How retailers and restaurants can survive the big freeze

Commenting on recent high profile failures on the high street, Andrew Westbrook, head of retail at RSM said:

‘The icy blast over the last week has provided an apt metaphor for conditions on the high street.

‘We’re now seeing the harsh reality that regardless of service levels in-store, high street retailers without a full and integrated online offering are really going to struggle to compete with the likes of Amazon – particularly at low price points. It’s also a fairly safe bet that Amazon will take up much of the slack left by the exiting operators.

‘The recent collapse of well-known names such as Toys R Us and Maplin should be a wake-up call to others. Clearly, retail businesses with outmoded service offerings and a single channel focus will need to take urgent action to adapt their business strategies, or they could find themselves following suit.’

Damian Webb, a consumer business restructuring specialist at RSM said:

‘The current dynamics for retailers are challenging. Increasing costs coupled with weak consumer spending have made the past 12 months some of the most challenging conditions for retailers in a generation. The current inclement weather will add further misery on those that struggled during the festive period. 

’Many retailers are now pro-actively restructuring themselves to ensure they remain competitive and are well set for the future. 

‘We have recently been involved in a number of restructurings in which turnarounds have been rapidly implemented, saving jobs and ensuring on-going profitable trading. It is important that all the stakeholders in businesses recognise the importance of acting swiftly to ensure disorderly failures such as Maplins and Toys R Us are avoided.’