The UK's retail sector faces another "bloodbath" on the high street next year, according to insolvency specialists. They point to decreased spending and rising unemployment as reasons to expect a wave of administrations echoing the events of early 2009.
In spite of improving sales figures and a boost in sentiment, 86 per cent of insolvency practitioners polled by industry body R3 believe this year's drop in spending will prompt the collapse of more retailers after Christmas.
Another factor singled out for the predicted disappearance of over 20 household names is creditors "biding their time" until after the peak trading period before they call in loans. January's VAT increase is a further cause of pessimism for retailers.
"While it would be comforting to think that the worst of the downturn is over, it's worth remembering that insolvency peaks after a recession ends," remarked R3 president Peter Sargent. "We urge retailers to seek advice early when there is a better chance of rescue, rather than desperately clinging on, hoping that Christmas will cure all ills."
In the opening months of 2009, around 22 high-street retail staples went into administration, including Woolworths, music outlet Zavvi, childrenswear chain Adams and tea and coffee merchant Whittard of Chelsea. For up-to-date information on businesses for sale and in administration take a look at our news section.
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