Rising interest rates, escalating costs and restrained consumer spending have cast a shadow over retail, leading to a surge in insolvencies.


Wilko went into administration in August 2023

According to advisory firm Mazars, 2,195 retailers collapsed in the year up to January, marking a 19% increase compared with the previous year, as reported in The Times

Notable casualties include The Body Shop, Ted Baker, Matchesfashion, Farfetch and Wilko, the value chain that faced administration in August, prompting the closure of 400 stores.

Mazars attributes this trend to a blend of mounting costs and cautious consumer expenditure, exacerbated by higher interest rates, particularly impacting retailers with substantial debt burdens.

The downturn in retail sales has persisted, with March marking the sixth consecutive month of decline, according to a survey by consultancy BDO.

Total in-store and online sales plummeted by 2.2%, representing the longest streak of decline since the pandemic, underscoring the challenges posed by subdued consumer spending.