Indicators of problems in the high street – ranging from downsizing and profit warnings to administration – leapt by 56% in the first quarter of the year on the previous three months, up 42 to 116 negative statements.
The figure was almost unchanged from the same period in 2003, when war in Iraq and SARS helped inflate the number of warnings.
Across all sectors there was a 10% year-on-year decrease of negative warnings, though they rose marginally on the previous quarter.
Philip Davidson, KPMG’s head of restructuring, said: ‘Retailers are once again not finding it easy to make profits this quarter, as margins remain under pressure and keen pricing is required by consumers.’
Steve Absolom and Will Wright from KPMG Restructuring have been appointed joint administrators to City Motor Holdings and associated companies
Partners from Johnston Carmichael have been appointed as joint administrators to Axon Well Interventions Products UK
Begbies Traynor have been appointed administrators of William Anelay Ltd, York, one of Britain’s longest-established construction and heritage restoration companies
Smith & Williamson has been appointed administrators of charity 4Children