High street battling the worst trading conditions for five years

High street battling the worst trading conditions for five years

Major high street stores hit by retail woes

A study of 500 high streets by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Local Data Company found 2,692 stores had vanished in the first six month of the year.

Debenhams has revealed plans to axe up to 50 high street shops (Stefan Rousseau/PA)MoreDebenhamsThe department store chain announced plans to close 50 branches in October, accelerating an existing disposal plan after it made a record annual loss.

Gourmet Burger KitchenThe posh burger chain has revealed plans to close 17 of its 85 restaurants after tough competition took a bite out of its performance.

Other restaurants that have undertaken company voluntary arrangements so far this year include Carluccios, Byron, Prezzo, Gaucho and Jamies Italian.

 House of FraserThe department store fell into administration and was bought by Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley.

He has said he will aim to keep 47 of the 59 stores open, with three closures in Edinburgh, Hull and Swindon already announced.

Marks & SpencerHigh street stalwart M&S is to shut 100 stores by 2022 in a radical overhaul of its estate.

Profits at the company have slumped by almost two-thirds due to the costly closure plan combined with a decline in sales across key departments.

The business was hit by falling footfall, alongside rising costs and weak consumer confidence. All stores have now been closed.

Toys R Us fell into administration in February (Aaron Chown/PA)MoreToys R UsThe toy chain went into administration on the last day of February after failing to find a third-party buyer.

It came after HMRC sought to recover £15 million in unpaid VAT and this finally tipped the company into administration.

MaplinOne of the UKs biggest electronics retailers collapsed into administration on the same day as Toys R Us after talks with buyers failed to secure a sale.

The business faced the slump in the pound after the Brexit vote, weak consumer confidence and a withdrawal of credit insurance.

MothercareThe ailing baby goods and maternity retailer will close 50 to 60 stores as part of a planned turnaround.

CarpetrightThe embattled flooring firm is embarking on a store closure programme, also part of a restructuring, after announcing heavy losses.

New Look has cut 1,000 jobs (Yui Mok/PA)MoreNew LookThe clothing chain announced earlier this year it would close 60 UK stores and cut 1,000 jobs as part of a financial restructuring.

Conviviality RetailingThe major drinks and off-licence supplier, which owns Wine Rack and Bargain Booze, went into administration in early April.

The company had grown too quickly by merger, there were a series of profit warnings and a £30 million tax bill for which Conviviality was forced to ask for extra funds from investors – who refused.

Warren EvansThe bed, mattress and furniture retailer in London and the south-east went into administration one week after putting itself up for sale.

The company, known for its ethical stance, had been losing money for some time under the pressure of rising costs and shrinking customer spending.

CalvetronThe owner of Jacques Vert, Windsmoor, Dash and Eastex fashion brands, which ran about 300 UK concessions in stores including Debenhams and House of Fraser, went into administration at the start of May.

Juice CorporationThe firm behind fashion brand Joe Bloggs and the retailer that designed the wedding dress for Diana, Princess of Wales, collapsed into administration in January.

CoastWomenswear retailer Coast went into administration in mid-October, impacting 300 jobs at 24 stores.

But sister brand Karen Millen bought out parts of the business, rescuing around 600 jobs at 145 department store concessions.

HIGH street shops closed at a rate of around 14 a day in the first half of the year, while openings were down a third, a report suggests.

Retailers are battling the worst trading conditions for five years, with the growth of internet shopping and business rates blamed for the challenging climate.

The rise of “in-home leisure” – people preferring to spend free time and entertain at home rather than go out and about – is also suspected of taking a bite out of earnings.

Italian restaurants including Jamie Olivers chain are said to have been particularly badly hit by the change, while retailers such as Toys R Us and Maplin have gone to the wall as more people shop online.

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