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THE YEAR IN REVIEW: The big UK high-street brands that shut up shop in 2019

By Charlotte Ricca

A total of 44 retailers including Mothercare entered administration in the six months leading up to September

It’s not been a great year for the UK high street, as retailers face growing competition from online operators such as Amazon.

According to KPMG, 44 retail businesses entered administration in the six months leading up to September, including a number of big brands.

Here are some that went bust or entered administration in 2019.

December

Camera retailer Jessops, owned by entrepreneur Peter Jones, called in administrators for its property arm, JR Prop Limited, putting 500 jobs at risk.

November

Nursery brand Mamas & Papas fell into administration but was bought back by its private equity owner, Bluegem Capital Partners. Six shops are closing with the loss of nearly 130 jobs.

Baby and children specialist Mothercare collapsed, leading to the closure of its 79 stores and loss of 2,800 jobs.

October

Bonmarché fell into administration. The fashion chain is still trading and Peacocks was named by administrators as the preferred bidder in late November. However, at least 30 of its 318 shops are to close leading to the loss of 240 jobs.

Links of London has gone into administration. Owed by Greek business Folli Follie, the jewellery retailer has 35 stores, putting 350 jobs at risk.

September

Travel group Thomas Cook was the most notable failure on the high street, collapsing with 800 stores although 555 of these were saved by rival Hays Travel.

August

All Karen Millen and Coast's 32 UK stores were closed after going into administration, although the fashion brand's online business was saved by Boohoo.

Clothing brand Jack Wills had about 100 stores and 1,700 staff when it went into administration. It has been bought by Sports Direct (owned by Mike Ashley) and 98 stores are still trading in the UK and Ireland.

Baked potato restaurant chain Spudulike closed all 37 stores with the loss of around 300 jobs when it entered administration.

June

Specialist bathroom retailer Bathstore went into administration, putting 132 stores and 529 staff at risk. Homebase bought 44 of them, saving 154 jobs.

May

Fashion chain Select fell into administration but launched a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) restructuring plan in June. As a result only 11 of its 180 stores closed, saving around 1,800 jobs.

All but three of Jamie Oliver's 25 UK restaurants closed in May with the loss of 1,000 jobs after the business called in administrators.

April

Department store Debenhams entered administration in a bid to reduce debt and start a major restructuring process. The chain is now owned by its lenders, saving most of its 166 stores. However, two will close before Christmas and another 20 in January, resulting in the loss of 1,200 jobs.

March

Pretty Green, Liam Gallagher's men's clothing and accessories brand, had 12 shops and around 170 employees when it went into administration. All but one outlet and 33 concessions closed with 100 jobs lost. However, JD Sports bought the company at the beginning of April, saving 67 jobs.

Luxury fashion brand LK Bennett was bought from administration by Chinese franchise partner, Rebecca Feng. The deal saved 21 stores, all the group’s concessions and 325 jobs, although 15 LK Bennett shops closed with a loss of 110 jobs.

January

Café chain Patisserie Valerie went into administration in January following “potentially fraudulent” accounting irregularities. Around 70 of the group’s 200 cafés closed immediately with the loss of 900 jobs. It was then rescued by Causeway Capital, saving 100 cafés and about 2,000 jobs, although more than 20 of these cafés have since been closed.

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