The Christmas period was unable to save the UK’s biggest toy retailer from closure. Toys R Us announced in February that it would be closing its doors by the end of April after failing to find a buyer to save it from administration.

With all Toys R Us staff to be made redundant, the closure of the toy chain will cost the UK 3,200 jobs, taking the total number of redundancies caused by retailer collapses to 5,704 in the last 12 months.

Having watched online shopping and rising business costs chip away at profits over the years, the high street has suffered a number of big losses.

Department store BHS went bust in 2016, costing 11,000 jobs. Since then a further 10,000 jobs either have already been lost or are under threat.


Another big loss is expected shortly, with electronics retailer Maplin heading the same way. With the company struggling to find a buyer, stores are set to close imminently.

With a number of retailers currently in administration or undergoing restructuring to stave it off, another 4,755 jobs are currently under threat.

A total of 404 stores have been forced to close due to financial collapse, with 395 more threatened with closure.

The UK retailers that have collapsed in the past 12 months

Using Retail Research’s list of companies that have gone bust, Verdict calculated the total number of high street casualties between April 2017 and April 2018. Only retailers that employed more than 50 people at the time of collapse have been included.

10 April 2017 – Jaeger

Fashion retailer Jaeger announced that it has fallen into administration in April after struggling to find a buyer to turn the chain around. In an attempt to get Jaeger’s finances under control, administrators announced that 20 stores would close and 253 employees would lose their jobs.

Stores: 46

Store closures: 20

Employees: 680

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Redundancies: 253

Outcome: Partial closure

10 May 2017 – iCandy

Founded by Clinton Lewis after his previous company, Clinton Cards, went into administration in 2012, gift and card company iCandy went the same way five years later. Attributed to a fall in consumer spending and increasing business rates, four stores were closed immediately with 22 employees losing their jobs. The remaining 10 stores were kept open while administrators sought a buyer.

Stores: 14

Store closures: 4

Employees: 100

Redundancies: 22

Outcome: Partial closure, seeking buyer

19 May 2017 – Theo Fennell

Luxury jeweller Theo Fennell, a favourite of celebrities such as Elton John and David Beckham, was forced into administration by a consortium takeover gone bad. The company’s 2016 filings showed pre-tax losses of £2.5 million. Despite some of its employees being made redundant, the jewel-maker was saved from liquidation by turnaround firm Enact.

Stores: 1

Store closures: 0

Employees: 54

Redundancies: Unreported

Outcome: Sold

19 May 2017 – Joy The Store

Joy The Store, a fashion, lifestyle and homeware brand with 30 stores around the UK, collapsed due to rising rent and business rate costs. Despite losing 11 stores and 78 employees, the brand was saved from liquidation by its parent company, Louche London.

Stores: 30

Store closures: 11

Employees: 308

Redundancies: 78

Outcome: Survived

19 June 2017 – Linens Direct

Once a successful online and brick and mortar retailer with annual sales of £21 million, Linens Direct opted to close all of its stores and cease trading in July 2017. While the total number of redundancies wasn’t reported, we can assume Linens Direct’s 320 employees were left without jobs.

Stores: 36

Store closures: 36

Employees: 320

Redundancies: Unreported

Outcome: Total closure

11 July 2017 – Store Twenty One

The closure of 200 Store Twenty One outlets in 2016 was unable to stave off liquidation. An unpaid tax bill eventually forced the discount clothing retailer to close its remaining 122 stores and shut up shop.

Stores: 122

Store closures: 122

Employees: 900

Redundancies: 900

Outcome: Total closure

31 July 2017 – Zatchels

Trendy satchel manufacturer Zatchels was saved from administration by its founders, who persuaded a Chinese investment company to provide the cash needed to buy the business back. Zatchels owed debts of £480,000.

Stores: 1

Store closures: 0

Employees: 50

Redundancies: 0

Outcome: Survived

1 August 2017 – Rare Fashion

One of few retailers on this list that can’t list the decline of high street shopping among its reasons for collapse, internet retailer Rare Fashion announced via Facebook that it would soon cease trading and making its entire workforce redundant.

Stores: 0

Store closures: 0

Employees: 56

Redundancies: 56

Outcome: Total closure

8 September 2017 – Greenwoods

Despite an annual turnover of £20 million, Greenwoods was unable to avoid going the same way as many other fashion retailers. It did find a buyer in Versatile International Trading Limited, who agreed to purchase 40 of the retail stores and head officers, protecting the jobs of at least 181 employees.  However, 22 stores were shut immediately, costing 88 jobs.

Stores: 62

Store closures: 22

Employees: 320

Redundancies: 88

Outcome: Partial closure, partial sale

16 September 2017 – Just For Pets

Just For Pets, a popular Midlands pet store, was saved from liquidation by Pedigree Wholesale, which agreed to purchase 18 of the stores, saving more than 180 employees from redundancy. Approximately 60 employees lost their jobs due to the closure of seven other stores.

Stores: 25

Store closures: 7

Employees: 200+

Redundancies: 60

Outcome: Partial closure, partial sale

22 November 2017 – Multiyork

After suffering from poor profits for a number of years, Multiyork, owned by Wade Furniture, caved just before Christmas with debts of £1.9 million. DFS Furniture agreed to pay £1.2 million for a number of store leases, product designs and the Multiyork brand. However, this wasn’t enough to save the jobs of most Multiyork employees.

Stores: 50

Store closures: 42

Employees: 547

Redundancies: 512

Outcome: Partial closure, partial sale

27 November 2017 – Feather & Black

Owned by the Wade family, who also owned Multiyork, Feather & Black followed the furniture retailer into administration. However, a sale to Swedish furniture manufacturer Hilding Anders saw 17 of the company’s 25 stores remain open and saved 104 employees from redundancy.

Stores: 25

Store closures: 8

Employees: 123

Redundancies: 19

Outcome: Partial closure, partial sale

29 November 2017 – Shoon

Footwear retailer Shoon fell into administration after failing to find a buyer. Four Shoon stores were sold to rival company The Shoot Shoe Company, saving a small number of jobs. However, the majority of Shoon stores were closed.

Stores: 23

Store closures: 19

Employees: 95

Redundancies: 45

Outcome: Partial closure, partial sale

29 January 2018 – East

Fashion retailer East has struggled to recover following a 2015 insolvency, culminating in a second fall into administration earlier this year. FRP Advisory, the company appointed as administrators, are now working to find a buyer to stop the business going under. Stores remain open, but a number of head office redundancies have already been confirmed.

Stores: 34

Store closures: 0

Employees: 314

Redundancies: 29

Outcome: Uncertain

29 January 2018 – Juice Corporation

Juice Corporation, the parent company behind fashion brands such as Joe Bloggs and Elizabeth Emanuel, who designed Princess Diana’s wedding dress, announced that it was making 60 employees redundant and selling off all of its assets.

Stores: Unreported

Store closures: Unreported

Employees: Unreported

Redundancies: 60

Outcome: Total closure

6 February 2018 – Warren Evans

Furniture store Warren Evans was put up for sale on 7 January. It folded just under a month later after failing to find a buyer. Administrators closed stores immediately and laid off the company’s employees.

Stores: 14

Store closures: 14

Employees: 287

Redundancies: 287

Outcome: Total closure

28 February 2018 – Toys R Us

The UK’s biggest toy retailer went into administration after failing to pay off a £15 million tax bill. After failing to find a buyer, the company confirmed that it would close all Toys R Us stores in the UK by the end of April 2018.

Stores: 105

Store closures: 105

Employees: 3,200

Redundancies: 3,200

Outcome: Total closure

28 February 2018 – Maplin

Despite  Brexit, poor consumer spending and a withdrawal of credit insurance plaguing the UK’s biggest electronic retailer, Maplin kept its stores upon after announcing administration last month. However, with hopes of finding a buyer fading, the chain will begin closing all of its stores soon. The company has already laid off staff at its headquarters, with further redundancies set to follow shortly.

Stores: 217

Store closures: Unreported

Employees: 2,335

Redundancies: 63

Outcome: Uncertain

March 9 2018 – Countrywide Farmers

Rural supplies chain Countrywide Farmers went into administration following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority into its proposed merger with Mole Valley Farmers. The authority believed that the merger would break competition laws. The first round of redundancies saw 32 employees lose their jobs, with another 700 at risk.

Stores: 48

Store closures: Unreported

Employees: 735

Redundancies: 32

Outcome: Uncertain

On the verge – New Look

The high street fashion chain hasn’t fallen into administration. However, the company is considering the closure of 60 of its stores as part of a restructuring plan to stave off insolvency. Should it go ahead with the decision, up to 980 jobs could be as risk.

Stores: 591

Store closures: 0

Employees: 11,166

Redundancies: 0

Outcome: Unconfirmed