A QUESTION mark hangs over the future of two major retailers at Clifton Moor retail park as Toys R Us and Maplin both fall into administration.

In a domino-like fall of the national brands Toys R Us confirmed at 9.40 this morning that it had appointed administrators, followed just half an hour later by a similar announcement from electronics retailer Maplin.

Moorfield Advisory, acting on behalf of Toys R Us, said it had started an "orderly wind-down" of the company's 84 UK stores and 21 concessions, with 3,200 jobs put at risk.

York's Toys R Us, in Clifton Moor, had already been identified as a loss-making store and was set to close this Spring as part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) announced in December last year.

However the CVA, which was designed to pay off the the firm's debts, including a £15 million tax bill, in a bid to avoid redundancy, has now been terminated and last-ditch rescue attempts to find a buyer to save the business have failed.

Maplin, which has 217 UK stores, put PwC on standby on Wednesday after hopes of a solvent sale of the business failed.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill had been touted as a potential rescuer for Maplin.

But talks are thought to have broken down, leaving Rutland no alternative but to call in administrators, putting 2,500 jobs at risk.

It is not yet known what will happen to Maplin's stores, including its Clifton Moor site, however PwC said it is still attempting to find a buyer for the group.

Maplin chief executive Graham Harris said the retailer has been struggling to mitigate the impact of the pound's devaluation post the Brexit vote, a weak consumer environment and the withdrawal of credit insurance.

Administrators for both businesses say all stores will remain open until further notice, with vouchers still being accepted.

Staff from both Toys R Us and Maplin in York were unable to comment, however local expert Mike Jenkins, insolvency director at Begbies Traynor in York, said: "While the administration of Toys R Us was prompted by a £15 million VAT bill due today, this was simply the straw that broke the camel’s back in a saga that has played out over recent weeks.

"Despite its pledge to shut down stores, to scale back operations to save costs and its frantic attempts to find a buyer, Toys R Us has unfortunately fallen foul of a perfect storm hitting bricks and mortar retailers.

"Rising costs from the National Living Wage, apprenticeship levy and inflation combined with ongoing pressure on consumer spending and the continued rise of the internet are hitting retailers with a big high street presence hard.

"It is clear that only the strongest retail offers will survive what is one of the toughest trading environments the retail sector has seen for some time."