Study suggests empty high streets in 2017

More than 760 businesses have ceased trading in December 2016, with more expected to follow suit in the new year, the latest insolvency survey has revealed.

According to the research, published in The Gazette, 14.5 per cent of those companies were operating in the retail and food and drink sectors.

It means that at least another 110 stores will vacate the high-street come the new year.

A further 1093 companies are scheduled to be wound up in January 2017, the report says.

Reasons for insolvency vary from store to store, ranging from unrealistic planning to unforeseen loss of market share.

However, the prevailing cause for insolvency, as reported by SMEs, is inadequate cash flow.

Cash flow problems were cited most by the construction industry, where 2450 companies ceased trading in the second quarter of 2016.

They were closely followed by wholesale, retail, and motor vehicle outlets, with 2065 insolvencies during the same period.

The research also found that only 41.4 per cent of UK businesses started in 2010 survived to reach their fifth birthday.

With official figures for the final quarter of 2016 due in January 2017, it is not yet known just how quite widespread Christmas insolvencies will be, and how the “Brexit effect” has rippled through each sector.