Research from business advisory firm Deloitte found 183 retailers entered administration over the last 12 months compared with 194 in 2012 – a reduction of six per cent. High Street firms were thought to be benefiting from being left standing after the collapse of rivals.
But the last three months of the year saw an increase of 11 per cent compared with the previous fourth quarter – from 37 to 41 – showing that the embattled sector is still attempting to survive the economic slump.
Deloitte restructuring services partner Lee Manning said: “The High Street has undergone a re-balancing, and this is what is being reflected by these figures.
“A year ago we were about to see HMV, Blockbuster and Jessops enter administration, but I would not expect as many high-profile retail casualties this time round. This does not mean demand is increasing, more that the clear-out will benefit those still standing in 2014.”
In total, 1,629 businesses went into administration during the last 12 months, 11 per cent down from the figure of 1,833 seen the previous year.
Almost all sectors tracked in the analysis saw a decline in the number of business failures – including a 24 per cent fall in property and construction, and a four per cent decrease among manufacturing firms. The healthcare and social services sector saw an increase of seven per cent from 42 to 45, the analysis found.
The Government says it is acutely aware of the challenges faced by the High Street amid competition from online sales. Ministers recruited celebrity shopping guru Mary Portas two years ago, and she provided the Government with 28 recommendations to rejuvenate the UK’s High Streets.