British high street: a catalogue of closures
Well-known stores are closing by the day as the recession bites
In the murky wake of a recession, continuing inflation and general economic doom and gloom, the British high street is losing some of its staple names.
As spending in Britain's shops continues to fall - latest retail figures put the drop at 1.4 per cent - and more consumers turn to the internet for cheaper goods, several companies have been forced into administration, and even more teeter on the brink...
• Oddbins. The wine and spirits shop was forced into administration by HM Revenue and Customs in April after a last-ditch debt restructuring deal fell through. Undercut by supermarkets, Oddbins was the latest in a series of smaller alcohol chains to go under, including Unwins and Threshers.
• Habitat. The once-chic furniture and homeware store announced last week that 30 of its UK branches would do into administration. Its three flagship London stores are being bought by Home Retail Group, owners of Argos and Homebase.
• Thorntons. The chocolatier is to close around 180 of its 364 high street stores, following an especially bad Christmas and Easter period. The group hopes to keep its name alive in some locations through franchises.
• Jane Norman. The high-street fashion chain went into administration this week. Possible buyers include Debenhams and Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
• Moben Kitchens. The collapse of Homeform Group will lead to the closure of the kitchen outfitters and its sister chains Dolphin Bathrooms and Sharps Bedrooms unless a buyer can be found.
• Carpetright. The UK's leading carpet retailer will be shutting dozens more of its 559 stores, despite already closing 27 earlier this year.
• T J Hughes. The department store chain, based in Liverpool, said this week that it would be appointing administrators after a significant downturn in trade. ·
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