The major chains at risk of being wiped out by coronavirus

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Many businesses on the high street were already facing problems before the coronavirus outbreak.

A large number have closed, gone bust or entered administration in the last 12 months.

Work is being done to protect independent and chain retailers during this difficult time. But despite this, the pandemic has forced even more businesses across the country to close.

Here are some of the companies that have struggled since the beginning of March.

Oasis and Warehouse

Both brands had been up for sale

Both brands had been up for sale

Oasis and Warehouse are the latest fashion chains to go into administration.

Around 2,000 jobs are at risk.

The majority of workers, across 92 stores and 437 concessions, will remain furloughed for now, but 200 were made redundant on Wednesday by Deloitte as administrators try to find a buyer.

The company said online trading continues “in the short term”.

Hash Ladha, chief executive of Oasis Warehouse, said: “This is a situation that none of us could have predicted a month ago, and comes as shocking and difficult news for all of us.

“We as a management team have done everything we can to try and save the iconic brands that we love.”

Debenhams

Debenhams

Debenhams went into administration on April 9.

It is the second time Debenhams, which employs around 22,000 staff, has entered administration in the past 12 months.

The staple of the high street has 10 stores in Wales including Cardiff, Newport, Merthyr Tydfil, Swansea, Llanelli, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Wrexham, Llandudno and Bangor.

Carluccio’s

Carluccio’s is the latest business to enter administration

On March 30, Carluccio’s collapsed into administration, casting a shadow over the future of its 71 UK restaurants and 2,000 employees.

It said its directors made the decision “after a sustained period of challenging trading conditions, which have been exacerbated by Covid-19 and the broader issues currently facing the UK’s retail and hospitality sector”.

Carluccio’s faced “significant cashflow pressures” on the back of the pandemic and was therefore unable to meet its financial obligations.

Brighthouse

There are more than 2,400 jobs at risk at BrightHouse

High street hire to own chain went into administration on March 30 putting 2,400 jobs at risk.

In February, the chain announced plans to axe 30 stores in a bid to salvage the company.

Then all stores had to close because of the coronavirus lockdown. It now appears all 240 stores will remain closed.

Chiquito

Chiquito in Swansea

Restaurant chain Chiquito went into administration on March 26, with 1,500 jobs at risk.

A total of 60 Chiquito sites will remain shut.

The Restaurant Group, which also owns Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s, said it would also shut its Food and Fuel chain of pubs in London.

The decision to put the chain into administration came as it struggled to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak on the business.

Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley has been an important part of Welsh history

Fashion chain Laura Ashley went into administration on March 17, after rescue talks were thwarted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The business had been doing well during the seven weeks to March 13, with trading up 24% on the same period a year earlier.

“However, the Covid-19 outbreak has had an immediate and significant impact on trading, and ongoing developments indicate that this will be a sustained national situation,” the company said in the statement to investors.

2,700 jobs are now at risk.

Cath Kidston

Cath Kidston i

Cath Kidston, the floral fashion brand, filed for administration on April 5.

The retailer has appointed advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal as administrators and closed its stores during the pandemic lockdown with 820 staff on furlough.

It is still trading online but there are now questions against the future of its store,” Plymouth Live reports.

Superdry

Super Dry

According to analysts at AskTraders, fashion brand Superdry could be at risk.

“With shares down 11.69%, Superdry is seeking additional financing to secure recovery. But as online sales are unlikely to make up for the loss of high street custom, their future looks doubtful,” they said.

Monsoon and Accessorize

The parent company of Monsoon and Accessorize have said there will be store closures

Monsoon and Accessorize could be the latest stores to disappear from high streets up and down the country, after the owner of both brands called in advisers to speed up its closure process.

The parent company of the chains has brought in Deloitte to prepare plans for a possible Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), the same process through which retailers New Look and Mothercare closed stores last year.

Any proposals are also likely to include rent reductions on Monsoon and Accessorize’s joint estate of almost 270 sites.

Flybe

Flybe operated several routes from Cardiff Airport

Cardiff Airport’s main airline Flybe went into administration on March 5, with 2,000 jobs at risk.

A drop in demand caused by the coronavirus “made a difficult situation worse” for Flybe and administrators announced it had ceased trading with immediate effect.

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