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La Senza clears stocks and closes stores ahead of potential adminstration

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Embattled lingerie retailer La Senza, which is expected to go into administration in coming days, is offering discounts of up to 70% online as it closes stores and looks to clear stocks.

On its website, La Senza, which is owned by Lion Capital, says “everything must go” and that “many stores are closing.” In all 81 stores are listed as earmarked for closure out of a total estate of 146 stores.

The multichannel retailer, which gave notice on December 23 that it expected to appoint administrators early in 2012, is one of a number of expected Christmas casualties following a muted festive selling season on the high street that warmed up only close to Christmas Day itself and seems, according to provisional Experian Footfall figures cited in today’s Telegraph newspaper, to be falling flat in the New Year sales. Those figures suggest high street and shopping centre visitors rose by just 0.75% last week and fell by 2.5% on New Year’s Eve and by 25.3% on New Year’s Day.

Other retailers having a difficult time include Blacks Leisure, also offering discounts of up to 70% off in its January sale online, and which said on December 23 that no buyers had come forward after it put itself up for sale, although there had been interest in its assets.

Last week saw the demise of Hawkins Bazaar while Barratts Priceless shoe retailer went into adminstration before Christmas.

But across the internet, sales are now in full swing, with retailers from John Lewis to Debenhams offering up to 70% off.

Insights into how this Christmas turned out are expected to come from many multichannel retailers over the course of coming weeks, with John Lewis expected to report later today, Domino’s and Next tomorrow, while next week it will be the turn of Thorntons, HMV, N Brown Group and Home Retail Group, owner of Argos and Homebase.

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