RETAIL insolvencies have unexpectedly risen to their highest point in five years, as 1,287 businesses went under in England, Scotland and Wales in the last financial year.
The figure, for the 12 months to the end of March, was up 12 per cent on the previous year’s 1,149 casualties, according to a report today from accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy.
The report said that small independent convenience stores have been hard hit, as the expansion of big supermarkets takes its toll on smaller retailers.
The big supermarket chains now have more than 2,300 convenience stores and are adding to these rapidly – with Morrisons the latest to step up activity in this area with plans to add 100 convenience stores a year.
Bricks and mortar retailers have also been squeezed by web retailers, the firm concludes.
Wilkins Kennedy partner Anthony Cork, said: “The supermarkets have the financial power to snap up the best small, inner city locations with heavy footfall, and due to their scale can price very aggressively.”