More firms go into administration
The total number of retailers in England and Wales falling into administration increased by 11% last year, new research has revealed.
Some 183 retailers fell into administration in 2011, compared to 165 in 2010, professional services firm Deloitte said.
In the final quarter of the year, the number of administrations increased by 37% to 42 compared to the previous quarter, Deloitte added.
The rise in companies entering administration comes amid a crippling consumer spending squeeze, driven by higher prices, slow wage growth and low confidence.
Lee Manning, restructuring services partner at Deloitte, warned the trend was set to continue into 2012, with Blacks Leisure and La Senza already confirming they will appoint administrators.
He said: "Many retailers would have been banking on the busy Christmas period to give them a much needed sales uplift, but retailers were forced into discounting at levels last seen in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, putting severe pressure on margins."
Mr Manning said a further spike in retail administrations in the first quarter of 2012 was likely as retailers buckle under the pressure of VAT payments, impending rent payments and the increased popularity of shopping online.
Retailers that fell into administration in 2011 included Barratts, Oddbins, Jane Norman, TJ Hughes, Habitat and Homeform.
Elsewhere, Deloitte found that one in five households have seen a reduction in income, as a result of unemployment, loss of bonuses, reductions in overtime and increased part-time working.
Consumers were found to be cutting back across all discretionary spending categories, in an attempt to reduce costs, including 36% of consumers spending less on clothing and footwear and 28% on furniture and homeware.