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Wales is bucking the trend

Pawnbrokers, bookmaker and takeaway food chains are bucking the gloomy retail trend, according to a new report.

But pubs, bookshops, clothes and shoe shops are among those taking repeated hits.

The report by accountancy and consultancy firm PwC, formerly Pricewaterhouse Coopers, looked at how many multiple retailer stores closed and opened from January to the end of May this year.

Wales bucks the trend

In Wales the picture was more positive than Scotland, London and the South East, the West Midlands and North East. There, 45 stores closed while 51 opened. The biggest turnover came in Swansea where, according to the report, 29 stores have closed and 28 have opened.

PwC warned that difficult trading conditions will persist for certain types of retailer and urged them to "think about surgery before the problem becomes terminal".

Rob Lewis, PwC Business Recovery Services Partner, said: "Retailers cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand, and must think about surgery before the problem becomes terminal. They need to engage with their stakeholders early, especially banks, landlords, credit insurers and their staff."

Financial "distress" was likely for some months to come, he added.

In the past year the UK saw a rise in retail insolvencies of nine per cent, while insolvencies in Wales reduced by 30 per cent.

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