FEARS that the UK High Street is fast becoming an insolvency zone have gathered pace, as new research reveals an unprecedented drop in shoppers’ footfall across England and Wales.

Monsoon Accessorize, a familiar dual brand across Yorkshire and the North East, is set to become the latest casualty of the online revolution after it was reported the fashion retailer is to close dozens of stores amid insolvency concerns.

It has a major presence across Yorkshire and the North East with High Street stories in Leeds, York, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Yarm, Middlesbrough, Durham, Newcastle, Morpeth and Bedlington.

Earlier this year, the German arm of British retail chain filed for insolvency.

As the number of insolvencies grows, new research has unveiled a 4.2 per cent decline in UK retail footfall during the past 12 months.

And although Yorkshire and the North East fared best, posting just a 0.5 per cent drop in shoppers, it is still exposed to a raft of store closures because of insolvency.

Stores across Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, York, Hull, Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster, Harrogate, Halifax, Huddersfield, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham have not been immune from insolvency.

Worst-hit insolvency victims were in Wales and the South West, where footfall plummeted 9.2 per cent; and Scotland and Northern Ireland, which reported a 5.5 per cent drop.

Almost 2,500 stores vanished from Britain’s 500 biggest high streets in 2018 as a result of insolvency, many of them in Yorkshire and the North East.

As a result, insolvency claimed nearly 85,000 retail jobs – again thousands across Yorkshire and the North East.

As one of Britain’s biggest privately-owned clothing firms, Monsoon has now appointed advisors to oversee its insolvency as it considers closing stores just days after another High Street stalwart, Debenhams, announced plans to close up to 50 stores over the next 3 years and to approach creditors to approve a CVA.

‎Media reports suggest Monsoon Accessorize too remains on the brink of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), an option often considered viable by firms facing bankruptcy.

2018 witnessed one of the worst years on record for High Street insolvencies. A record 1,000 retail businesses went into administration between January and September alone.

A recent report in the Daily Mail captured many of the big names on the Yorkshire and North East High Street that have recently fallen into insolvency, including:

  • Carpetright – 92 store closures
  • Toys R Us – 2,000 redundancies after it fell into administration
  • House of Fraser –rescued from the verge of administration
  • Maplin – insolvency victim putting thousands of jobs at risk
  • Orla Kiely – collapsed into administration amid insolvency fears
  • Mothercare – 60 store closures announced to head off insolvency fears
  • Poundworld – collapsed into administration
  • Homebase – 42 DIY centres closed
  • Marks & Spencer – the Leeds-born company announced 100 store closures by 2022
  • HMV – collapsed into administration
  • LK Bennett – filing for administration
  • Pretty Green – Liam Gallagher’s fashion label filed for administration

For more information about the work of our licensed insolvency practitioners and businesses recovery teams in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Darlington, please call us on 03300 244 660 or email confidential@walshtaylor.co.uk

Mary Taylor
Director

Mary began working in insolvency for a national accountancy practice in Glasgow thirty years ago and worked in most divisions of the insolvency department.

She then moved to a smaller firm so she could advance her knowledge on a more hands on basis. She moved back to Leeds in 1987 and commenced working with a small firm of accountants and subsequently made partner.

She left in 1999 to set up her own practice, McCann Taylor.
McCann Taylor became involved with the consumer market both in England and Scotland.

Mary sold McCann Taylor in March 2007 and formed Walsh Taylor to concentrate on helping businesses experiencing financial difficulties.

Kate Ellis (neé Breese)
Insolvency Practitioner

Kate has worked in insolvency since 2001 starting out at a firm of solicitors in Leeds and latterly gaining positions within two national accountancy firms.

During this time Kate gained extensive experience in all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency, for the first part of her career specializing in personal insolvency and latterly corporate.

Kate has been with Walsh Taylor since its incorporation in September 2008.

Kate is CPI and JIEB qualified, is experienced in a variety of industries and sectors and is the firm’s joint appointment taker.

Meg Heath
Director

Meg has a background in supporting SMEs, including the raising of finance and advising on organisational change. She is a non-executive director of companies in the private and third sector, including Walsh Taylor.

Previously she was Deputy Fund Director of one of the largest CDFIs in the UK, and has experience of the social enterprise, charity and private sectors. Her experience of assisting companies to survive and thrive has been gained across a broad range of sectors and in companies of all sizes.

In addition to her work at Walsh Taylor she works for other private companies, including non-executive and trustee positions.

Emma Mifsud
Insolvency Practitioner

After graduating from Leeds University in 2005 with a BA Hons degree in Criminology, Emma worked for a regional law firm in both the property department and insolvency and banking department. Whilst doing so Emma gained a Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP University.

Emma then joined a national accountancy firm in 2009 gaining experience in personal insolvency before moving to a Leeds based firm. At this firm Emma specialised in bankruptcies, IVA’s and negotiating informal agreements with creditors. In 2013 Emma gained her CPI qualification.

Since joining the firm in December 2013, Emma has taken on a portfolio of personal and corporate insolvency cases to extend her knowledge and expertise in all areas of insolvency.

In December 2017 Emma become a licensed appointment taker under the Insolvency Practitioners Association, she is JIEB qualified.

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