Bloodbath on the high street
• M&S slashes prices to shift stock
• Dixons worth just 10 days’ sales
• Retailers fear worst Christmas in years
- guardian.co.uk, Thursday November 20 2008 00.01 GMT
- The Guardian, Thursday November 20 2008
- Article history
The scale of the crisis facing Britain’s high streets was underlined in dramatic fashion yesterday as Woolworths revealed it was seeking a rescue takeover of its stores and Marks & Spencer slashed its prices by 20% in an attempt to pull in shoppers and shift unsold stock.
Woolworths is likely to get just £1 for its loss-making 800-store chain. The decision to seek a buyer for the shops in mid-November reveals that the chain is dangerously close to bankruptcy. It makes 90% of its profits in the six weeks before Christmas and should be raking in cash at this time of the year, selling Christmas goods and toys.