Woolworths, MFI outlets and nearly 2,000 other retail shops have entered administration, according to insolvency and restructuring specialist Begbies Traynor. Tens of thousands of jobs are at risk, including 27,000 Woolworths employees. Begbies Traynor Executive Chairman Nick Hood said more high street stores likely will close in the next few weeks.
A survey of Swiss retailers found that more than 80% expect sales to be higher in 2009 than they were in 2008. "Such optimism may well come as a surprise in the light of current economic forecasts, but it shows that market players in the retail sector are not expecting a collapse," said Credit Suisse, which conducted the survey along with retail consultancy Fuhrer & Hotz.
Sephora Marinopoulos, the Greek-based operator of Sephora and Beauty Shop franchises throughout Eastern Europe, plans to open the first of five Sephora-branded stores in Romania in Bucharest's Grand Arena shopping mall. The company operates 16 Sephora shops in the country.