This week’s rent day brought a round of bloodletting on the high street as ongoing pressures pushed more retailers to the brink.

This week’s rent day brought a round of bloodletting on the high street as ongoing pressures pushed more retailers to the brink.

Companies across a variety of categories were affected, reflecting that life remains challenging across the board.

Furniture retailer Dwell was formally placed into administration while value fashion player Internaçionale and niche specialist ModelZone looked poised to follow as we went to press.

It’s sad news for the retailers concerned, their staff particularly. But while their ailing fortunes are mirrored at some other firms, the truth is their woes are not representative of the industry as a whole.

The trial by ordeal of the past few years has prompted top retailers to put their best foot forward, to adapt, to innovate and focus on operational excellence.

Retailers as diverse as John Lewis, Sports Direct, Next and - despite gripes from some about falling sales - WHSmith have all showed their mettle, tried out new ideas and kept disciplines and focus tight. Their rewards have been clear to see.

Others that came under intense pressure, such as Dixons and Home Retail, took a long hard look at themselves and came up with reinvention programmes that are bearing fruit, even if they remain to varying degrees works in progress.

And through it all there are retailers that have put on growth at an enviable pace. Cath Kidston, American Golf and Office are just three that illustrate the variety of businesses that have confounded the generally gloomy conditions and clicked with consumers.

Despite this week’s casualties, those retailers that remain may just be able to look forward to a little relief. There’s no room for complacency and rose-tinted glasses should be avoided. But there is a sense that, although conditions aren’t exactly benign, they are probably not getting worse.

The intensity of competition in retail has always made it an industry red in tooth and claw. It’s devil take the hindmost. So while it’s right to pay respects to those that fall by the wayside, it’s important not to lose perspective.

Many retailers have never been more focused and they will reap the rewards. The failure of some store groups is a reminder of why the success of the best should be celebrated.