THE news that Mothercare is going into administration has added another famous name to the list of retailers hit by the crisis on the high street.

High rents, business rates, rising waging bills and competition from the internet are all among the reasons for an unprecedented series of company collapses and store closures this year.

Jeff Bray, senior lecturer in marketing and retail management at Bournemouth University, said: “There are common issues around high rents and high business rates for physical retailers and of course the point is that online retailers don’t have to pay nearly so much, so they have an advantage.

“The threat from the internet is omnipresent but it’s those retailers that have been least effective in adapting and innovating in the face of this challenge that are struggling.”

He fears that recent crisis could be the “tip of the iceberg” for retailing.

“There’s no particularly big surprise at the list of companies that are struggling right now – but the timing is a little bit surprising, because you might imagine companies managing to trade well through the Christmas period and then struggling over the new year,” he said.

According to KPMG, 44 retail businesses went into administration in the six months to September, including a number of high street stalwarts.

Those which have entered administration this year include:

Karen Millen and Coast: All 32 stores – including Karen Millen at Westquay and Coast inside Southampton’s Debenhams – were closed in September after it went into administration, although its online brand was saved by Boohoo.

Supercuts and Regis: All 223 salons in the high street group are under threat after their owner fell into administration. They include Supercuts at Southampton’s Marlands, Fareham and Gosport, pus Regis salons at Fareham and Winchester.

Bonmarche: The value retailer fell into administration last month, with 318 shops – including branches at Southampton’s Marlands Shopping Centre and Shirley – and 2,900 staff. A buyer is being sought.

Bathstore: The bathroom chain collapsed into administration, spelling the closure of stores in Bitterne Village, Winchester and Waterlooville.

Thomas Cook: The collapse of the travel agent, with 800 stores, was the biggest high street failure of the year, although 555 branches were saved by Hays Travel.

Oddbins: The wine specialist closed a raft of stores after it fell into administration in February, the second time it had collapsed in around eight years.

Debenhams: The department store chain entered administration in April as it sought to reduce its debt and start a restructuring which would result in store closures. The Southampton branch is not on the list of closures announced so far.

Marks & Spencer: The high street institution is in the midst of plans to close 85 full branches and 25 Simply Food outlets, on top of a closure programme which claimed Bournemouth’s town centre branch in 2018.

Steamer Trading: The cookware chain was bought out of administration by ProCook, which closed branches including Westquay and Lymington and rebranded the remaining stores.

Monsoon and Accessorize: The fashion chain closed a number of branches as it pursued a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to cut debts. It has stores at Westquay, Whiteley Shopping Centre, Fareham Shopping Centre and Winchester.

Boots: The chemist said in June that it will close UK 200 stores.

Arcadia Group: In May, Sir Philip Green announced plans to shut 23 stores, including Topshop, Topman and Dorothy Perkins sites, in a move which hit 520 workers.

Its Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Topshop, Topman and Wallis brands have several branches in Hampshire.

Despite the difficult times for retailers, Dr Bray said shopping remained a national pastime.

“There will still be high streets – just not so many of them and not so big,” he said.