Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Trouble on the High Street

The CD and DVD store Zavvi has gone into administration just a day after tea and coffee merchant Whittard of Chelsea suffered the same fate.

It has been a tough year for retailers amid the global economic downturn as they fall victims to the slump in high street sales.

The menswear chain The Officers Club, the furniture retailer MFI and Woolworths, one of the UK's oldest store groups, have all gone into administration in the last month.

BBC News website readers contacted us with their stories.

The following is a selection of the comments we have received:


ZAVVI

I work for Zavvi and have seen this coming for quite some time. More and more customers are shopping online, but are yet to realise that when all high street shops go out of business, net prices will skyrocket and they'll be left to pay whatever online retailers wish to charge.
Edward S., Inverness

I work for Zavvi at the Peterborough store and I can't say this comes as a surprise. The collapse of our main supplier meant we had no stock in, nothing with a high profit margin. Our stock rooms are empty. It simply couldn't have happened at a worse time.
Ben S., Peterborough

I run a small independent music & DVD shop in Devon. The collapse of Entertainment UK has affected me in the same manner. And coming right at the start of Christmas has meant that takings are way down this year and, as such, I am forced to close in the new year after almost four years trading. I now worry it will be hard to find a job when I shut as the big stores are closing too!
Barry Arnold, Bovey Tracey, Devon

I work for Zavvi and the rumour is that we will be bought out by another company after an 80% stock sale announcement after Christmas.
Nathan, Leighton Buzzard

The shop I work in seemed to be doing fine. It always seemed busy, we were always serving customers, and no one was concerned about their job security. Now we're all worried that we might be out of work come new year.
Buster L., London

WHITTARD OF CHELSEA

As a supplier of a range of Christmas and seasonal confectionery to Whittard, we are really worried about the situation they find themselves in currently. As a company, it is tough at this time of year to minimise our exposure to potential bad debts. We were hit when The Pier went into administration, but not too badly as we managed to stop stock from being delivered. Our management team has had to spend a lot of time scouring the internet for information on retailers and their financial status in recent months, and this will only intensify over the coming months.
James Wolfe, London

My husband works for Whittard. Although we've known for a while that there was a potential risk with it being owned by an Icelandic Company, it is still a bit poor to hear this news through the media and not from the company themselves. Not a peep from head office and my husband is having to face questions from his staff this morning about their future when he knows little himself. Let's hope they find a buyer soon.
Maggie D., Reading

I used to work for Whittard and was unsurprised by the news of possible administration. The company was fantastic to work for, their attitude to customers was and is brilliant but there is just too much competition from supermarkets selling much cheaper products. If Whittard could get its products into the higher end supermarkets such as Waitrose, I think they would fare much better.
Benny, Oxford

I feel absolutely awful. I worked with Whittard throughout my university and now I have a job in Restructuring and deal with administrations all the time. The support that my manager gave me at Whittard helped me tremendously with my education and now the fact that this could happen to so many of my old friends and colleagues is absolutely heartbreaking. I cannot imagine going to my local shopping centre without seeing the famous Blue and White logo. Ali

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SEE ALSO
Zavvi placed into administration
24 Dec 08 |  Business
Shops offer last-minute discounts
24 Dec 08 |  Business
Officers Club deal saves 900 jobs
23 Dec 08 |  Business
Whittard sold to private equity
23 Dec 08 |  Business

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