High street trade is worst since 2008

HIGH street trading is in a worse state today than it was in the tumultuous period after Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy three years ago, an Ernst & Young report has revealed.

Eighteen per cent of general retailers, excluding food and drug vendors, have issued profit warnings since the beginning of October, up from 14 per cent in the same period in 2008, which saw Woolworths and Zavvi wave farewell to the high street.

The ten bleak-prospected retailers include Mothercare, Thorntons, and French Connection, said E&Y.

Alan Hudson, head of E&Y’s restructuring practice, was not confident of prospects improving in the new year. He said, “The walking wounded left behind will struggle to survive with rising costs and pressure.”