High Street chain collapse sweepstake

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Pete
Posts: 7317
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 13.36
Location: Dundee

The new one in Eldon Square was also really nice. It just seems to be the normal toxic lease issue https://www.theguardian.com/business/ni ... n-its-rent
"He has to be larger than bacon"
Martin Phillp
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Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

It still amazes me how WHSmith Retail is still going. All they did to my local Smiths was replace the worn out carpet with a blue one which is already starting to wear out, with boxes still all over the place and not very much organisation.

At my local store, they have a sign proudly promoting that they sell face masks, after a look in-store, there was none to be seen!

I ordered some stuff online from them when they had a free delivery promotion recently and it took ages with poor tracking ability. Online is the future and some of these old bricks and mortar companies still don't get it. i.e. the Arcadia brands.
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GeekyJames
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Joined: Sun 09 Sep, 2018 22.14

woah wrote: Tue 01 Dec, 2020 21.11 I do wonder how Debenhams let it get to this point. We don't know all the details of course, but you have to wonder how many of their stores were loss making and falling to bits - and dragging the whole brand down as a result. Why not focus on the stores that do make a profit, invest in the ones with potential, and cut the dead wood?

They refurbished the Meadowhall one recently and (apart from the usual Debenhams gift tat selection and blue cross events) it is genuinely a modern and pleasant shopping experience. It's a shame they couldn't roll it out further. The one nearby in Sheffield is more typical of the Debenhams shopping experience - dingy and dated with decor straight out of the 1990s.

I think the clothing range has also improved a bit in recent years, but lots of it is very middle aged - and some of their own brand stuff (like Red Herring) is cheap Primark quality stuff at more premium prices. Probably nowhere near enough to change people's perceptions of Debenhams as a bit old hat.
Red Herring is more similar to Burtons quality than Primark in my experience!

I expect Mike Ashley will pick up the most profitable stores - maybe keeping the Debenhams name or converting to House of Fraser?
JAS84
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Joined: Fri 12 Aug, 2011 10.23
Location: Hull, UK

Bonmarché are in administration. Not surprising considering it's owner's other shops went into administration last month.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55159180
thegeek
Posts: 662
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 12.35

woah wrote: Tue 01 Dec, 2020 21.11 I do wonder how Debenhams let it get to this point. We don't know all the details of course, but you have to wonder how many of their stores were loss making and falling to bits - and dragging the whole brand down as a result. Why not focus on the stores that do make a profit, invest in the ones with potential, and cut the dead wood?

I guess that once you reach a certain number of store closures, your redundancy costs start costing more than what you'd get from the good bits of the business - so it's cheaper all round to cut and run, and let the whole lot fail.
gottago
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu 29 Jan, 2009 19.50

woah wrote: Tue 01 Dec, 2020 21.11 I do wonder how Debenhams let it get to this point. We don't know all the details of course, but you have to wonder how many of their stores were loss making and falling to bits - and dragging the whole brand down as a result. Why not focus on the stores that do make a profit, invest in the ones with potential, and cut the dead wood?
Their Shepherd's Bush one, which they announced wasn't reopening in April, ended up being a bit of a desperate case and had resorted to renting out large chunks of their stores to eateries, presumably offering much cheaper rent than if they'd have taken a unit in the actual shopping centre. At one point they had a Costa, Franco Manca, Ed's Diner and I think some dessert shop or something all stinking out the adjacent frocks while making it clear they weren't otherwise able to make that part of the shop profitable.
Martin Phillp
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Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

The Post Office model didn't work for WHSmith in Blackpool, it's closing in January, along with the store in Chorley.

https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/busi ... re-3056272
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Martin Phillp
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Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

Paperchase is set to go into administration.

https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-pap ... k-12179897
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Martin Phillp
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Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

Boohoo acquires Debenhams, but all stores close.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55793411
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cwathen
Posts: 1170
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Martin Phillp wrote: Fri 04 Dec, 2020 21.08 The Post Office model didn't work for WHSmith in Blackpool, it's closing in January, along with the store in Chorley.

https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/busi ... re-3056272
Really highlights the folly of mass closures of crown POs in city/town centres. It is understandable when sub post offices are put into shops (as has already been done for decades) but this is different to closing main post offices in favour of a concession in Smiths. Of course the business case will be argued but the business case will always be there because it will always be cheaper vs maintaining a dedicated Post Office. That is entirely different to a PO being unviable to operate.

If WHSmith pull out of a town (or if they eventually close their high street division altogether to focus on more profitable parts of the operation which I wouldn't entirely rule out), suddenly Post Office has to rush around finding someone else to take them. And although a lot of the WHSmith POs aren't bad (in some cases even an improvement - although on the other hand some of them are awful) it is hard to think of another national chain with enough stores which could accomodate so much floor space and be willing to dedicate so much branding to it, which makes it unlikely the same quality of offering can be made outside of WHSmith.

The end result could be major city centres where the Post Office is a small space with one counter at the back of a local newsagents and which people unfamiliar with the area would struggle to find.
DJDave
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu 23 Nov, 2006 22.53
Location: Wirral

I know our Local WH Smith is going this year, so the post office need to find a new home or someone to takeover the unit.
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