RCM Weekly review for January 2019 - Week 4
This week: Patisserie Valerie collapses, additional House of Fraser stores saved and more bank branch closures announced.
Patisserie Valerie finally collapses into administration, putting more than 3,000 jobs at risk. The restaurant group said the collapse was a “direct result” of accounting irregularities which were first revealed last October, in which fraudulent accounts were produced showing £28m in cash rather than the £9.8m in net debt. The group have 200 branches and concessions of which they have announced 70 will close immediately with a loss of 900 jobs.
It’s not all bad on the high street. Four more House of Fraser stores have been saved including the Norwich store located near our head office, saving 100s of jobs. In the end it appears that the landlord (same for all 4 branches) came to the conclusion, that receiving a reduced rent was better than the prospect of no rent at all, given the general downward direction in the demand for retail space.
Santander announce more branch closures. This is not good for the high street but not necessarily bad news for the economy in general, as banks restructure to react to changing consumer demands. Consumer habits are changing in the banking sector, just as they are in general retail. Santander stated that its in-branch transactions have fallen 23% and online increased by 99% over the last three years.
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