Nationwide fashion retailer Select is poised to enter administration as early as today (Weds 8th May) threatening 2,000 jobs unless a buyer can be found.
The chain has 180 shops and in south east London that includes sites at Bexleyheath, Erith, Welling and Lewisham.
The Bexleyheath branch is inside the Broadway shopping centre with the Erith branch inside Riverside shopping centre.
Things look bleak for the chain. They first entered administration in 2008. After a rescue they’ve since struggled. Last year they entered administration and enacted a CVA (company voluntary arrangement) to lower rents. Even that doesn’t appear to have helped. The latest accounts show a loss of £15.5 million.
Another possible factor which can’t have helped is the increase in business rates from central Government.
Rates are being re-evaluated in a process which begun in 2017 and shops in London are seeing some of the steepest increases. Even if the chain survives, branches in London may not. The Government has also pushed increases in line with RPI inflation rates (as with rail fares) yet it’s a higher inflation rate than CPI.