cards or vouchers from shops controlled by Arcadia, had Sir Philip Green’s retail group called in administrators on Wednesday.
Steve Nowottny, of MoneySavingExpert.com, said on Wednesday: “If a store goes into administration, it can legally stop accepting gift cards, meaning you could lose your cash. So the message for those who have an Arcadia gift card and are worried … is to spend it as soon as possible.”
Shoppers who are planning to take something back to one of the group’s stores for exchange or refund are also advised to do so quickly, refuse a credit note and choose replacement items instead.
Gift cards and voucher sales were worth more than £6bn in the UK last year and have long been a poor choice. In 2014 the government warned that £300m is wasted each year because the recipient either loses them, they expire or they can’t spend the balance.