Clipper Logistics is set to transfer around 70 drivers on its Arcadia delivery partnership to other contracts and will lose “minimal” amounts on the deal, following the retail giant’s collapse, has learnt.

Clipper Logistics won the store delivery partnership with Arcadia Group earlier this year after DHL Supply Chain declined to renew the deal. Other bidders included Wincanton and XPO.

The contract, which is operated from distribution centres at Milton Keynes and Leeds, employs around 70 drivers and involves approximately 3,000 deliveries a week. Arcadia Group’s fashion brands include Burtons, Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins and Evans.

This week union Unite called on Clipper Logistics to protect the 70 jobs transferred from DHL Supply Chain to Clipper Logistics in August when Clipper took over the contract.

Clipper Logistics declined to comment. However, industry sources told that the logistics firm is preparing to transfer the staff to other contracts to help meet rising demand as the firm’s online volumes continue to soar, boosted by a record Black Friday and Cyber Monday performance.

A source said: “The DHL drivers who were transferred over to Clipper, when it took over the contract, will be very useful on other Clipper contracts - Clipper is seeing record volumes over this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”

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The source added that Clipper was set to make “minimal” losses on the contract and that the company had entered the deal fully aware of the fragility of Arcadia and prepared for any risks.

“The DHL/Arcadia trucks are at the end of their leases at the year end and there are no large amounts of money outstanding as there were no deliveries last month,” the source said.

The loss of the Arcadia Group delivery deal is expected to be more than offset by the continued rise in online sales volumes resulting from the pandemic.

In June, Clipper Logistics reported “unprecedented” volume increases under lockdown with retail customers’ online sales outstripping Black Friday 2019 levels by 100%. The company said at the time that the new activity had also helped contribute to a significantly larger tender pipeline worth around £50m.

Clipper also landed several major online retail deals this year including a major contract with online brand Pretty Little Things, a subsidiary of Boohoo which is tipped as a potential buyer for parts of the Arcadia Group.

One industry source said: “Clipper is already the delivery partner for Pretty Little Things which is part of Boohoo, putting it in a pretty strong position if Boohoo buys up part of Arcadia.”