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Monsoon and Accessorize to axe stores as carnage on the High Street continues

Monsoon and Accessorize to axe stores as carnage on the High Street continues

Monsoon Accessorize is preparing to close stores in the latest blow for the beleaguered High Street.

The clothing and jewellery retailer, which has 270 Monsoon and Accessorize stores and 4,000 staff across the UK, is also seeking rent reductions on its shops as part of a controversial insolvency procedure called a company voluntary arrangement.

It has appointed accountant Deloitte to help with the overhaul.

High street woe: Monsoon Accessorize is preparing to close stores and is seeking rent reductions on other shops as part of a controversial insolvency procedure

A string of chains are closing stores and slashing jobs, including Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Topshop-owner Arcadia.

A spokesman for Monsoon Accessorize said: ‘The retail trading environment is tough and we are continuing to look at options to reduce our overall costs as we restructure the business in the UK and internationally. 

‘We have made no secret of the fact that we have steadily reduced our store portfolio in recent years, and shall continue to do so as leases expire.’

According to the most recent accounts for Monsoon Accessorize’s parent company Drillgreat, the group made a loss of £12.6million in the year to August 26, 2017.

The group has been gradually shutting stores for a number of years as online shopping booms. In its latest accounts, the company said that shoppers going online ‘has profound implications for our business’ and they claim to be addressing it ‘as a matter of urgency’. 

The launch of the CVA will add to concerns over the future of the High Street.

Crippling business rates, soaring rents and an onslaught by online retailers are piling pressure on bricks and mortar shops.

Thousands of stores closed last year and more than 175,000 jobs are predicted to disappear from the High Street this year.

New Look, Mothercare and House Of Fraser have launched CVAs in recent months. The procedure is used by retailers which are otherwise likely to go bankrupt, with Toys R Us and Maplin employing the arrangement before they eventually went bust. 

Meanwhile, Debenhams and Sir Philip Green’s retail empire Arcadia are also expected to launch CVAs imminently.

Monsoon was founded in 1973 by Peter Simon, who was inspired by the bohemian, hand-printed clothing he discovered on his travels through Ibiza, Afghanistan and India. 

Simon, who still owns the business, opened its first shop in Knightsbridge, London, which has since closed. Just over a decade later he opened the first Accessorize store in Covent Garden.

  • Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has been accused of ‘putting profits before people’ as it prepares to close a warehouse in Wigan which will lead to the loss of 300 jobs. Trade union GMB called the move a ‘body blow for the North West’.



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