Fall in North West retail administrations as region bucks UK trend

Date published: 03 April 2019

The North West saw a fall in the number of retail administrations in 2018, bucking the overall UK trend, according to Deloitte’s latest insolvency figures.

In total, 20 retailers entered administration across the region last year, in comparison to 27 in 2017, a fall of 26 per cent. In contrast, the total number of retail administrations across the wider UK during the period increased by six per cent, from 118 in 2017, to 125 in 2018.

The number of UK-wide retailers entering into Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) also increased by 52 per cent, from 25 in 2017, to 38 in 2018. This trend was mirrored in the North West, where the number of retailers seeking CVAs also rose from two in 2017, to three in 2018.

Deloitte’s research shows that across all industry sectors, including retail, the total number of administrations in England and Wales increased by 10 per cent from 1,134 companies in 2017 to 1,251 in 2018.

The majority of sectors reported an increase in administrations between 2017 and 2018, with the only sectors reporting a reduction being printing and publishing (-21 per cent) and recruitment and business services (-10 per cent, albeit the third largest contributor with 198 appointments).

2018 witnessed an 18 per cent growth in CVAs across all industry sectors, including retail, rising from 334 to 395. CVAs in relation to bars, hotels and restaurants, for example, increased by four times last year to 36.

David O’Leary, Head of Retail in the North West for Deloitte, commented on the findings: “It’s remarkable to see that the North West has gone against the grain in terms of all-out retail administrations. Despite the numerous challenges in retail, this is a strong sign that the region is continuing to weather the storm.

“Investment in the region is soaring, evident by the number of cranes across Manchester and Liverpool’s skylines. As a result, we are seeing a boom in development and an influx of new residents, which will be going some way to underpin the region’s retail prosperity."

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