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What is going on with the UK High Street?

7th March 2018

New Look is the most recent “High Street” name to announce that is suffering from financial woes, and that it  is looking to obtain its creditors’ approval to a Company Voluntary Arrangement, supervised by Grant Thornton, which, it is hoped, will allow it to restructure its business and avoid the appointment of administrators.

This continues a worrying trend for UK retail, with the appointment of administrators to Toys R Us UK and Maplin last week, and the closure of branches of the restaurant chains, Byron and Prezzo, in order to consolidate their businesses to try to weather the current retail landscape.

Industry experts identify several reasons for the recent problems experienced by retailers, including, wider economic conditions, such as;  the continuing squeeze on incomes, the reduced buying power of consumers due to inflation, wage stagnation and the falling pound and the cultural shift from High Street to online shopping and resultant change in shopping tastes.

The retailers themselves though have not been able or been too slow to adapt themselves, for reasons ranging from over-expansion, increased overheads and being over-burdened by debt.

Although we hear more about large retail chains failing, the reasons for their failures can affect smaller scale retail businesses in exactly the same way.

Our insolvency team at Morisons Solicitors has enormous experience in the retail and restaurant/leisure sectors, having advised clients from national chains to more local retail businesses on restructuring options, and hopefully avoiding formal insolvency.  Our wider team regularly advises on the impact insolvency or restructuring has on landlords and suppliers.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of the financial challenges facing retail business, please contact Pamela Muir, from our Insolvency and Restructuring department.

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