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As Coronavirus sends ripples of destruction through the world’s economy, the UK high-street has felt it hard with many household names such as Cath Kidston and Flybe buckling under the strain.

AskTraders have analysed over 20 of the UK’s businesses that are most at risk, taking into account everything from historic problems to a lack of consumer confidence, underinvestment and the inability to adapt digitally, the study has have taken a comprehensive look at the impact Coronavirus is having on the high street.

AskTraders senior market analyst Nigel Frith comments on the future for these businesses and their likelihood of survival.

Superdry and Monsoon set to be the next victims of the UK high-street! 

The two high-street brands most at risk would be Superdry and Monsoon Accessorize. The analysis showed that as online sales have struggled for both retailers it could mean that the nation-wide shut down due to COVID-19 serves as a final blow for these two businesses.

Nigel comments on over 10 other brands from the high street but also banks and airlines that are most at risk during this time and discusses their likelihood of survival.

Brand  Likelihood of survival  Comment from Nigel Frith 
Superdry Not likely 🔴 Shares down 11.69%, seeking additional financing to secure recovery. Online sales slump, will struggle to survive.
Monsoon Accessorize Not likely🔴 Unless co-owner Mr Simon injects more cash, (around an additional £18 million) then the future looks bleak for Monsoon Accessorize
Intu Not likely🔴 This reduction in rents could be the final straw for Intu, seeing them on the edge of collapse.
Next likely🔸 Prior to this Next’s sales had been up 14% online, but as they seek a buyer for Next HQ in order to raise the cash to protect their stores and have stopped online sales they have a 50/50 chance of survival.
Marks & Spencers likely🔸 Reduced investment and delay staff pay rises Marks and Spencer could survive the impact COVID-19 has had on trading. But as their share price drops down to 50% so far this year, could Coronavirus be the final nail in M&S’s coffin?
Ted Baker likely🔸 Combining these trends together Ted Baker has a 50/50 chance of survival, with the sales from their head office repaying existing debt it may give them the breathing space to come back fighting.
Debenhams likely🔸 Debenhams will be lucky to make it through the effects Coronavirus is having on our economy, although a rent break may help in the short term as the age of the department store seems to be ending.
Thorntons Certain ✅ With a strong commitment from owner Ferrero, Thorntons is likely to survive as it evolves to work with this ever-changing market.
Office Certain ✅ Although Coronavirus could see the closures of ore stores for Office, a strong action plan for returning to the high street market most COVID-19 could see them surviving.
WH Smith Certain ✅ With 40% of their stores still open, WHSmith may be able to ride this epidemic out with immediate rebounds in sales as normality resumes.

It is not just the high street that is in danger, the rest of the economy faces unprecedented times as well. AskTraders also analysed the current economy to see which airlines, restaurants and banks would suffer the most over the coming weeks.

Frankie & Benny’s set to be the next victim of COVID-19 

Brand  Likelihood of survival  Comment from Nigel Frith 
Jet2  likely🔸 Pummelled by travel restrictions, cut capacity to cut costs, UK government could prop it up if needed, there is a good chance it will need propping up.
The Restaurant Group  likely🔸(but just Wagamama) Speeding up closures of Franky & Benny & Chiquito – these two brands could disappear completely, bad position to start with. There is still a future for Wagamama on UK high street sales were strong there prior to lock down, Wagamama likely to bounce back
Pizza Express   likely🔸 Good chance survival last week agreed £70 million loan with IPS Investment partners to see it through. Focus on supermarket sold pizzas
HSBC   likely🔸 Despite the promise of government- backed loans, banks are making it more and more difficult for small and medium businesses to access these. These negative connotations with banks are only going to further impact their decline.

Nigel Frith, senior market analyst at https://www.asktraders.com/

“Finally! The government is taking the economic impact of Coronavirus seriously. It only took the FTSE dropping 30% over 3 weeks and pub owner Marston’s shedding 45% in one day!

The penny has dropped that without this vital lifeline of colossal support businesses would have struggled to survive the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. These are not just the headline-grabbing firms like Virgin Atlantic, but more importantly, those small and medium-sized businesses which make up the bases to the British economy.  The more stringent social distancing policies that the government is implementing would strangle the consumer-based UK economy.

The key question now is how accessible will this support be? Large and targeted support will be extremely effective as long as it is quickly and easily accessible. A global and coordinated package along these lines, where business owners and investors know the government will do whatever it takes, could start easing the global fear.”

Poole high-street set to be the worst hit by COVID-19! 

Previous research by AskTraders on the demise of the high-street revealed which 20 towns in the UK had a struggling retail sector. The analysis used open data on closures of ATM’s retail stores and banks to reveal which town had been hit the hardest.

This research now shows which UK towns are going to be the ones struggling the most due to COVID-19 lockdown impacting store closures and the rest of the high-street.

The data revealed that Poole is the home to the most declining high street in the UK followed by Blackpool and Warrington.

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