Fashion chain Select falls into administration: High Streets collapse as people turn to online shopping

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Select fashion chain goes into administration

Fashion chain Select has fallen into administration, putting 1,800 jobs at risk at the 169-store business.

The firm, which targets women aged 18-35, has been struggling with debts and had already signalled it was lining up administrators.

Select’s administrators said stores would continue to trade while all options for the business were assessed.

A host of High Street retailers have run into trouble recently as spending patterns change.

Select operates from 169 shops across the UK and is owned by Turkish entrepreneur Cafer Mahiroglu, who bought the business out of administration in 2008.

Andrew Andronikou, joint administrator at Quantuma, said: “We will continue to trade Select whilst we assess all options available to the business, with the aim of achieving the optimum outcome for all stakeholders.

“Options include a sale of the business as a going concern, in addition to entering into discussions with those parties who have already expressed interest in acquiring the business.”

Select trades as a value ladies’ fashion retailer, targeting 18 to 35-year-olds, and has an annual turnover of £77 million.

“High street conditions” have impacted the outlet’s attempts to deliver on the turnaround plan it started with the CVA last year, after posting a £15.5 million loss for the 18 months to December 2017.

No redundancies have been made as a result of the administration, while options for the future of the business, including a possible sale, are currently being assessed.

Business advisory firm Quantuma, which has been appointed as administrators to Select, said “prevailing High Street conditions” meant the turnaround plan the chain had tried had not succeeded.

“We will continue to trade Select whilst we assess all options available to the business, with the aim of achieving the optimum outcome for all stakeholders,” said Andrew Andronikou, joint administrator at Quantuma.

“Options include a sale of the business, in addition to entering into discussions with those parties who have already expressed interest in acquiring the business.”

The Growth of Online Shopping

Not too many years ago most people shopped in their local stores complete with parking and weather problems, long lines, and wobbly shopping carts. Even when online shopping was available, people felt uncomfortable using their credit cards and giving their personal information to cyber-shops. That has all changed.

Throughout the world online buying has grown exponentially. Consumers may still be concerned about the security of online shopping, but more and more of them are prepared to buy on the web. Faster delivery, easier return policies, and many sites offering free shipping have also increased the desirability of online buying.

More than a half of UK consumers now shop online as the value of digital basket exceeds a five-year average growth rate

More than a half (55%) of UK consumers now shop more online than in-store compared to last year, says a new study.

Customers now shop online on average six times per month, with Generation Y saying that they buy on a retailers’ websites eight times per month and 27% of men and 25% of women report making an online shopping trip once a week, says eCommerce search and navigation specialists EmpathyBroker that examined current consumers shopping behaviour.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of the surveyed UK shoppers like to browse or have a general look around the website, with 13% reporting that they have an exact product in mind “every time” they shop online, and 33% saying that they browse online brands for “inspiration” about the latest trends. This explains why two in five (43%) of UK clients say that they’re more likely to make an unplanned purchase online than in a store.

The study also suggests that the cost of the product (58%), free delivery and return options (57%), the search function (29%) are the third most important aspects for consumers when an online retailer.

“It’s simply more convenient!”

Tough times ahead for the high street

Select’s administration is just the latest piece of bad news for the UK’s High Streets, which have suffered as consumers increasingly do their shopping online.

Several high-profile names have fallen into administration or used a process known as a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which can be used to close stores and allows for rents to be renegotiated at outlets that remain open.

On Thursday, creditors at struggling department store chain Debenhams backed a CVA plan that will see the closure of 50 stores and rent reductions at other outlets.

Last year, House of Fraser fell into administration before being bought by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.

In March, fashion chain LK Bennett called in administrators. The chain was bought last month, but 15 of its 36 stores were closed.

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