Retail sector struggling under deluge of bad news

Link: Profit warnings buck optimistic outlook

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.’

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