Clothes shop frozen in time for 13 years

George MooreA clothes shop in Bowes Park in North London has become a relic of the late 1990s - after the owner shut the doors and left the contents of the shop -including the shop window - exactly as it was on the last day of trading.

So what does it tell us about how clothes shopping has changed in just over a decade?

National News

The store

The store, George Moore Menswear, was inherited by Brian Moore, in 1969, who ran it until his retirement in the late 1990s. He told the Daily Mail that he couldn't bring himself to empty the shop, so it remains exactly as it was on the last day of trading.

The 1990s doesn't feel like a terribly long time ago. It shouldn't feel like a blast from the past the way it did a few years ago when a 1960s corner shop was unearthed untouched. However, the contents of the shop, and the window display speak reams about how the way we shop has changed in such a small space of time.

The changes

First, The Sun reports that inflation has taken its toll. Back then, you could buy three pairs of socks for just £5.50.

Second, a small shop sells everything: from gloves and hats to shirts and ties, and even Max Bygraves cassettes. Now we expect this sort of thing from a supermarket - who can pile things a great deal higher and sell them much cheaper. A specialist smaller shop needs to offer something more niche.

Third, the days of the family business are numbered. Back in the 1960s, when Brian inherited the store, the high street was dominated by family firms. By his retirement, it's not just the Moores that had no relatives ready to continue the family tradition. A plethora of choice and diminishing returns in retail means many families with a long tradition on the high street have taken another path.

And finally, pastel bow tied didn't turn out to be a fashion with a great deal of staying-power.

High Street casualties
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Clothes shop frozen in time for 13 years

Administrators sounded the death knell for Woolworths in December 2008, leading to store closures that left 27,000 people out of work. Since its collapse former Woolworths stores have become a blight in many town centres and more than 100 of the large stores still lay vacant in January 2012.

Loyal customers didn't have go without the family favourite store for long however as it reappeared online as in 2009, after Shop Direct Home Shopping bought out the Woolworths name.

The greetings cards specialist became the latest highstreet casualty in May with 8,000 jobs on the line when it was forced it into administration. Its biggest supplier, American Greetings, then bought Clintons out of administration and put the retailer through a rebrand including a new logo and complete in-store revamps.

Its contemporary format includes new fixtures and fittings and easier to navigate stores, and will be rolled out to all 400 UK stores at the cost of £16million. Bosses aim to bring the brand back to profit within two years.

Poor sales in the run up to Christmas was the final nail in the coffin for several struggling chains, including lingerie retailer La Senza, which went bust in January 2012 with 146 shops and 2,600 staff. Kuwaiti retailer Alshaya bought part of the business, which saved 60 shops and 1,000 staff.

La Senza has been struggling in a similar way to other specialist shops such as Game and Mothercare, which have been hit by cut-price competition at supermarkets and have no alternative products to help shoulder losses.

Stricken retailer Blacks Leisure, which employed 3,600 staff across 98 Blacks stores and 208 Millets stores, went into administration in Janurary 2012 after failing to find an outright buyer.

Soon after its stores were bought by sportswear firm JD Sports in pre-pack deal - an insolvency procedure which sees a company being sold immediately after it has entered administration – which saw most of Blacks' £36 million of debt wiped out.

Fashion chain Bonmarche, which was part of the Peacock Group, was sold in January when the group collapsed due to unsustainable debts, resulting in 1,400 job losses and 160 store closures. Private equity firm Sun European Partners bought 230 stores, which continue to trade with 2,400 staff.

Peacocks collapsed under a £740 million net debt mountain in January 2012 in the biggest retail failure since Woolworths. Despite being sold out of administration to Edinburgh Woollen Mill in a deal that saved 380 stores and 6,000 jobs, administrators from KPMG were forced to close 224 stores with immediate effect. This lead to 3,350 redundancies from stores and Peacocks head office in Cardiff.

The high street name continues trading as bosses work to stabilise the situation, yet a further blow was dealt this month with news that the firm's pension fund is in £15.8 million shortfall as a result of the collapse.

Game buckled under its £85m debt pile in March 2012 and was placed into administration after being unable to pay a £21m rent bill. Administrator PwC immediately closed 277 shops, with the loss of 2,000 jobs. Soon after, investment firm, OpCapita bought 333 Game stores, saving more than 3,000 jobs.

Game's demise followed a string of profit warnings and the failure of nervous suppliers, including leading names Electronic Arts and Nintendo, to go on providing the latest games, further damaging poor sales.

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