Tight belts and terrible leadership: The biggest retail collapses of the decade

retail collapses

Dick Smith collapsed in 2016.

It would be an enormous understatement to say it’s been a tumultuous decade for Australia’s retail industry.

Amid unprecedented disruption from online shopping, the rise of international competitors, consistent rental increases, and changing consumer habits, hundreds of well-known retail brands have collapsed over the last 10 years.

As we look into 2020, an entirely new decade, all of these challenges remain, and some have worsened in severity.

SmartCompany has put together a timeline of some of the most prominent retail failures over the last decade through analysis of media reporting on voluntary administration, receivership, market exits and wind-ups from January 1, 2010 to December 19, 2019.

By no means is it an exhaustive list; thousands of independent retailers have also collapsed over this time period, and there’s no mention of them here.

What you will find below is a collection of many of the most prominent Australian retail failures. Some brands appear more than once, others have since been acquired and are still trading in one form or another.

Many more no longer exist at all, consigned to Australia’s ever-expanding retail graveyard.

Store numbers have been included where possible, and hyperlinks lead to more detailed news and analysis reports written at the time.

2019: Troubled times

2018: A bloodbath

2017: High street hardship

2016: The dam opens

Retail collapses by the numbers.

2015: G-Star bites it

2014: Over half a decade ago

2013: A sign of what’s to come?

2012: Familiar faces

2011: Bookopalypse

2010: Krispy Kreme?!?

Is there a big business missing? Let us know: news@smartcompany.com.au.

NOW READ: Warnings of more retail death as menswear retailer Ed Harry collapses, putting 498 jobs at risk

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2 years ago

Naturally a lot of stores will lose customers what with the loud/annoying ‘music’ that they have playing in the background. Go online and read how many people do not go into shops that do this. On one hand I am glad they do as I am saving money by not impulse buying.

2 years ago

For some reason, Australian retailers are ignoring the opportunities that learning how to use social media as an effective channel of connection offers them, choosing instead to adopt a hostile, denial of the online space. Australian retailers must wake up and understand that this downward trend speaks of their inability to read the room, their absence of market analysis and understanding. You cannot simply shout out sales messages it seems – obviously something is wrong, why aren’t people learning from this?

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