Monday, 23 January 2012

Retail Administrations Cost 15,000 Jobs in 2011

The number of major high street administrations surged in 2011, creating a sharp increase in both store closures and job losses. 

According to research conducted by The Retail Database for its new Administration Watch, in 2011 major high street multiples closed a total of 909 stores as a result of falling into administration - a 144% increase on the previous year. 

The corresponding loss of jobs, inclusive of head office and warehouse positions, was estimated to be 14,892 - a 210% increase on 2010. The sharper rise in job losses compared to store closures in part reflects the closure of large scale stores such as TJ Hughes, in which the shutting of one unit not only leaves a large hole in the high street, it also leaves a much larger number of people out of work. 

Despite a marked downturn in the economy during the second half of the year, Junewas the worst month for retail failures with the likes of Habitat, Jane Norman and TJ Hughes falling into administration, leading to a large number of store closures and job losses. 

The outlook for 2012 is one of continued difficulty for the retailing sector. January has already seen some high profile casualties in the form of La Senza, Peacocks, Pumpkin Patch, Blacks / Millets and Past Times. Although not all store closures and job losses associated with these administrations have been decided yet, the figures for this month have already surpassed January 2011.

Administration graph

Saturday, 7 January 2012

London 2012 - Merchandise licensee order-books closing soon

The Olympic Games will be a great opportunity for retailers both small and large to capitalise upon thousands of people coming to the UK to watch and enjoy the Olympic experience.

With the production of official London 2012 Olympic merchandise closely controlled by licence, shops will have to order products from a small list of official suppliers.

However, with unprecedented demand, many of these suppliers will soon by closing their order books.  According to London 2012, if retailers haven't placed their order by the end of February they are likely to completely miss out on any official merchandise.

Although I'm sure that all of the big high street stores will be well aware of this, but many smaller retailers won't be. As someone who grew up near Much Wenlock in Shropshire (the birthplace of the modern Olympics), I know that many of the small independent shops on the high street are hoping for a bonanza year, as tourists from home and abroad flock into the town to enjoy the Olympic experience and the many events being held in the lead up to the Games.  It would be a terrible shame if these small shops missed out on this opportunity.

Much Wenlock High Street
For more information about which companies have licences to product official Olympic merchandise: