Warren Evans becomes latest casualty on the high street as it falls into administration

 
Helen Cahill
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Warren Evans has become the latest UK retailer to fall into administration, underscoring the considerable pressures being felt by the industry.

The collapse of the furniture retailer puts its 14 stores, and a factory in Walthamstow, at risk.

Read more: Warren Evans looking to get into bed with new investment partner

Warren Evans was seeking a buyer in January, with the aim of securing a sale by the end of March. It appointed Duff and Phelps to handle the sale, but the firm is now handling Warren Evans' administration after the business failed to find a buyer.

"Despite strong like-for-like sales in the pre-Christmas period, the picture moving into 2018 has been dramatically different and this has impacted the search and scope for new investment," said administrator Allan Graham.

“Warren Evans is rightly recognised as one of the UK’s leading bed, mattress and furniture retailers, but trading conditions are exceptionally challenging with the business hit by rising manufacturing costs and the continued squeeze on consumer wallets and confidence."

Analysts have predicted a raft of retail administrations this year as businesses face unprecedented costs pressures and a significant change in consumer spending habits.

Non-food retailers have been some of the hardest hit, with many unable to survive in a highly competitive environment that encourages heavy discounting. This morning, New Look unveiled a 10 per cent slump in sales, which it said was due to offering much of its stock to shoppers at a discount price.

Food retailers have had their sales figures lifted by rising inflation, but have also been cutting thousands of jobs to save on costs. Morrisons was the latest to announce job losses, saying it was axing 1,500 middle managers.

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