Nearly one in three retailers on the North West’s high streets are at risk of collapse in the next year, it has been revealed.
Research published by R3, the industry body for insolvency companies in the region, showed nearly 3,500 retailers are at considered at risk.
This is above the regional average for businesses which currently stands at 25 per cent.
Jeremy Oddie, regional chairman of the body, said the collapse of national chains HMV, Blockbuster and Jessops was evidence of problems yet to come.
He said: “We need to be honest and realistic in establishing a ‘tipping point’ where resuscitation is impossible.
“We believe around one in ten retail businesses is a ‘zombie’ business, kept alive by the forbearance of banks and low interest rates.
“The big retailers which have gone into administrationwere known to have problems for some time.
“The high street is having to re-define itself, and many chains have been shedding stores to create a more workable business model.
“This process could reach a natural conclusion at some point in the year ahead, although we expect a few more major insolvencies in the meantime.”
Branches of HMV and Blockbuster in Preston are among those threatehed.