Online platforms have grown significantly over the past decade, leaving an unmistakable mark on the British high street.
The number of shoppers on the UK high street has fallen by 10% in the last seven years leading to more and more high-profile brands falling victim to the changing times.
A number of previously successful and long-established brands, including Mothercare and Maplin have closed their doors for good.
Mothercare, launched in 1961, built a formidable retail presence in the UK and internationally, with stores in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Administrators were called in on 4 November after the company said it was not able to continue trading at a profit.
After failing to find a buyer for the assets a phased closure of all remaining 79 UK Mothercare branches was instigated, putting almost 2,500 jobs at risk.
Those being made redundant contributed to more than 85,000 retail jobs disappearing in the past year. While the figure is yet to match the 74,539 that were affected by the administration processes in 2008– at the height of the financial crisis – a staggering 42,105 have been hit by the downturn since early November 2019.
The impact of online
Mothercare announced losses of more than £36.3m in the last financial year. This, along with excessive rent bills, wage increases and booming business rates increased the company’s expenses.
The business was already in a CVA process, closing 55 stores where losses were most prevalent and completing the sale of the Early Learning Centre brand to try and return to solvency. A root and branch review came to no avail.
Brands such as New Look, Homebase, and Carpetright have all sought restructuring plans to try and avoid mass closures, and each business liquidation sends the same shockwaves across the industry.
Chris Horner, insolvency director with Business Rescue Expert said: “People can find the same products online for a cheaper price and don’t have to visit the store physically, which can be a difficult juggling act for new parents.”
Indeed, parents of young children suffered a further headache when Mamas and Papas reported its second consecutive year of profit losses.
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