As expected February was a relatively quiet month for major retail administrations. However the scene has been set for further administrations.
Despite the continuation of difficult trading conditions, there was only one significant administration in February. Discount grocery retailer UGO fell into administration during early February but was immediately bought by Poundstretcher. All stores are expected to be transferred over to Poundstretcher, with no significant job losses.
The month did see further job losses and store closures as a result of the Peacocks administration that had occurred earlier in the year. The sale to Edinburgh Woollen Mill led to the immediate closure of 224 stores and an estimated 3,100 job losses. Edinburgh Woollen Mill announced at the end of the month that they were considering reopening 75 stores.
Early March has seen two retailer administrations. Women's fashion retailer Fenn Wright Manson entered administration on 6 March, threatening 350 jobs. Jeweller Azendi followed on 9 March threatening 100 jobs and 19 retail units.
We expect further administrations to occur during March and into early April as rent payments and poor trading conditions push some retailers beyond breaking point.
Game Group is one to watch. Rumours have been circling about the financial position of the owners of 610 Game and Gamestation stores in the UK and a further 670 internationally. If a Game administration occurs it could be a major blow for many high streets and shopping centres across the UK and globally.