Is The High Street Closing Down?

Three more retailers have fallen into administration, setting the tone for a likely string of further collapses in the new year.

USC, a 58-store branded fashion chain backed by the business tycoon Sir Tom Hunter, appointed administrators yesterday afternoon, according to media reports.

In addition, Passion for Perfume, a 45-store fragrance chain, confirmed that it too has called in the administrators over the past week.

Meanwhile, Olan Mills (no he's not the new Man City right back), a photography studio which lists 34 studio locations across England and Wales, many of them within baby goods retailer Mothercare stores, said in a statement on its website that it stopped trading on Boxing Day and was appointing an administrator.

These latest collapses add to a growing list of firms for whom the writing was on the wall for the new year. With quarterly rents due and sales slumping, there will I fear be many more to follow in the Jan/Apr period.

Whittard of Chelsea, The Officers Club, Zavvi, and children's wear outfit Adams have all gone, or in the later case seem, about to go the same way over the last ten days or so.