Retail Insights

UK retailers "sleep-walking into administration"

Richard Lim, Chief Executive, Retail Economics said: "The recent events at BHS and Austin Reed focuses the mind on how many other traditional UK retailers are sleep-walking into administration.

"Many of the economic factors supporting households through last year are beginning to unwind and darker clouds are forming on the horizon. The boost to household budgets from the slump in global oil prices has now largely run its course. The impending rise in inflation will hold back household spending power while employment growth has slowed and there is less scope for families to dip into their savings than last year. Consumers are now more pessimistic about the future of the economy than at any time in the last three years.

"As the tide goes out it will leave some retailers exposed to traditional business models that are no longer fit for purpose in today’s digitally-driven consumer environment. Retailers will have to evolve rapidly to stay relevant to consumers and economically viable."

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