Thousands of clothing retailers are thought to be at risk of falling into insolvency, as they are expected to take a major hit from both Brexit and the business rates reforms.
According to accountancy firm Moore Stephens, nearly a fifth of all clothing retailers totaling around 5538 are showing warning signs.
The firm, which analysed 30,940 businesses, said the rise in minimum wages alongside rising business rates, increased online competition and the fallen value of the pound have put retailers at risk of collapse.
“Clothing retailers are being buffeted hard on many fronts,” Moore Stephens’ head of insolvency Jeremy Willmont said.
“Rising costs and intensifying competition are putting pressure on revenue and making profit margins harder to maintain.
“Sterling’s post-Brexit performance could have a chilling effect on discretionary spending on ‘fast fashion’ imported from overseas supply chains.’’