Retailers shut up shop on the lengthy slump

Tim Wallace
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INSOLVENCIES fell across the UK in the second quarter, a PwC report shows today, with even the hard-pressed construction sector seeing an improvement compared with the same period of last year.

But retailers are still under pressure, defying the positive overall trend as shoppers stayed away from the high street.

The three-month period saw 3,927 corporate insolvencies across all sectors – an 11 per cent drop on the quarter and three per cent fall on the year.

London saw a nine per cent fall on the year from 980 insolvencies to 887, while the north east and Cumbria saw the largest rise, up 70 per cent from 163 to 277.

Insolvencies fell in the construction sector to 644 and in hospitality and leisure to 332 in the three-month period.

But the broad trend of falling insolvencies was bucked by the retail sector, which saw a 10.3 per cent rise to 426 insolvencies.

“The high street environment continues to be challenging and the second quarter has seen Clintons, Game and Julian Graves go into administration,” explained PwC’s Mike Jervis.

“In fact, quarter on quarter retail insolvencies have increased in every one of the last four quarters.”