Arctic Roll

November 21, 2009

Production of Arctic Roll, the retro ice cream dessert, was halted in 1997, but in 2008, Birds Eye chose to revive the brand because the recession is fuelling a demand for comfort food.

Business Correspondent Ian Reeve went to the north Yorkshire factory that is making nine million of them a year.

Watch the video.


Woolworths returns online

June 26, 2009

BBC reports on the return of the Woolworths brand, this time though not as a high street retailer, but as an online shop.

The Woolworths brand has begun trading as an online business, more than six months after the ex-High Street giant went into administration.

And despite my earlier comments, there will be pick and mix available online!


Read more.

Photo source.

More retailers in administration

March 6, 2009

BBC reports on Mosaic going into administration.

Mosaic, which owns some of the most famous brands on the UK High Street, has gone into administration, with debts of about £400m.

But most of the group, including Oasis, Karen Millen, Warehouse and Coast have been immediately sold to Mosaic’s main creditor – Icelandic bank Kaupthing.

As the recession deepens it would appear that more and more retailers are going into administration.

…and another one!

January 7, 2009

BBC reports

The womenswear company Viyella, which was founded in 1784, has become the latest long-established British company to call in the administrators.

The company has annual sales of about £30m and operates 40 stores, 64 concessions and four clearance outlets.

Of course like other retailers mentioned in this blog, only Woolworths has actually closed, the others are “only” in administration, but more often then not this can lead to at a minimum closure of lots of stores.

Even retailers not in administration are feeling the pinch and closing stores. BBC also reports on Marks and Spencers who are closing stores and cutting jobs.

Marks and Spencer plans to close 25 of its small Simply Food stores and another two of its regular stores.

The closures will mean the loss of 780 jobs. The retailer is also planning to cut 450 head office jobs.

The retail sector which weathered the last few recessions has been hit very hard by this one. The difference this time, is that margins are tight so it doesn’t take a large drop in sales for it to have a major impact on the profitability of the retailers.

Retail Christmas Winners and Losers

January 2, 2009

Guardian has a nice Flash based interactive high street so you can see which retailers are winning and which are facing possible closure and administration.

See it in action.

Going onto my local high street today and seeing Woolworths all dark and shut up, Adams having a 70% off sale and various other places looking like they were having desperate last minute sales, it does make you wonder what the high street will look like in twelve months time!

Then one more…

December 30, 2008

After Wookworths and MFI, analysts were forecasting that ten retail chains would close in the next twelve months.

We’ve seen Zavvi, Whittard and Adams.

Now we can add USC to the list.

The Guardian reports

Despite a surge in post-Christmas sales on the high street, another retailer, fashion chain USC, has collapsed and the future of childrenswear retailer Adams hung in the balance today.

Scottish-based USC went into administration, putting 300 jobs at risk. Bryan Jackson at accountants PKF, which has been appointed administrator, said a deal had been negotiated with Dundonald Holdings, which will buy up to 43 of the high street chain’s 58 stores, safeguarding 1,127 jobs. The remaining 15 stores will be temporarily run by the administrator.

So that’s four…

Ten retail chains ‘face closure’ in 2009

December 21, 2008

So you thought it was bad with Woolworths and MFI closing down.

Analysts reckon that another ten retail chains will close in 2009.

The BBC reports

More than 10 national or regional retail chains risk going bust next month, insolvency experts are warning

Read more.