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Sunday, December 21, 2008

UK: Up to 15 national retail chains expected to go BK in January

by Calculated Risk on 12/21/2008 12:19:00 PM

From The Times: High street braced for Christmas sales carnage

UP to 15 national retail chains are predicted to go bust before the middle of January, forcing thousands more shopworkers onto the dole.

The prediction came from insolvency expert Begbies Traynor as well-known retail chains clamour to sell enough goods to meet their quarterly rent payments on Christmas Day. Nick Hood, partner at Begbies Traynor ... refused to name specific store groups, but this weekend it emerged that The Officers Club, a 150-strong national menswear chain, had been put up for distressed sale through KPMG, while the specialist tea retailer, Whittards, and music store Zavvi remained on the critical list.
Rupert Eastell, head of retail at BDO Stoy Hayward, said: “From tomorrow until mid-January, it’s going to be the worst three weeks for retailers in 20 years.”
The pattern will probably be similar in the U.S. with a number of retailers filing for bankruptcy in January (usually the worst month of the year for retail BKs), with more retail layoffs, and even more empty retail stores (see: Retail Space to be Vacated from some retail numbers from reader wc)