Sue Hayward on Retailers when they head into Administration


Consumer Expert Sue Hayward’s guide to your rights when retailers go into administration or liquidation

“The high street took a double whammy this week after the retail giant Arcadia went into administration. As a result it took with it stores including Top Shop, Miss Selfridge, Top Man, Wallis, Evans and Dorothy Perkins. Within 24 hours it was followed by retailers Debenhams who went into liquidation too.

It’s sad news for struggling high streets, for all the employees, with an estimated 25,000 jobs now at risk, and the shoppers, left wondering what to do with gift cards, returns or faulty goods.

I’m regularly asked about your rights in these situations so here’s my quick run down on your consumer rights and why you should act fast!

Play retailers gift cards now!

If the store in administration is open; they may still accept gift cards.  But don’t expect to get face value, as it’s not uncommon to find they’ll only be accepted for up to 50% of any purchase.

But if a store goes bust; they could prove worthless as you’ll be trying to claim back your cash from the back of the queue behind a whole heap of ‘creditors’.

If gift cards are refused; the person who paid for the card may be able to claim the money back if they paid by debit or credit card using the banks’ ‘charge back’ system.

Rush for refunds on returns

Most high streets stores usually offer generous ‘returns’ policies and swap or refund unwanted items.  If the store doors are open; head back armed with ‘proof of purchase’. See if you can ask for your money back or even an exchange.

Kicking your heels waiting for orders?

Still waiting for an order?   If it doesn’t arrive, or the company goes bust, you may be able to claim your cash back depending on how you paid.

If you paid by credit card, and the item cost over £100, you’ve got extra powers. This comes in the form of a handy bit of consumer legislation known as ‘Section 75’.  Part of the Consumer Credit Act, this gives you super powers as it makes both the company you paid your cash to, and your card company ‘jointly liable’.

So if the store won’t play ball; you can ask your card company for a refund.  Paid by debit card?  Ask your bank to do a ‘charge back’

Faulty goods

In the event that you find the store’s still trading dash back to see if they’ll give you a refund or exchange.

If they won’t help; contact the manufacturer.  With electrical items you usually get at least a one year manufacturer’s guarantee, so ask them to help.

And if you stumped up for an ‘extended warranty’, these are usually insurance backed which means you should still be able to get faults fixed.

This blog is adapted from an article Sue wrote for Good Housekeeping.

More about Sue Hayward

Sue Hayward is one of the country’s leading experts on money and consumer issues and an entertaining and passionate speaker.  She delivers speeches on a wide range of topics including family finance.  Furthermore is also an expert how to haggle as well as chairing round table discussions.Her clients include Aegon and presenting corporate videos for clients including Sodastream, Grundon, Phillips Avent, AXA and AOL. Furthermore she is a popular choice for PR companies seeking a financial expert/spokesperson for their client’s campaigns.

Sue has worked on broadcast and media projects with clients including Tesco,, Santander, Natwest, Philips AVENT and eBay. She is the author of two books including ‘How To Get The Best Deal’ is packed with moneysaving advice and easy ways to get more for your money.

For more information about Sue Hayward please call +44 (0) 7970 646872 or email [email protected]



Posted in