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New Year insolvency warning

Hundreds of retailers are in danger of going bust early next year, according to a report by insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor.

Begbies Traynor placed 323 UK retailers on its “critical watch list”, which it defines as having at least a 70% chance of failing.

Mark Fry, a partner at the company, said: “Retailers need to spend the fourth quarter considering their strategic options as there will be casualties early in 2009 – namely those which are not diversified, do not have a strong online business or do not cater for the ultra-high end of the market whose customers will be least affected by the downturn.”

He added that banks would be reluctant to “pull down” retailers over the next three months as retailers are at their borrowing peak, having stocked up for Christmas and paid off their suppliers.

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