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Business insolvency in the retail sector has returned to the headlines in recent weeks, with two of the UK’s most familiar high street brands seeking administration advice, having already done so at least once before.

At the end of October, Blockbuster Video revealed plans to seek administration advice, having been unable to turn around its ailing video rental structure in the face of increasing access to online streaming services.

The brand had tried to reinvent itself as a direct retailer of DVDs and video games but, with established brands like HMV finding it difficult to turn a profit from this activity, critics may claim that it is not a good time for Blockbuster to attempt the practice as a newcomer.

In more recent days, another high street brand, Barratts Shoes, has also revealed it is at risk of business insolvency, and is relying on administrators to rescue it.

Again, the decline of direct retail on the high street has left Barratts unable to compete with the online space, despite having a broad online presence of its own.

In addition to its online store, Barratts has social media profiles spanning Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, a standalone blog and an email newsletter – highlighting that in the current climate, even traditional retailers who have embraced the online space are not safe.