It’s been the year of the high street collapse – or so some would have us believe. But in fact, 30% fewer UK retailers went into administration than in 2018.
Over the eleven months to the end of November, 81 fell into administration, according to KPMG. But the business advisory firm said this was down to the increased use of restructuring methods such as Company Voluntary Arrangements, which increased in number as stores tried desperately to stay afloat.
Here are at some of the well-known retailers which went bust or entered administration in 2019:
LK Bennett – Posh girls’ fashion retailer loved by the Duchess of Cambridge was bought from administration in a rescue deal in April, but said it would close 10 stores with the loss of 110 jobs after a downturn in performance.
Jack Wills – Preppy youth fashion chain collapsed into administration in August before it was snapped up by Sport Direct tycoon Mike Ashley.
Karen Millen – Power suit purveyor’s 32 UK stores were closed in September after it and its casual cousin Coast slid into administration. The brand continues online after being saved by Boohoo.
Links of London – Nothing to do with sausages, the jewellery retailer is in administration after a spell under the ownership of well-named Greek business Folli Follie, leaving its 35 stores and 350 jobs at risk.
Supercuts/Regis – Creditors took a haircut after high street hairdressing chains were saved in a rescue deal by entrepreneur Lee Bushell, in a move which secured 140 of their 200 salons, after they fell into administration.
Bonmarche – Your gran’s favourite value retailer fell into administration in October, before administrators announced a rescue deal was agreed with retailer Peacocks. Nevertheless, it said 30 stores would be closed before Christmas.
Bathstore – Bathroom suites and showers chain fell into administration in June, but 44 of the company’s stores were saved in a rescue deal with Homebase.
Select – The fashion retailer fell into administration in May, before launching a CVA restructuring plan in June.
Thomas Cook – World’s oldest travel agent ended up with a different kind of package as insolvency experts sought buyers for its component parts. They sold 555 of its 800 stores to rival Hays Travel and creditors Fosun snapped up the name to use online.
Oddbins – Collapsed for the secon time in eight years like the office lightweight after one of its bottles of vino. The wine specialist closed a raft of stores after it fell into administration in February.
Debenhams – The department store chain entered administration in April as it sought to reduce its debt and start a major restructuring process, which would result in store closures. Raging Mike Ashley lost out on his investment after the firm snaubbed his rescue deal.
Jessops – Prospects for the camera chain look negative after Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones called in administrators for the property division of the business in December, putting around 500 jobs at potential risk.
Mamas & Papas and Mothercare – Like a dodgy pram, the wheels came off Mamas & Papas as it tumbled into administration and announced the closure of six high street stores. Days before, Mothercare went bust.
The Book People – Staff can only hope for a happy ending after the online Book Seller drafted in administrators just a week before Christmas, putting almost 400 jobs on the line.
Clinton’s – Swapped commiserations for congratulations after 2,500 jobs were saved at the greetings card chain as it was sold back to its original owners. It had fallen into administration on the back of mounting cash flow pressures.
Meanwhile, a raft of retailers shut shops and announced major redundancies to cope with the changing retail landscape.
High street stalwart Marks & Spencer is in the midst of plans to close 100 stores to cut costs, while fellow retail giant Tesco announced plans to cut 4,500 jobs in August.
Elsewhere, Boots confirmed in June that it will close 200 UK stores in another blow for the high street. In May, Sir Philip Green announced plans to shut 23 stores across the UK, including Topshop, Topman and Dorothy Perkins sites, in a move which hit 520 workers.