Retailers miss out on festive shopping boom

Joseph Millis
MANY British retailers have failed to cash in on the Christmas shopping boom, according to research released today, causing the number of struggling businesses in the sector to increase considerably.

According to research by specialist professional services group Begbies Traynor – covering 1 October to 17 December – UK retailers are considerably worse off this Christmas than they were last year, with 24,251 retailers now suffering “significant” financial distress, compared to 15,792 businesses at the same stage last year; a huge increase of 54 per cent.

Food and clothing retailers were two of the worst hit groups, experien­c­ing increases in “significant” dis­tress of 70 per cent and 123 per cent respectively.

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.

“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.”