White Stuff, a prominent UK retailer, is reassessing its store portfolio as a response to the continuous lockdown restrictions. PHD Property, a property consultancy firm, has been tasked with conducting a thorough review of all 115 stores across the country, which are currently closed due to the pandemic. While a company voluntary arrangement is being considered, White Stuff is also exploring alternative options in order to address the challenges posed by the ongoing crisis.

Last summer, White Stuff was compelled to make significant staff reductions, resulting in the loss of around 400 jobs, as it grappled with the repercussions of the pandemic. However, the company also made a strategic move towards enhancing its digital operations by making its debut on QVC UK in the autumn.

Despite these endeavors, the enforced closure of physical stores during lockdowns has had a detrimental impact on White Stuff, along with numerous other retailers in the UK. Consequently, the company is now placing greater emphasis on profit-generating locations and seeking ways to control rental costs. Jo Jenkins, the CEO of White Stuff, explained, “Given the current trading environment, we have decided to engage PHD Property to conduct a comprehensive review of our property estate and provide assistance in aligning our rental commitments.”

Although White Stuff previously announced no intentions of closing any of its stores when announcing the job cuts in 2020, the current circumstances may necessitate the consideration of store closures if favorable rent agreements cannot be secured to ensure the financial viability of all locations.

While the majority of White Stuff’s stores are situated within the UK, the company also has an additional 130 international locations. With the support of PHD Property, White Stuff aims to determine the most suitable course of action to optimize its property portfolio and navigate the challenges presented by the ongoing lockdown measures.

Useful links:
Property Week: White Stuff undertakes review of its 115 UK stores
BBC News: White Stuff retailer reviews future of 115 shops