Clothing retailers account for 41% of business administrations in last 10 years

High streets task force clothing retailers

The scale of clothing retailers which fell into administration during 2010-1019 has been revealed by commercial financial experts, ABC Finance, as a staggering 41% of all UK business administrations in that period.

ABC Finance investigated the closures of almost 9,000 locations and over 125,000 redundancies to reveal the full scale of “Administration Britain”. The findings highlight the impact that the administrations are having on the high street, unemployment and even Britain’s GDP.

The research has uncovered the top 10 biggest clothing stores to have entered administration or filed for a CVA (Company Voluntary Agreement), from 2010-2019.

At number one and two were JJB Stores and Peacocks, which both fell into administration in 2012, with job losses of 3,500 and 3,350 respectively. At number three, Bonmarché went in 2019, with 2,900 job losses, Adams took the number four slot for 2,000 job losses in 2010, the same year as Faith at number five with 1,700 job losses.

Bank, Ethel Austin, La Senza, New Look, Internacionale and Austin Reed completed the table of the biggest clothing stores to be hit.

Speaking to ABC Finance, Mark Pacitti, CFA, founder and managing director of Woozle Research, said: “The main issues here are that the problems retailers are facing is one of high rents, rising business rates, low margins, weaker foot traffic, economic headwinds, and shifts towards online.

“These factors are lowering revenues and profits at most high street retailers and their ability to pay back debt is hugely questionable. They are in a structural decline and one which requires radical rethinks of their business models which few retailers, management teams, or creditors can really stomach.”

The retail closures in the 10-year period knocked £1.5bn off the UK’s GDP. The report says it’s easy to view the UK’s issues on the high street as isolated, but it has a knock-on effect across the entire economy.