CHRISTMAS is a time when retailers across Yorkshire and the North East hope their tills will go jingle all the way.

But at the end of an annus horribilis, in which the High Street has faced unprecedented insolvency challenges, there are mounting fears that a further sack full of big names will enter administration.

New insolvency research has revealed that approaching 50 retail businesses have fallen into administration in the last six months alone.

Meanwhile, there has also been a raft of struggling retailers who have been forced to pull down the shutters on some of their shops, and make thousands of redundancies to head off growing financial challenges.

House of Fraser – one of the stores in the insolvency spotlight – closed its store in the Yorkshire market town of Skipton in the first week of December.

Insolvency analysts also highlight Leeds-founded Marks & Spencer, Boots and Tesco among the major chains trimming their store base amid tough trading conditions.

The trade magazine Retail Gazette has compiled a list of the main retailers that have fallen into administration in 2019 – so far.

This is just a snapshot of its insolvency timeline:

January: Yorkshire-based menswear retailer Greenwoods collapsed less than 18 months after it was first rescued from administration, which was founded 158 years ago. It was the first insolvency victim of the year

January: Hardy Amies, best known for being a dressmaker for the Queen, went into administration for the second time in just over a decade.

February: Oddbins closed a raft of its wine stores after it fell into administration – the second time it had collapsed into insolvency in around eight years.

March: L. K. Bennett was the first high-profile retail casualty of the year when it entered administration.

March: The former stationery chain formerly known as Staples, Office Outlet, fell into administration after suffering from weak demand for stationery supplies and suppliers cutting the credit terms on which it traded.

April: Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher’s clothing brand, Pretty Green, collapsed into administration after weeks of speculation, after it took a hit from House of Fraser’s administration in August last year.

April: Debenhams was taken over by a consortium of lenders, known as Celine, after the department store group fell into administration.

May: Women’s retailer Select fell into administration in May, placing 1800 jobs at risk. It was the second time the retailer had fallen into administration, after it underwent a CVA process in April last year.

August: Karen Millen, which at the time also owned Coast, was put up for sale by its Icelandic owners in June. By August, both retail brands were placed into administration and then immediately sold to Boohoo in a pre-pack administration deal.

August: House of Fraser extended its administration for another year, weeks after owner Sports Direct labelled its problems as “nothing short of terminal in nature”.

September: Fast fashion brand Forever 21 closed 350 stores globally after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US.

October: Links of London collapsed into administration, placing placed 350 jobs at risk.

October:  Wakefield-headquartered Bonmarche entered into administration, putting almost 2,900 jobs at risk, shortly after retail tycoon Philip Day gained majority control of the retailer.

November: Mothercare officially appointed administrators for its UK operations and business services arm. The retailer’s collapse into administration came 18 months after it launched a major CVA, which led to the closure of 55 stores.

November: Mamas & Papas, based in Huddersfield, became the second UK maternity chain that month to call in administrators – doing so in the same week as main rival Mothercare.

Here at Walsh Taylor, when financial difficulties arise, we’ll put time on your side.

For more information on how our licensed insolvency practitioners and business recovery teams in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Darlington can help you, 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.

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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