The British High Street In Crisis: 9 Huge Retailers Who've Been Hit In 2018

And plenty of others have issued profit warnings.

Despite hopes for encouraging Christmas sales, HMV has become the latest high street retailer to go into administration.

On Friday morning it was announced that for the second time in six years, the company has collapsed, leaving over 2,000 jobs at risk.

HMV is far from the first former high street giant to go under this year, while numerous other companies have resorted to closing hundreds of branches in a bid to save their businesses.

Here are 8 others who’ve either closed completely or had a seriously testing 12 months.


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Toys’R’Us was one of the first retailers to go in 2018 when it fell into administration in February.

In a pattern that would soon be repeated by other companies, a last-ditch rescue attempt to find a buyer failed and administrator Moorfields Advisory started an “orderly wind-down” of the company’s stores.

Along with over 100 stores in the UK, Toys’R’Us had a further 1,500 in 33 countries across the globe.


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Just hours after Toys’R’Us announced their administration, the electronics store became the second to go. The demise of the two brands spelled the end for a combined total of 5,500 jobs. Maplins blamed in part the fall in the pound’s value since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

“The business has worked hard over recent months to mitigate a combination of impacts from sterling devaluation post Brexit, a weak consumer environment and the withdrawal of credit insurance,” their chief executive said at the time.

“This necessitated an intensive search for new capital that in current market conditions has proved impossible to raise.

“These macro factors have been the principal challenge not the Maplin brand or its market differentiation.”

New Look

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Fashion brand New Look has managed to stave off administration, by sacrificing 60 of its stores.

The firm blamed a “challenged trading performance and a difficult retail environment” for the move, which is part of a company voluntary agreement (CVA).

It is still facing an uphill battle though and just before Christmas, it was reported that the brand’s debts still total over £1billion.


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The bargain chain collapsed in June 2018 and administrators Deloitte struggled to find a buyer, with two huge deals falling through.

By August, all of Poundworld’s 355 stores had shut, bringing the total number of job losses to 5,500.

House Of Fraser

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While many of the department stores branches are still standing, it’s been an incredibly tough year for this retailer.

When the company went into administration, Sports Direct bought it out for £90m in early August — but the problems did not end there.

Following the sale, issues with online orders being severely delayed led to the cancellation of thousands of purchases, further angering customers.

In a truly surreal twist, one woman then became an unlikely national hero when she took matters into her own hands, and brazenly carried a sofa they owed her out of the Darlington branch.


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DIY superstore Homebase is yet another giant that is battling to stay out of administration.

In late August, the firm secured approval from creditors to close 42 stores, putting around 1,500 jobs at risk.

The retailer is closing the stores via a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), a controversial insolvency procedure used by struggling firms to shut under-performing shops. The same method was used by New Look.


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The brand closed over 100 stores in 2012 and at least a further 60 will be gone by June 2019.

Their “restructuring” plan means numerous branches across the country are midway through huge sales, with closures about to take place in cities including Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Newport.


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At one point, the department store business was worth over £2billion but this month, it’s value dropped to £46million.

While this figure might still sound impressive, the huge decline in company worth signalled dire times with shares subsequently dropping to a new low of 3.8p.

In just 12 months, the share value has slumped by 90% and came two months after Debenhams announced a ÂŁ491.5 million loss instead of profits and plans to close around 50 stores.


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