Retailers’ warning: more woes to come

RETAILERS fell into administration at a faster rate last year, with a leading industry body warning that tax hikes will see even more high street stores going bust in the months to come.

Retail administrations totalled 183 in 2011, according to data released today by Deloitte -- an 11 per cent rise on the previous year’s total of 165.

And the situation appeared to be getting worse towards the year end, with administrations increasing by 27 per cent in the final three months of the year, compared to quarter three.

With business rates set to rise by 5.6 per cent in April, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) says that more misery could be set to come.

“The next few months are bound to be quieter as consumers rein in spending after Christmas,” said BRC chief Stephen Robertson.

The government should boost the industry by “holding back the costs for which they are responsible, including business rates, retail levies and the burden of regulation,” Robertson said.

“Retailers don’t ask for hand-outs but they do deserve help overcoming some of the barriers to business success.”

The outlook is not so bleak across the economy as a whole, Deloitte added. “Overall, the total number of companies falling into administration in 2011 declined by four per cent from 2,086 in 2010 to 2,010,” said Lee Manning, restructuring services partner.