Blog: Festive sting for retailers

Joe Ayling | 2 January 2009

There was no reprieve for retail businesses in the final week of 2008, as chains including Adams, The Officers Club, Morgan and USC all filed for administration during the festive break.

In addition, there are fears that further companies will fall victim to the financial crisis over the coming months - despite being boosted by Christmas sales and falling interest rates.

In many cases, creditors will have kept a watchful eye on Christmas revenues and January sales with a view of recovering debt while they have the chance to do so.

Should bleak predictions for around 100 total retail casualties per month be correct, then 2009 will be a venomous one for the High Street.

With the casualty list adding to Woolworths' collapse last month, it seems that fringe retailers are struggling to compete with value operators like Tesco and Primark amid sloping demand from consumers.

But the disappearance of established brands like this - and thousands of resulting job losses - is all concrete proof that the banking crisis that dominated the business pages last year has well and truly filtered down to the consumer.

On a positive note, less debt-laden retailers will be looking to snap up their own bargains in 2009, as parts of businesses, remaining stores and brands go on the block.

They know that by the end of this calendar year there might well be some light at the end of the tunnel.

On this final note, Happy New Year from all the team at just-style.

By Joe Ayling, news editor.


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