Shops are struggling, because of the weather
A number of shops, running into the tens of thousands, are having a hard time of it in the run up to Christmas. Why? This is down to the mild weather, early discounting and, of course, the price wars.
Insolvency specialist, Begbies Traynor, said that their figures show that the number of UK retailers in "significant" financial hardship has risen to 24,737 in the final quarter of the year, which is up 2% compared to this time last year.
Struggling the most, are grocers, with the amount in significant financial distress up 11%. It seems they can't cope with supermarket price wars, and the fact everyone seems to be doing their Christmas shopping at the last minute in 2015.
Clothes shops have also struggled, again, thanks to an oddly warm winter. Black Friday seems to have played a part too.
The report says that these results, taken from between 1st October and 17th December, "indicate that retailers' drastic discounting over the past month has failed to draw in the crowds", and that the increase is "even more concerning given today's low inflationary environment and rising disposable incomes across the country".
Begbies Traynor partner Julie Palmer said: "This year there has been more discounting than ever before from retailers in the run-up to Christmas, as Black Friday deals extended into more severe festive promotions to try and boost lacklustre sales volumes."
"Unfortunately the swathes of cut-price deals seem to have had little effect, with levels of financial distress among retailers even higher than last year's shocking statistics."