Retailer failures up 9% in Q4

After year filled with headlines about high-profile brands facing challenges on the UK High Street, Dun & Bradstreet has revealed that retail business failures in the fourth quarter of 2018 rose by 8.9 per cent year-on-year.

Between October to December, the data consultancy recorded 4,993 business failures – demonstrating a significant rise in the number of failures in the UK overall.

The report compared data on the number of retail insolvencies with quarter-on-quarter retail sales, finding that over 10 per cent of retailers are currently at high risk of failure.

Retailers have faced with a continued increase in online sales - increasing 14.5 per cent in 2018 according to Office for National Statistics data - in addition to rising wages and challenging operating conditions.

Markus Kuger, lead economist at Dun & Bradstreet, said: “It’s been a difficult time for retailers and the current economic uncertainty around Brexit is weighing on consumer confidence.

“A slowdown in sales could see the number of liquidations, high profile or otherwise, rise in the coming quarters; the latest data shows a significant rise in business failures following five quarters of continuous improvement.”

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