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Rise in number of clothing retailers in financial distress

Almost 1,500 clothing retailers are experiencing “significant financial distress” this festive season, compared to 666 businesses during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Research by professional services group Begbies Traynor found retailers as a whole are considerably worse off this Christmas and fashion retailers are among the worst hit, with the number of struggling businesses up 123% year-on-year.

Many have reported lower than expected profit forecasts following the mild autumn, which left them with excess winter stock.

Julie Palmer, partner and retail expert at Begbies Traynor, said: “Black Friday was lauded as the biggest day of retail sales this year, but it seems the only real winners were the largest online retailers and big brand high street chains with the biggest discounts and best online offerings, such as Amazon and John Lewis.”

She said others were forced to slash prices and profit margins, but sales volumes have failed to keep pace.

“With Christmas just around the corner, no amount of last minute present buying will turn around the fortunes of the general retailers before the sales frenzy starts on Boxing Day,” she added.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Can see further Indies without strong and profitable web presence falling by the wayside in 2015 as this Christmas has shown that the run up to Christmas is like a Donkey Derby. Many shops are doomed whatever they do, so I expect some to cut and run before it gets worse.

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