Blog: Leonie BarrieDownturn at Dolcis

Leonie Barrie | 23 January 2008

The demise of Dolcis is being hailed as the first big high street casualty of the credit crunch. Even the administrator tasked with trying to sell the shoe retailer, KPMG, has admitted that the business is a victim of tough trading conditions and is feeling the impact of tighter consumer spending.

But signs that all was not well with traditional shoe retailers have been around for some time. For much of the past five years chains such as Dolcis have been losing market share to fashion specialists such as New Look, Topshop and Primark for whom footwear has been an obvious source of extra revenue as their core clothing markets slow. Supermarkets too, such as Asda with its George range, have been able to benefit from the one-stop shop approach to buying everything from food to fashion to footwear under one roof.

In the face of such competition, traditional shoe sellers just haven’t been up to the challenge. Competing with the fashionability and newness of footwear ranges from clothing specialists has proved a hard act to follow, as has the convenience of buying a complete outfit under one roof.

The administrators of Dolcis are hopeful that a buyer will be found, given the strength of the brand. But there are also those who fear the retailer has simply reached the end of the road and may well be the first in a long line of retail victims whose vulnerability is exposed by tough trading conditions.

UK: Dolcis shoe chain goes into administration


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