Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

21,802 UK Retailers Suffering 'Significant Financial Distress'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

21,802 UK Retailers Suffering 'Significant Financial Distress'

Article excerpt

THOUSANDS of retailers are at risk of collapse as a lethal cocktail of lacklustre Christmas trading, prolonged discounting, higher staff costs and the pound's weakness threaten to push firms to "breaking point".

Research from insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor suggests that 21,802 retailers across the country are suffering from "significant financial distress", 6% higher than at the same stage last year.

Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies, said: "Retailers were hopeful that 2016 would be a bumper year for Christmas sales, after reports that credit card debts hit a record high in October. But with rising transport and fuel costs continuing to drive up the cost of living and drag down consumer spending power, it seems that this momentum has not continued into the festive period, with levels of financial distress among retailers now even higher than last year."

Research shows that 97% of retailers in a state of financial distress are small and medium-sized businesses. …

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