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30,000 Retailers In ‘Significant’ Financial Distress

Despite the busy Christmas season having only just drawn to a close, it seems that there are many businesses – online and otherwise – currently struggling to make ends meet, with the latest stats showing that over 30,000 retailers are now in significant financial distress.

The Begbies Traynor survey has found that it’s not just bricks and mortar shops finding it hard at the moment, with almost 8,500 companies experiencing a bit of a shopping slump over the festive period actually online retailers, the Guardian reports.

Partner at the insolvency firm Julie Palmer noted that describing 2018 as tumultuous would be “something of an understatement”, warning that if another slow period over Christmas is seen, the industry could be in even bigger trouble than at the beginning of next year – which saw the number of online shops in distress climb by 17 per cent.

She went on to add that it’s not yet clear what the coming 12 months will bring, with retailers continuing to tempt shoppers with vouchers and cut prices at the expense of profits.

But it’s worth noting that the overall number of fashion retailers in financial distress is down six per cent compared to last Christmas, while the total number of high street retailers struggling has fallen by eight per cent.

“It is not all doom and gloom, and there are learnings from successful retail stories. If retailers want to thrive, they will have to bring greater value to their brands. They need to get better at anticipating, and responding to, next generation demands and expectations,” Ms Palmer went on to say.

In October last year, the independent insolvency firm revealed that the number of companies in the UK considered to be in significant financial distress during the third quarter of the year rose by five per cent compared to the same period in 2017.

Executive chairman of Begbies Traynor Group Ric Traynor reminded companies that those that are quick to evolve and adapt their practices in line with these “changing times” will be the ones that do well, and those with a strong product offering targeting expanding markets will perform.

But all companies must focus on the likes of sales, innovation and financial management to keep one foot in front of both international and domestic competition, he went on to say at the time.

You can help drive sales to your website by, for example, adopting an upselling approach. Always make sure your customers are aware of premium products and ensure that you give them all the information they need to see how an upgrade or new package could better suit their needs.

Or what about sending out wishlist reminder emails, which could easily be the trigger required to convince people to finally buy that item they’ve been keeping their eye on.

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