Blog: UK high street takes a hit
Leonie Barrie | 30 June 2011
There's no doubt that times are tough on the UK high street, and if evidence was needed then look no further than today's news that department store chain TJ Hughes has gone into administration, putting 4,000 jobs at risk. Its decision comes hot on the heels of a similar move by women's fashion retailer Jane Norman where, despite the sale of 33 of its 94 stores to fellow retailer Edinburgh Woollen Mills, more than 1,000 jobs still remain under threat.
Of course the combined effect of tough trading conditions, rising debts and high rents are not unique to fashion retailers. Indeed, in the last few days chocolate firm Thorntons has said it is closing 120 stores, furniture retailer Habitat was placed in administration, and the owner of the Comet electricals retailer is mulling a sale.
But clothes are among the first purchases to go when shoppers - themselves facing low wage growth, a tight squeeze on disposable income, and concerns about job security - cut back on non-essential items in order to pay for higher food and petrol prices instead.
And even chains like Debenhams, which today bucked the high street gloom to post a 3% rise in like-for-like sales so far in its second half admits its performance has come at a cost: cutting prices and increasing promotions to drive revenues have eaten into gross margins.
Worryingly, observers are finding it hard to be optimistic about any respite over the next year either, warning the underlying problem of low consumer confidence will be hard to fix.
Mike Flanagan, CEO at industry consultancy Clothesource, spent the first six months of 2016 campaigning to stay in the EU. Not once, he says, did he hear his opponents - or anyone in Britain's new, Br...
Apparel imports into the US took a tumble in June, even though more than half of the top-ten supplier countries booked growth....
Performance footwear and apparel brand Under Armour is evolving thanks to the imminent launch of a new sportswear line that will help broaden its appeal to a more mainstream audience, and the signing ...
Ethiopia's flagship industrial park in Hawassa city, south of the capital Addis Ababa, has finally opened, dedicated solely to the textile and apparel sector....
- Supply chain takeaways from Sourcing at MAGIC
- Cotton supply chain transparency an ongoing issue
- No simple way to be sustainable, says SAC CEO
- Why voters don’t want more global supply chains
- Denim and athleisure top picks for back-to-school
- Li & Fung eyes supply chain speed in 3-year plan
- Zara USA faces US$5m deceptive pricing lawsuit
- EU clothing imports from China continue to plunge
- EU relaxes origin rules on Jordan clothing exports
- US Q2 in brief - Sears, Burlington, Tilly's
- Too Many Standards
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Under Armour, Inc. (UA) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review
- Myanmar's Garment Sector in 2015 - now with updated members' directory
- Central America strategic sourcing review - a focus on Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras