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Zavvi goes into administration

Zavvi follows Whittard to be latest crunch victim

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Entertainment store Zavvi, the former Virgin Megastore chain, has called in administrators after it was crippled by the collapse of Woolworths’ Entertainment UK division.

Zavvi is the largest independent entertainment store in the UK and has 125 branches – 114 in the UK and 11 in Ireland.

Administrator Ernst & Young said all 125 Zavvi UK stores will open as normal on Boxing Day for the post-Christmas sales, and will stay open while a buyer is sought.

Whittard of Chelsea

Zavvi is the third store giant in 24 hours to call in administrators as the high street squeeze claims a growing number of big names.

Yesterday, tea and coffee specialist Whittard of Chelsea was also placed in administration, but the 122-year-old company will remain on the high street after administrator Ernst & Young sold the firm to private equity company Epic in a rescue deal.

Struggling British menswear retailer The Officers Club also went into administration last night but was snapped up by management in a deal which saved more than 900 jobs.

A new company backed by David Charlton, chief executive of The Officers Club, took on 118 of the firm’s 150 stores. But the remaining 32 stores are to close immediately.

Shadow chief Treasury secretary Phillip Hammond said: ‘With three high-profile retail failures in as many days during the peak trading period, the prospects for the high street in the new year look ever more grim.’

Know your rights when a retailer goes into administration with our guide.

Christmas sales

The demise of Zavvi comes in the midst of the Christmas sales on the high street. Zavvi started its sale on Monday and other retailers have announced plans to slash prices by up to 90% in an attempt to boost sales.

John Lewis, for example, starts its clearance sale online at 6pm today – the earliest it has ever held the sale.

© Press Association 2008

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