Britain’s retail sector continues to struggle

The retail sector in the UK is continuing to struggle, with budget fashion chain Peacock’s the latest to report financial problems, hot on the heels of similar issues at well-known stores such as Black’s and La Senza.

The British Retail Consortium has warned that other retail firms could go into administration, or out of business altogether. Many end up being bought out by other companies and investors which can leave consumers unsure of where they stand when it comes to the validity of gift vouchers and credit notes, or what to do if they need to get a refund on an item bought before the business changed hands.

It seems that the travel industry has been hit particularly hard in the recent recession leading to concerns that people could miss out on their family holiday, through no fault of their own. This kind of situation is rare, however, as most travel agencies are members of umbrella organisations that will do their best to make sure that consumers will either get their trip abroad or their money back.

The only people who may find themselves directly affected are those who are actually away when the company collapses; with the travel agency unable to arrange or pay for transport, these holidaymakers could find themselves stranded in the resort until new arrangements can be made.

In the retail sector, some consumers were left out of pocket when the hardware chain Focus DIY when into administration, leaving thousands of customers having paid for orders which they never received. Firms in financial trouble usually owe lots of money to lots of different creditors and ordinary customers often come well down the list when it comes to who gets priority payments.

If a company has to call in the receivers there is, unfortunately, no guarantee that you will get either the goods you have ordered or a refund. Your only hope is that whatever you bought has already been packaged and labelled with your name and address as it is then legally your property and has to be mailed out. 

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