The rise in business rates in April will fuel growth in the number of retail businesses going into administration, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has warned.
The total number of retailers in England and Wales going into administration in 2011 increased by 11% from 165 in 2010 to 183 in 2011, according to research released today by business advisory firm Deloitte.
A 5.6% rise in business rates in April is likely to accelerate this trend, the BRC has stressed, in response to the Deloitte research.
The research found administrations for the fourth quarter of 2011 were up more than 25% compared with the same period a year earlier.
According to Deloitte, 42 retailers in England and Wales drafted in administrators in Q4 of 2011. The previous quarter had seen 33. Footwear retailer Barratts, toys store Hawkins Bazaar owner, The Tobar Group, and jeans retailer D2 all fell into administration last month.
Deloitte anticipates a further spike in retail administrations in the first quarter of 2012 as retailers come under pressure from VAT and rent payments falling due, as well as the growth of online shopping and a decline in traditional footfall as year end Sales come to an end.
BRC director general, Stephen Robertson, said that seeing such a high number of failures in the final quarter of the year is “particularly alarming”.
He added: “The UK’s governments need to support the sector’s efforts to survive, thrive and maintain jobs by holding back the costs for which they are responsible, including business rates, retail levies and the burden of regulation.”
The BRC’s Retail Sales Monitor for December, measuring the sector’s performance during the most critical month of the year, will be released tomorrow (Tuesday).