Retail insolvencies soared 12% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2011.

410 retailers hit the buffers over the period according to PwC, bringing the number of insolvencies to 1,803 over the past 12 months, up 6% from 1,696 the previous year.

Despite the year-on-year rise, the number of insolvencies fell 7% quarter-on-quarter.

PwC business recovery partner Mike Jervis warned that the road ahead may be rocky for retailers as the pressure on consumers means they cannot forecast for an indiscriminate spend over Christmas.

He said: “While a lot of retailers will be breathing a sigh of relief at the passing of the September quarter, many are going into the most crucial period of trading with little or no room for manoeuvre.”

Jervis said that retailers need to “forecast obsessively” and contingency plans must be in place well in advance of December rent quarter day.

“Now is not the time to sit back and wait to see what happens,” he said.