Retail failures this year

The harder they come the harder they fall

Retailers who tasted the bitterness of insolvency in 2018

There seems no end to the number of High Street casualties this year with the likes of Maplins, House of Fraser and Toys R Us all going to the wall or having to be drastically downsized or rescued.

ICSM through its members keeps track of businesses across the country and its network of contacts means fewer printers, hauliers and courier companies have been caught out by these failures. In retail alone this year 50,000 people are looking for another job, thousands of suppliers have received little or no payment while in the High Streets of the UK this year there are around 2,000 extra empty shops. Jamie Oliver Italian alone left debts of £71.5m of which £30.2m were overdrafts and loans, £41.3m was owed to HMRC, landlords, suppliers and other creditors including printers. And his staff were owed £2.2m. So it is important not to get caught out.

These are just some of the other retailing casualties: the 14 stores of furniture chain Warren Evens went to the wall earlier this year leaving scores of customers out of pocket having taken their cash but not delivered their beds and leaving printers unpaid. Juice Corporation, the owner of designer brands Elizabeth Emmanuel, Joe Bloggs, Gabicci, Rawcroft and Loyalty & Faith, went into administration at the end of January while the jeans brand Joe Bloggs also went down dragged down by the Juice Corporation. The 34 fashion stores of East closed for the second time in January leaving 320 without a job and another nine stores closed down owned by Nice 'N' Naughty Leisurewear after it was hit by cash-flow problems. Countrywide Farmers went into administration in March and Toys R Us famously hit the buffers in February making 800 lose their jobs. Another big name was Maplin with 200 stores and 2,500 workers failed to find a buyer before administration.

Others include Cloggs, the specialist footwear retailer owned by J D Sports, while House of Fraser were bought out of administration after just an hour by Sports Direct in a pre-pack for £90m. Others were Poundworld with 50 stores, Gaucho (an Argentine themed restaurant group), went into administration in July and Flooring Republic with 22 stores hit the rocks. Fabb Sofas,  Henri Lloyd,  Bags Etc, (also called Domo) and Bench, a fashion retailer focused on streetwear with 20 stores and 176 staff have gone, and Betterware, an old-established firm based in Birmingham went in April with 94 staff losing their jobs. We all remember Kleeneze, the long established household and beauty products company, whose catalogues and merchandise are delivered and sold by door-to-door salespeople, went into administration in mid-April. And Conviviality Retailing who owned Wine Rack and Bargain Booze also hit the rocks in April taking with them Manchester print firm G&H Sheet-Fed who supplied Manchester United FC with print.

Many more have disappeared but with just eight months gone of this year there are bound to be casualties with rumours of more household names struggling. The fall-out affects suppliers especially those in the printing, signage, graphics, marketing, haulage, courier and allied industries. Which is why joining a trade organisation like ICSM is a worthwhile investment as members do business with every type of company in the UK and thus get early warnings when a business is in trouble.

For more news and views on British industry or to join ICSM and prevent bad debts by getting inside credit information and early warnings of businesses in trouble visit or call +44 (0) 844 854 1850 or email

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