The number of major high street administrations surged in 2011, creating a sharp increase in both store closures and job losses.
According to research conducted by The Retail Database for its new Administration Watch, in 2011 major high street multiples closed a total of 909 stores as a result of falling into administration - a 144% increase on the previous year.
The corresponding loss of jobs, inclusive of head office and warehouse positions, was estimated to be 14,892 - a 210% increase on 2010. The sharper rise in job losses compared to store closures in part reflects the closure of large scale stores such as TJ Hughes, in which the shutting of one unit not only leaves a large hole in the high street, it also leaves a much larger number of people out of work.
Despite a marked downturn in the economy during the second half of the year, June was the worst month for retail failures with the likes of Habitat, Jane Norman and TJ Hughes falling into administration, leading to a large number of store closures and job losses.
The outlook for 2012 is one of continued difficulty for the retailing sector. January has already seen some high profile casualties in the form of La Senza, Peacocks, Pumpkin Patch, Blacks / Millets and Past Times. Although not all store closures and job losses associated with these administrations have been decided yet, the figures for this month have already surpassed January 2011.