THE number of retailers sliding into administration fell to a four-year low in the first three months of 2010, financial services firm Deloitte said today.
A total of 44 retailers, including names such as childrenswear chain Adams and fashion and homeware store Ethel Austin, called in administrators – the lowest for a single quarter since 2006 and 65% down on a year earlier when the recession was biting hardest.
Adams had a store in New Street, Huddersfield, that closed down, but the Ethel Austin store in Victoria Lane has continued trading with new owners.
The more positive news follows figures from Ernst & Young, which also showed profit warnings by UK companies fell to a 10-year low during the same period.
Administrations were 6% down on the final three months of 2009 as retailers battened down the hatches for tougher trading conditions, but the outlook is “far from plain sailing”, Deloitte warned.
The firm’s UK head of retail Ian Geddes said: “The UK consumer faces a number of reductions in their disposable income over the next 12 to 18 months and it is hard to imagine that measures to tackle the national debt will not impact them further.
“Retail sales are likely to remain broadly flat this year and probably next, whilst costs continue to increase. Growth will be hard to come by and further retail failures seem inevitable.”