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British Retail Bankruptcies Continue to Rise

Bankruptcy will continue to plague the British retail industry in 2013, according to major accounting firm Deloitte. Despite fewer bankruptcies in almost every other sector–hospitality and leisure, manufacturing, and property and construction–the number of bankruptcies among retailers rose 18% in 2011, and 6% last year, thanks to low consumer confidence and the soaring cost of overhead.

After a lackluster holiday shopping season–many retailers banked on robust November and December sales–more British shops are expected to close. As Deloitte’s Lee Manning remarked, “Christmas trading appears to have been reasonable, though not spectacular and not enough to prevent insolvencies in the first quarter of 2013.”

Shuttered doors have already resulted in thousands of lost jobs, and surviving shop owners are reluctant to hire new employees. According to The Centre for Retail Research, more than 48,000 British employees were affected by the 52 major retail bankruptcies this year.

key words: British retail industry, bankruptcy, administration, holiday shopping, Deloitte, Lee Manning, The Centre for Retail Research