Homewares and curtains retailer Fabric Warehouse fell into administration last week, the latest in a spate of retail failures this year.

Leonard Curtis, a retail recovery specialist, has been appointed and has already sold more than 10 of the Rotherham based retailer’s 31 stores.

The collapse is the latest in a series of corporate failures on the high street since the turn of the year including Dolcis and Ethel Austin.

Earlier this month Baugur, the Icelandic investment group, sold budget fashion chain MK One to Hilco, the retail restructuring firm. Some experts predict many of MK One’s 172 stores could close.

The news comes as retail sales values hit a three year low.

The British Retail Consortium revealed this week that UK retail sales values fell 1.5% on a like-for-like basis, compared with April 2007.

Lowest levels since 2005

The year-on-year declines in March and April were the worst since spring 2005 according to the BRC.

The BRC said underlying trade remained tough despite food sales picking up after slowing in March.

Clothing sales lowest levels for eight years

Clothing and footwear fell further to their lowest levels for at least eight years while furniture and larger homewares also remained down on a year ago, despite continued discounting and promotions.

It said: ‘Consumer confidence has dropped sharply to new lows. With increasing demands on household budgets, shoppers are very price-conscious and reluctant to spend on big-ticket items. Even heavy discounting often failed to tempt customers to buy.’

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