The collapse of both Woolworths and MFI on the same day was no great surprise. The timing was unhelpful to the government, coming just two days after their announcement of the 2.5% cut in VAT that they presented as the way to stimulate retail spending before Christmas and beyond.
Sage retail analysts have been invited in to studios to tell us it is just the weakest store groups going down, and to imply some inevitability about it. It is still not good news. There is a Woolworths on most High Street. If they cannot find a buyer quickly there will be fire sales on the High Street, doing damage to shops near by, followed by more blank frontage as the shops are closed. It’s bad news for the retail market generally, and for all those who make their living out of promoting shopping in our Town centres and offering us goods there. These are casualties of the Credit Crunch.