The number of retailers in England and Wales falling into administration rose 11 percent in 2011, with a higher rate of failure in the normally lucrative Christmas quarter, according to research by Deloitte.
A total of 42 retailers went into administration in the final quarter compared with 33 in the previous three months, a rise of 27 percent. Administrations for the year totalled 183.
The data from the business advisory firm Monday came within days of outdoor goods retailer Blacks Leisure announcing it would go into administration and then be sold.
High-profile casualties in 2011 included Habitat, Oddbins, Jane Norman and Barratts.
2011 was a tough year for retailers and unfortunately this trend is set to continue well into 2012, said Lee Manning, restructuring services partner at Deloitte.
He said many retailers banking on the busy Christmas period for a sales uplift were instead forced into discounting at levels last seen in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
We are likely to see a further spike in retail administrations in Q1 2012 as retailers buckle under the pressure of VAT (sales tax) payments falling due, impending rent payments, the increased popularity of shopping online and the traditional decline in footfall as the attractive year-end sale offers come to an end, said Manning.
(Reporting by James Davey)