Rarely a year goes by that isn’t filled with shock departures from the high street and new players coming to the fore – 2016 has been no different.
High street staple BHS closed all of its 164 stores last month, ending its 88-year history, and Primark, Next, Sports Direct and H&M reportedly interested in snapping up its units. This followed a string of high-profile administrations starting with Brantano in January, later rescued by Alteri Investors, and moving through to Austin Reed in April, resulting in the closure of 120 stores. Last month, Monsoon Accessorize announced it would also close 141 shops as it decouples its dual-branded stores.
However, this is not a tale of woe, and there are some bright spots to be found. Look no further than etailer Missguided, which will open its first store in Westfield Stratford in November, or the march of value retailers such as Pep&Co, which is adding 15 stores to its portfolio of 50 opened last year.
Clearly, opportunities are there for the taking, but it will be those retailers that adapt to the needs of the multichannel consumer that prosper.
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