Deathwatch - The Officers Club, now with up to 20% off!
I ambled past a branch of The Officers Club last night (having just witnessed the nuclear desolation that is the toy department in Woolworths) and two things were immediately apparent;
- The Officers Club is nothing of the sort; no officer, even a parole officer would be found buying a leather jacket there, let alone pulling up a bar stool and crooning songs by the Everly Brothers
- I don't understand who it is setting astronomical RRPs or how such a procedure is regulated, in order for a store to constantly sell goods at over two thirds of their "original" price
Seemingly I'm not the only one; the sums didn't add up (a quick peek at their financial records - a loss before tax of £794,000 for 2007 on sales of £52 million - suggests they were in trouble long before now) and on Monday, the North East based company went into administration.
Yesterday, a buyer was found; 118 of the 150 stores were sold to a third party backed by the The Officers Club chairman, David Charlton. Not all bad news then - the sale safeguarded the jobs of 900 staff. The other 32 stores were closed immediately.
Meanwhile, the BBC reports experts are warning that ten or more national or regional retail chains risk going bust in January. Seemingly next month is the most vulnerable for struggling retailers, since most are cash-rich and stock-poor; if creditors are going to force a business into administration, January's the time to do it.
So we need ten predictions for you - which stores will cease trading in the next five weeks? There's a Bitterwallet prize pack* for every correct answer!
* Prize pack may be nothing of the sort. May contain nut products.