NEWS that Clintons is planning to close stores adds another famous retailers affected by the crisis on the high street.

It follows the collapse into administration of Mothercare and Mamas & Papas chains.

Clintons – which has branches at St Mary Street in Weymouth and South Street in Dorchester – reportedly wants to close 66 of its 332 shops. It wants landlords to cut rents on most of the others, linking rent to trading performance at the individual sites.

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

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.

Others which have entered administration this year include:

Karen Millen and Coast: All 32 stores – including Karen Millen in Bournemouth’s Arcade – 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 – including a Regis salon inside Bournemouth’s Beales –after their owner fell into administration.

Bonmarche: The value retailer fell into administration last month, with 318 shops – including branches in Boscombe, Poole and Winton – and 2,900 staff. A buyer is being sought.

Bathstore: The bathroom retailer collapsed into administration. Its Castlepoint store closed but the Christchurch branch was among 44 saved by a rescue deal with Homebase.

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. Staff at the Poole High Street branch were offered jobs with Not Just Travel.

Oddbins: The wine specialist closed a raft of stores, including the one in Sandbanks, 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 Bournemouth Square 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 Bournemouth branch of the cookware shop was among 10 to close in January. The Lymington store was among the others which closed after a takeover by ProCook, while other branches were rebranded.

Monsoon and Accessorize: The Bournemouth branch of Monsoon closed as its owners pursued a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to cut its debts.

Boots: The chemist confirmed 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. Dorset branches escaped inclusion on the list.

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.