Whittard to become UK's latest retail casualty
The owners of the famous Whittard of Chelsea chain of shops decided to close down its operation in the wake of economic recession. The chain which sells tea, coffee and crockery, are actively seeking a buyer.
Whittard has 130 stores in the UK and was founded by Walter Whittard in 1886. In a span of few weeks it will be second big chain to close down after Woolworth filed for administration.
Media reports have also speculated about the future of entertainment chain Zavvi, whose supply chain has been severely damaged by the collapse of Entertainment UK.
The grim news came as Whittard of Chelsea, the upmarket tea chain, stood on the brink of administration last night. The 122-year-old chain, which is backed by Landsbanki, the collapsed Icelandic bank, called in Ernst & Young as standby administrator after Landsbanki cut its funding lines, it is understood.
Desperate retailers are trusting that poor trading will be offset by the two extra shopping days they have before Christmas Day this year.
Many are beginning their January sales early, with B&Q and Homebase, the DIY chains, starting on Christmas Eve. John Lewis, the department store group, begins its sale online at 6pm on Christmas Eve, and Marks & Spencer, which has already mounted two “one-day spectaculars”, starts its online sell-off at one minute past midnight on Christmas Day.