More retailers set to fold; more stores will close

The retail sector is "certain" to see further collapses and large swaths of stores closed this year, following a sharp jump in administrations in 2012. The accountancy firm Deloitte blamed the continued squeeze on household finances and the inexorable shift of spending to the internet for its gloomy forecast, predicting that more chains would fold in the first quarter of this year.

It said 194 retailers called in administrators last year, a 6 per cent jump on 2011 and an 18 per cent leap on the 2010 total. Lee Manning, the restructuring services partner at Deloitte, said: "Constrained household budgets and the structural challenges facing the sector mean it is certain we will see further distress [in 2013]."