More than 35,000 UK retailers in ‘significant financial distress’

Shoppers wearing masks on high street
More than 35,000 retailers are in "significant financial distress" according to Q4 data
// More than 35,000 retailers are in “significant financial distress” according to Q4 data
// The figure is a 2% increase against the Q3 figures

More than 35,000 retailers across the UK are in “significant financial distress” as Omicron pressure mounts during the crucial Q4 trading period, according to the latest figures.

The new data from insolvency firm Begbies Traynor comes as retailers across the UK face a harsh winter with reduced footfall and decreasing sales, as coronavirus cases continue to soar past record levels.

The latest data for Q4 2021 shows that 35,775 retailers, including both online and high street businesses, are considered to be in “significant financial distress”.

The figure is an improvement on the same period last year, but is a 2% increase against Q3 2021, as inflation and supply issues continue to bite.


Read more: Omicron sees retail suffer on last weekend before Christmas


“2020 was one of the toughest years ever experienced in the retail sector,” said Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor.

“And while many sectors were hit hard, especially retail, they began to slowly recover in 2021 when restrictions were lifted, and retailers and non-essential businesses were able to reopen.

“Omicron could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back as many now face the prospect of trading through what is typically the leanest part of the year with the double whammy of falling trade and very limited Government support.”

The chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £1 billion package for the hospitality and leisure sectors earlier this week. Retail experts have spoken out and called for similar support across the sector as it continues to struggle.

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