The high street giant has hired Deloitte to handle the next steps after the pandemic ‘severely impacted’ sales across its brands.
More than 13,000 staff face across the British Isles – including Jersey – now face an anxious wait for news about their jobs.
No redundancies have been announced as a result of the appointment and stores will continue to trade for at least the immediate future.
Ian Grabiner, chief executive of Arcadia, said: ‘This is an incredibly sad day for all of our colleagues as well as our suppliers and our many other stakeholders.
‘The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the forced closure of our stores for prolonged periods, has severely impacted on trading across all of our brands.
‘Throughout this immensely challenging time our priority has been to protect jobs and preserve the financial stability of the group in the hope that we could ride out the pandemic and come out fighting on the other side.
‘Ultimately, however, in the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe.’
Retail trade union Usdaw has said it is seeking urgent meetings with Arcadia’s administrators in a bid to preserve jobs.
The administrators said they will be ‘assessing all options available’, which could see brands sold off in separate rescue deals.
Arcadia will continue to honour all online orders made over the Black Friday weekend and will continue to operate all of its current sales channels.
Matt Smith, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: ‘We will now work with the existing management team and broader stakeholders to assess all options available for the future of the group’s businesses.
‘We will be rapidly seeking expressions of interest and expect to identify one or more buyers to ensure the future success of the businesses.’