Taxpayers, suppliers and landlords have lost £1.9bn as a result of the collapse of big-name retailers since the start of last year.
Administrators have recovered almost £500m worth of assets, but only £14m will go to unsecured creditors such as small businesses, landlords and HMRC.
Research conducted on behalf of an independent review into the high street, led by former Focus chief executive Bill Grimsey, has shown the extent of the losses caused by retail administrations.
The research looked at the 19 biggest retail failures since the beginning of 2012 and was carried out by corporate health monitoring specialists Company Watch.
It found that £499m was recovered from the collapse of businesses including HMV and Comet, which initially threatened to close a total 4,500 stores and put 58,000 jobs at risk. The bulk of assets recovered from their collapse were paid out mainly to banks and administrators.
Banks and other secured lenders received at the most £356m. £123m was spent on recovering the money and paid to administrators. The remaining £14m will go to unsecured creditors.
Bill Grimsey said: “What this demonstrates is that the structural changes happening to retail are causing huge damage to our high streets and the wider economy.”
Nick Hood, business analyst at Company Watch, added: “It seems that the only winners from the ongoing carnage in the high street are the banks, the insolvency practitioners and their many advisers.”
In the last week there have been other high profile retail failures, with Dwell, Internaçionale, Modelzone and Ark putting 2,180 jobs and 233 stores at risk.