Retailers selling homewears and non-discretionary food are feeling most pressure from the economic downturn, according to new data from KPMG.

In its retail distress tracker, KPMG analysed UK retail businesses facing problems with cashflow, potential covenant breaches and refinancing.

The data showed that fashion and jewellery retailers are the third most affected by these pressures.

KPMG also found that private equity backed retailers are feeling particularly distressed especially if they are highly geared.

KMPG restructuring partner Chris Laverty said: “Retailers selling products for the home are having a great deal of difficulty selling to plan in the current economic environment. With unemployment rising sharply, consumers are reducing their non-essential outgoings drastically.”

Laverty added: “Smaller food and drink retailers, be they local grocery store or upmarket wine seller, are experiencing declining sales as consumers rein in spending. Small chains of retailers lack the clout of their supermarket competitors to squeeze wholesalers and change the product offering in a short timeframe.”