Almost half of fashion retailers are facing financial ruin
The Sunday Express reports that research by Opus Restructuring shows that 43.6% (3,991) of the UK’s fashion retailers are at risk of failure, a sharp deterioration since this time last year, when only 37.1% were financially vulnerable. The research is based on data supplied by the corporate financial health monitoring specialists, Company Watch. Opus also found that the larger fashion outlets are in better shape than their thousands of smaller rivals, but even the major chains are struggling to maintain their profitability. Total profits among big high street fashion names last year were £1.87bn, down 28% from two years earlier.
Nick Hood, business risk adviser at Opus, said:
“The UK fashion retail sector is under exceptional strain, with plenty of anecdotal evidence of sustained periods of discounting as consumers demand ever-lower prices and as the fall in sterling impacts their costs and profit margins. The failure of BHS and Austin Reed earlier this year shows what fate awaits clothing retailers who fail to invest and stay relevant to a constantly changing market.”