Retailers fear bleak Christmas ahead

Christmas sales on the high street could be even worse than last year.


Christmas sales on the high street could be even worse than last year.

Christmas sales on the high street could be even worse than last year.

According to business consultant Begbies Traynor, last month saw a sharp rise in retailers in serious financial distress, with 125 retail companies experiencing critical problems – up 37 per cent from August. The firm expects a significant number of those 125 companies to enter into formal insolvency procedures within a year.

Nick Hood, senior London partner at business consultants Begbies Traynor, says: ‘With unemployment set to continue rising for many months and consumer confidence remaining extremely fragile, many struggling retailers are threatened with a Christmas that may be even worse than last year, when 15 major national and retail chains failed.’

Phil McCabe, spokesperson for the Forum of Private Business, says: ‘A good Christmas can set up a small retailer for the rest of the year. However, in terms of the real economy and people spending money our members are concerned that this Christmas isn’t going to be any easier for them.’

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) high street sales dipped by 0.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis from August 2008.

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