Creditors, insurers and trading partners of fashion businesses that have gone under in the past five years have lost out on nearly £900m, new research suggests.
Businesses such as Peacocks, Blacks, JJB Sports and Republic saw supply chain partners recover a tiny fraction of the total losses, while administrators, banks and other secured lenders have got the lion’s share.
In total across all retail, the losses stand at £1.86bn. Between them, 4,500 stores have closed and 58,000 jobs were put at risk.
The research was carried out in conjunction with Company Watch alongside Bill Grimsey, who is currently putting together a new review of the high streets.
He said: “What this demonstrates is that the structural changes happening to retail are causing huge damage to our high streets and the wider economy.
“We can’t just stand by and carry on fiddling in the margins. This is the clearest possible proof that we need to start looking at a new model for our high streets. The current model is just not sustainable.”
Nick Hood, business analyst at Company Watch, added: “It seems that the only winners from the ongoing carnage in the high street are the banks, the insolvency practitioners and their many advisers. Ordinary creditors are carrying the can for weak management, uncompetitive retail offerings, the pernicious effect of upward only rent obligations and iniquitous business rates.
“The cut in consumer spending caused by the recession and its austerity consequences has played its part, but as little more than the straw on the retail camel’s back. And sadly we are far from seeing the end of the high street cull.”
In the last week there have been even more high profile retail failures, including Internacionale and Ark.