High Street retailers: Who has been hit hardest?

The High Street has been suffering in the consumer downturn. Customers have been watching their pennies amid concerns about high inflation and job security.

Here are some of the retailers who have been hit hardest over the past year or so.

Company UK employees UK stores Troubles faced Steps taken
Republic store


  • 2,500
  • 121
  • Expanded rapidly about 10 years ago but sales failed to keep up
  • Its target youth market has been the hardest hit demographic of the recession, plus it has faced increasing competition from online
Blockbusters sign

Blockbuster UK

  • 4,190
  • 528
  • Increasing competition from online firms streaming films over the internet as well as rentals through the post
HMV logo


  • 4,350
  • 239

(230 HMV stores and 9 Fopp stores)

  • Sales of CDs and DVDs undermined by competition from supermarkets, online retailers and online downloads
  • Expansion into live music (now abandoned) and sales of electrical gadgets have failed to stem the overall sales decline
Jessops logo


  • 1,534
  • 187
  • Hit by increasing competition from supermarkets and internet retailers
  • Improving quality of cameras on smart phones means people think less about buying a dedicated camera
Comet logo


  • 6,611
  • 236
  • Economic downturn led many to put off purchases of big-ticket items such as TVs and large appliances
  • Sales of such items have moved increasingly online
JJB Sports

JJB Sports

  • 4,000
  • 180
  • Sales had been in decline for five years as the over-indebted firm was unable to compete with the pricing of its far more successful rival Sports Direct
Branch of Clinton Cards

Clinton Cards

  • 8,300, of which 4,800 are full-time posts
  • More than 750 shops, including 139 Birthdays stores
  • Sales hit as consumers rein in spending, while the retailer has also faced competition from supermarkets and the internet
  • Two loans to the firm from UK banks were sold to Clinton's largest creditor - American Greetings - and then immediately called in
Aquascutum catwalk show


  • 250
  • 10 stores and 16 concessions
  • New owners, who bought the 160-year-old brand in 2009, were unable to stop the losses amid tough economic times in the UK
  • Crucially, it doesn't own the right to sell its luxury products in fast-growing Asian markets
  • Went into administration on 17 April 2012
  • Up to 30 out of 115 jobs were saved when administrators agreed to sell the Corby factory Swaine Adeney Brigg
  • The brand, including the UK stores, has been sold to Hong Kong's YGM Trading
Ellie Louise website

Ellie Louise

  • 439
  • 97
  • Cash flow problems caused by both "challenging" trading conditions, and buying the Trade Secret brand in 2010
Game logo

Game Group

  • 5,800 in the UK and Republic of Ireland
  • 600
  • Seen increasing number of customers switch to online rivals
  • Company also saddled with debts linked to its £74m purchase of rival GameStation in 2007
  • Confirmed on 13 March that its key suppliers were now refusing to do business


  • 9,600
  • 611 stores and 49 concessions
Pumpkin Patch advert

Pumpkin Patch

  • 400
  • 36
  • Consumer downturn has seen the children's clothes firm struggle in the past six months
Past Times logo

Past Times

  • 500
  • 51
  • Before administrators were appointed, the company closed 46 stores resulting in 507 job losses and closed 72 "pop up" stores
  • KPMG made 67 redundancies on appointment and is looking for buyers for all or parts of the firm
Blacks jackets

Blacks Leisure

  • 3,500
  • 300
  • The outdoor goods company, which operates the Blacks Outdoor and Millets chains, reported a £16m loss in October and expects below-par Christmas trading
  • Shares have fallen 90% since January as supermarkets offer strong competition
  • The group has about 100 Blacks outlets, about 200 Millets branches and owns the Peter Storm and Eurohike brands
Hawkin's Bazaar, Ipswich

Hawkin's Bazaar

  • 380
  • 65
  • As with other retailers, experienced challenging trading conditions
D2 Jeans

D2 Jeans

  • 400
  • 47
  • James Stephen, from BDO LLP, said "extremely difficult trading conditions" had hit the sector
  • Entered administration on 29 December 2011.
  • Administrators closed 19 UK stores and laid off 200 shop workers at the Ayrshire-based firm. D2's other 28 stores are being run as a going concern while a buyer is sought


  • 3,840
  • 191 stores and 371 concessions
  • Has "faced a downturn in trading as a result of the difficult economic conditions"
  • Entered administration on 8 December 2011
  • On 30 December, it announced 1,610 redundancies after failing to find a buyer for the concessions part of its business
  • Administrators still trying to find a buyer for Barratts' 173 High Street stores, which remain open
Man walks past La Senza billboard advert

La Senza

  • 2,600
  • 146 stores and 18 concessions
  • Blamed High Street "trading conditions" and the economic environment
  • On 9 January, the firm went into administration
  • 60 of its stores were bought by Arabian retail group Alshaya, saving some 1,100 jobs
  • However, the remaining 84 stores and 18 concessions will close, resulting in 1,300 job losses
Jane Norman store on London's Oxford Street

Jane Norman

  • 1,600
  • 89 stores and 82 concessions
  • Has experienced "severe cashflow difficulties" and depressed sales, resulting in debts of £140m
Habitat store


  • 900
  • 33
  • Low consumer confidence has made it difficult for retailers of big ticket items such as furniture, and the home furnishings store made continuing losses
  • It also faced increased competition from cheaper rivals such as Ikea
  • Went into administration on 24 June 2011
  • Home Retail Group (HRG) bought the Habitat brand and three central London stores
  • HRG has retained 150 staff, although the remaining 750 staff were made redundant
Paint tins and paint brush

Focus DIY

  • Just under 4,000
  • 180
  • Another retail victim of the weak housing market.
  • Entered administration on 5 May
  • Since then, 55 stores have been sold in three separate deals, securing up to 900 jobs. A further 3,000 staff were made redundant
Homeform promotional image


  • 1,300 staff in showrooms plus 1,500 fitters and designers
  • 160 showrooms
  • The owner of brands such as Moben, Kitchens Direct, Sharps Bedrooms and Dolphin, has also suffered from the weak housing market
  • Sharps Bedrooms business has been sold
  • Operations of Moben, Dolphin and Kitchens Direct have been closed down, with 557 staff made redundant
  • Administrators are still trying to sell the brands
TJ Hughes

TJ Hughes

  • 4,000
  • 57
  • Falling sales at the department store chain led to the loss of supplier and credit insurer confidence

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