The number of fashion and other retailers entering administration in England fell to 119 during 2014, down 35% from 182 the year before.
Annual research figures from business advisory firm Deloitte show almost one third of last year’s insolvency filings occurred in the first quarter, traditionally the toughest period of the year.
Overall, some 1,302 companies went bust in 2014. Causalities in manufacturing industries accounted for the most at 236, with wholesale and distribution losing just 88.
Regionally, the majority (328) took place in London, followed by the North West (203) and the South East (205.)
Fashion businesses to collapse during 2014 include Jane Norman, La Senza, Internaçionale, and more recently Nougat London and independent department store JR Taylor. Eariler this week young fashion chain Bank announced it will cease trading, while Sports Direct filed a notice of intention to appoint receivers to USC on Tuesday.
Restructuring services partner at Deloitte Lee Manning said: “After a few turbulent years, we saw fewer casualties in the retail sector in 2014. As the economic situation improved, consumer confidence increased and the retail industry benefitted.
“There is a clear pattern developing whereby we expect to see a permanent shift away from using administration as a restructuring tool for businesses with a greater emphasis towards constructive debtor-driven solutions involving negotiations with creditors, either informally or through the use of CVA’s [company voluntary arrangements] where in both circumstances companies will work alongside restructuring professionals.”