Nearly a third (30%) of South West retailers are at heightened risk of insolvency in the next 12 months, according to research by R3, the insolvency trade body. This is an increase of 5.5 percentage points  on the same time last year.

These figures are higher than the cross-sector percentage of businesses in the South West at higher than normal risk (26.5%). However, it is below the UK average insolvency risk for the retail sector (30.8%).

Alan Bennett, Chair of R3 in the South West and Partner at Ashfords LLP, comments:

“Year on year, we are seeing the inevitable increase in the number of shoppers opting to purchase presents and seasonal food and drink online rather than venture onto the high street. This continuing trend means that retailers are having to look at alternative ways of drawing in customers which has seen the rise of pre-Christmas sales and dedicated days such as Black Friday.

“We won’t know until January how South West retailers really fared, but we would urge anyone who is struggling to seek help before the New Year. It is imperative that businesses seek advice from an expert as early as possible.”

R3 uses research compiled from Bureau van Dijk’s ‘Fame’ database of company information to track the number of businesses in key regional sectors that have a heightened risk of entering insolvency in the next year.