The number of retail businesses in “significant financial distress” grew to 31,615 in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to research by corporate restructuring firm Begbies Traynor.
The firm also reported a 8% year-on-year increase in the number of online retailers facing financial distress.
Begbies Traynor’s Red Flag Alert research, which monitors 22 industry sectors including real estate and property, support services, construction and retail, found the overall number of businesses in significant distress is now 494,000.
The firm said experts have also predicted the total number of financially distressed businesses could pass 500,000 later this year.
Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, said: “The landscape of UK business is slowly changing. In order to capture the attention of consumers, businesses need to demonstrate that they not only have a compelling product or service at the right, price but also one that has strong environmental credentials to boot.
“The modern consumer in the UK is increasingly being motivated by impact on the planet, and so the appeal of fast-fashion, like the Boohoo and Primark models could fall from favour in 2020. The key for businesses will be to keep up with this trend and understand the modern demands of the consumer.”