So it's not all doom and gloom on the highstreet...
Yes while Woolworths and MFI demonstrate that they put nothing away for a rainy day after 10 years of unprecedented economic boom (a common theme, it seems) Argos on the other hand is proving itself to be the smug Apple of the store front world.
The catalogue loving warehouse chain has consequently announced a deal this week which sees it drive head forth into the electronics area with the double purchase of budget brands 'Alba' and 'Bush' for a combined £15.25m in cash. Parent company Alba had been planning to cease the supply of Alba and Bush branded products including TVs, DVD players and stereos as the result of an extensive restructuring plan.
"The trademarks are household names with very strong heritage, which have high awareness and purchase frequency with Argos customers," said a spokesperson for Argos owner Home Retail Group. The purchases are "expected to be broadly earnings neutral for the year ended February 2010" the statement concluded, suggesting Argos thinks it has itself a bit of a bargain.
To be fair Argos probably has - depending how it plans to best exploit them, all of which I'd expect to become clear within the next six months.
Don't feel too sorry for Alba however since it still retains Goodmans, Grundig, Sonetik, and Ministry of Sound Audio. That said, considering the efforts of that last brand, perhaps we should be a little concerned after all...