Maplin administration

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Retail woes force hundreds of store closures

James Graham

Business reporter, BBC Radio 5live

Maplin and Toys R Us. Pic: Google
Google

Nearly 650 shops and restaurants across the UK run by a handful of major chains have shut since the start of 2018 or are at risk of closure.

Maplin and Toys R Us sites account for half that total, according to analysis by BBC 5 live's Wake Up to Money.

Both chains, which have branches in Devon and Cornwall, fell into administration on the same day in February.

The remaining Toys R Us stores will close on Tuesday, when the American chain finally disappears from the UK's retail parks and high streets.

Administrators for Maplin are keeping its 217 shops open, but they are "under review" while a buyer is sought.

The BBC's analysis shows that cities have borne the brunt of these retail insolvencies, but towns across the UK, as far apart as Inverness and St Austell, have also been affected. Many already have a high shop vacancy rate.

Electricals retailer Maplin collapses into administration

BBC Business News

Maplin in Truro
Google

One of the UK's biggest electronics retailers has collapsed into administration after talks with potential buyers failed to secure a sale.

Maplin, which has more than 200 stores and 2,500 staff, will continue to trade through the process.

The business faced the slump in the pound, weak consumer confidence and a withdrawal of credit insurance.

These factors made it "impossible" to raise capital, boss Graham Harris said.

In Devon and Cornwall, the company has stores in Barnstaple, Exeter, Plymouth and Truro (pictured).

The news came shortly after retailer Toys R Us went into administration, which has branches in Plymouth and Exeter.