Focus: Which Fashion Retailer Could Collapse Next?

by MR Magazine Staff

With London still digesting Britain’s retail giants’ Christmas trading, a shortlist of the most troubled names is emerging from the gloom. As well as dire updates from stock market players Mothercare and Carpetright, a trio of established fashion retailers have found themselves on the naughty step: House of Fraser, Debenhams and New Look. Although they face different challenges, analysis of their balance sheets makes for similarly grim reading. All three are battling to cut costs and boost sales amid heavy debts racked up over a sustained period. Their troubles stem from the problems all traditional retailers are suffering from: too many shops, a shift to online and cash-strapped shoppers. But it doesn’t stop there: complex loan structures, mis-steps in stocking the right products and wobbly profits could put pressure on them to overhaul their businesses or, worse, lead to their demise. In the words of one New Look bondholder: “Some of these retailers will have to disappear.” Read more at Evening Standard.