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Fewer retailers failing, new figures show

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So far, so good. The news from Deloitte is that retail administrations fell to their lowest level for four years in the first quarter of this year. In the three months to the end of March they fell by 65%, compared to the same period last year. But despite the fall, it seems it’s not yet time to be complacent.

The business advisory firm’s figures show 44 retailers went into administration in the first three months of this year, compared to 124 in the same period last year. That, however, may be a reflection more of how bad things were last year than of how good they are this.

Lee Manning, reorganisations services partner at Deloitte, said: “The first quarter of 2009 saw exceptionally high levels of retail administrations and so it is not surprising to see a drop this time round. However, this period can be make-or-break time for struggling retailers so the scale of the decrease suggests that many retailers have been successful in taking the measures necessary to equip their business for tougher trading conditions.”

Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte added: “The UK consumer faces a number of reductions in their disposable income over the next 12-18 months and it is hard to imagine that measures to tackle the national debt will not impact them further. Growth will be hard to come by and further retail failures seem inevitable.”

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