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Retail Update - June 2013


Posted At: 20 June 2013 11:16 AM
Related Categories: Retail, Retail Statistics


Although June has seen no reported administrations, the future of a number of high-street brands is hanging in the balance.

• Up to 20 Republic stores face closure after the proportion of landlords willing to agree to the new, softer terms proposed by new owner Mike Ashley’s Sport Direct fell short of the 75% stipulated by the group. As a result, Republic’s outlet in The Lanes shopping centre in Carlisle is to close before the end of the month. The whole chain could still be closed.

• Embattled furniture retailer Dwell has lined up Duff & Phelps as administrator after appointing advisers to explore options for the chain, which includes a pre-pack administration and would continue the on-going demise of the high street.

Jane Shilton’s future is also in jeopardy after takeover talks with Shoon collapsed following heated discussions between the two parties and a difficult year for the footwear industry as a whole. Jane Shilton made a pre-tax loss of £1.9m for the year to 30 June 2012, and followed the previous year’s loss of £575,000.

Following the administration of Coggles in May, it has been confirmed that the Hut Group has completed its acquisition of the company’s assets including its stock and all intellectual property. As a result, all stores have been closed as Coggles will now continue as an online-only operation within the group’s portfolio.
The iconic King’s Road Sporting Club is to close its doors after 20 years of trading, although reasons behind its as-yet-unknown closure date are unclear. It is believed to still be making a profit, and is understood that the freeholders of the property are behind the decision.

In other news, shopping centre developments throughout the UK are restarting for the first time since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, having been previously frozen amid fears that the economic conditions would dampen demand from retailers. Projects in Glasgow, Leeds, Bracknell and Bradford look set to get off the ground having signed up anchor tenants to their schemes. A total of 40% of the development pipeline is to happen in the London area, with the Battersea Power Station development finally beginning, and the redevelopment of Croydon’s Whitgift centre. Developments at Wembley, Earls Court and King’s Cross are also underway.

And finally, Bill Grimsey has launched his own alternative review of Britain’s troubled high streets after accusing Mary Portas of giving ‘false hope’. He has assembled a team, endorsed by Asda chief executive Andy Clarke, which includes Nick Hood from Company Watch, retail commentator Paul Turner Mitchell, and LDC’s Matthew Hopkinson. The report will be submitted to the three main political parties in the autumn.

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