UK: A New Year tale on woe for Britain’s retail sector

HMV heads a growing list of major retailers which have fallen into administration since Christmas

HMV heads a growing list of major retailers which have fallen into administration since Christmas - Credit: PA

How the post-Christmas collapse of some of the best-known names on the high street has unfolded.

January 9: Specialist camera retailer Jessops collapsed into administration after disappointing pre-Christmas trading failed to generate the expected level of profit for the heavily indebted firm. Two days later, the administrators closed its entire chain of 187 stores, with the loss of 1,370 jobs.

January 15: Ailing music chain HMV called time on its long battle for survival by calling in administrators, putting around 4,000 jobs at risk, after it acknowledged it would be unable to meet conditions attached to its loans.

January 16: DVD and video games rental firm Blockbuster UK followed Jessops and HMV into administration, putting nearly 4,200 jobs at risk, with competition from internet firms and digital streaming of movies and games blamed for its difficulties.

January 19: Administrators at Blockbuster announced plans to close 129 of its 528 shops with the loss of 760 workers in the coming weeks.

January 22: HMV appeared to be thrown a lifeline with news that its debt had been acquired from the ailing group’s banks by restructuring specialist Hilco.

February 8: The administrators of HMV announced plans to close 66 of its shops over the next one to two months, with the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs.

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February 13: Fashion chain Republic collapsed into administration, putting 2,500 jobs at risk. The joint administrators from Ernst & Young, said the group’s 121 shops would continue to trade while it looked for a buyer for the business but announced 150 redundancies at Republic’s headquarters in Leeds.

February 13: Blockbuster’s administrators announced that a further 164 stores would be closed, but said they remained in talks with a number of parties interested in buying parts of the business.