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Which UK High Street Retailers Were Hit Hardest In 2012?

Comet, JJB Sports and HMV are just three household names that have been hardest hit during the recession in 2012.

Other big brands to make the turbulent ten are Game, Thorntons, Carpet Right, La Senza, Peacocks, Habitat and Clinton Cards.

Job losses were felt most at women’s fashion retailers Peacocks with 9,600 employees affected, whilst Clinton Cards closed its doors in the most stores as 750 shop units turned off their lights.

The likes of Comet, HMV, Game and Clinton Cards suffered most from consumers preferring to buy online with access to wider competition and price comparison tools.

Keith Tully, managing director at Real Business Rescue who compiled the infographic, believes that businesses have to react quicker to changing customer trends to stay ahead of the game.

“What we saw in 2012 is that customers are much sharper in looking for a better offer.  We also saw structural changes in the market where the internet has removed a lot of potential high street business.

Christmas – so often a saving grace for struggling retailers – also failed to live up to expectations according to figures featured in the infographic which can be seen here

High street sales were down 0.8% from September to October whilst November – traditionally a period of pre-Christmas improvement – dipped 0.4% from October with analysts believing that shoppers were holding off on their spending as long as possible, hoping to take advantage of sale periods nearer to Christmas Day.

Official figures for December are not available at present but forecasts suggest that although spending did increase last month, the average UK family spent £80 less than expected on Christmas items.

There was some good news, however, with statistics surrounding the post-Christmas period providing store owners with some cause for optimism.

It is believed 1 in 4 UK adults went shopping on Boxing Day and the 27th December, equivalent to 13 million shoppers hitting the high street each day, spending a combined total of £5.4bn in just two days.

The full infographic can be seen at


Infographic sources: | || | |


Real Business Rescue is the online arm of Cooper Williamson Ltd which has a national presence with offices in London, Bristol, Liverpool, Preston, Portsmouth and Chesterfield in addition to their head office in Wilmslow.

They are licensed by the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and are a member of the R3 Association of Business Recovery Professionals – the UK’s trade association for insolvency, business recovery and turnaround specialists.


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