It has been one of the toughest years in history for all retailers, globally. In Britain, some of our biggest and most popular firms remain jittery following abrupt store closures during the first stage of lockdown in spring, plus there is a general drop in consumer spending to contend with, as people have less occasions to buy new clothes for. John Lewis announced several shop shutterings amounting to 1,300 job losses, Marks & Spencer will axe 7,000 jobs, and Clarks will cut 50 out of its 345 UK shops.
But for certain high street brands which were already under pressure before the coronavirus crisis, the challenges of this year have pushed them to the brink – or over it, in many cases. The administration packages now being negotiated for these brands, often with foreign investment firms, typically prioritise a future of online-only trading, rather than in bricks-and-mortar retail. As well