The demise of the high street continues with the collapse of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia, here’s a run through of 20, 2020 casualties:
|1||Bon Marche||Cut price clothing||2/12/20||225 stores|
|Rescue deal on the cards|
|30/11/20||13,000 Jobs||Looking for buyers|
|Deals in the pipeline|
|4||M&Co||Clothing – formally Mackays||Aug ’20||lost 47 stores & 381 jobs||Bought out & restructured|
|5||DW Sports||Sportswear||Aug ’20||1700 jobs||Closing down|
|6||Oliver Sweeney||Prestige Shoes||July ’20||7 stores||Stores all closing, online only|
|7||Peter Jones||Gifts & Homeware||July ’20||70 staff||Liquidation expected|
|8||Norville Group||Spectacles||July ’20||no redundancies||Bought out|
|9||Bensons Beds||Beds||June ’20||no redundancies||Bought out|
|10||Harveys||Furniture||June ’20||105 stores|
|11||TM Lewin||Shirts & Ties||June ’20||600 jobs||Going online only|
|12||Bertram books||Books||June ’20||450 jobs||Gone|
|13||Go Outdoors||Outdoor sports equipment||June ’20||2,400 jobs||Bought out|
|14||Oak Furniture land||Furniture||June ’20||1,491 jobs||Bought out|
|15||Monsoon||Fashion||June ’20||197 stores||Bought out|
|16||Victoria’s Secret||Lingerie||June ’20||800 jobs||Searching for buyer|
|17||Oasis & Waterhouse||Clothing||April’20||All!||Closed indefinitely|
|18||Debenhams||Department store||April’20||12,000 jobs||?|
|19||Cath Kidston||Designer accessories||Mar ’20||900 jobs||Gone|
I hadn’t realised how many there were until I started this list and it is not exhaustive.
I do not think that all of these are purely victims of Covid 19, the decline of the high street had started well before Covid reared its ugly head but I do believe it has been the final nail in the coffin for many. An inability to adapt rapidly enough to the changing demands of society and outdated business structures have rendered many incapable of continuing without major upheaval from the very top or resulted in collapse. For those able to snap up the failing businesses at a snip and commit to total restructure, it has been a boom year and some high street names owe their continued presence to these turnaround artists who have had to be decisive, objective, smart and often brutal.
Online retail is stronger than ever, we just need to look at the expansion of Amazon for evidence of this. Again, this is not just due to the pandemic but the lockdown certainly accelerated the wheels of change.
At Cambridge Finance we have embraced and adapted, with a sudden jump to virtual classrooms and are developing new courses as the priorities of the industry move back towards environmental concerns which have been side-tracked this year. February will see our first climate risk and commercial property valuation course which focuses on this crucial topic and how it can be interwoven into strategy, risk management and decision making.
We will be offering a new eLearning course in the new year – Introduction to real estate life cycles. Keep your eye out for this interactive training solution.