Skip to navigationSkip to content

UK retail bankruptcies jump 6% in 2012, with more to come in 2013

AP Images / Lefteris Pitarakis)
British retail hell continues
By Stephanie Gruner Buckley
UKPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

British retailers suffered a bruising in 2012 with 194 bankruptcy filings—up 6% from 2011, and up 18% from 2010—according to a new report from Deloitte. More filings are expected this quarter, says Lee Manning, restructuring services partner at Deloitte, citing unspectacular Christmas sales, tight consumer budgets, online competition, and too many shops. Large chains suffered the most.

Here are some of the big name UK retailers that went bust in 2012:

Blacks Outdoor Retail

Clinton Cards


Game Retail

JJB Sports


The poor performance of retailers is especially notable as the percentage of UK businesses going into administration across sectors fell 9% in 2012. In total 1,833 businesses filed for bankruptcy in 2012, compared to 2,010 last year. Three sectors, hard hit by the financial crisis, fared far better than retailing with declining numbers of bankruptcies:

  • Hospitality and leisure: -21%, or 171 in 2012 vs. 216 in 2011
  • Manufacturing: -9%, or 284 in 2012 vs. 311 in 2011
  • Property and construction: -7%, or 426 in 2012 vs. 457 in 2011

Along with retailing, two other sectors saw increasing bankruptcies. The financial services sector saw filings rise to 47 in 2012 from 30 in 2011, while bankruptcies in the mining and energy sector increased to 28 in 2012 from 22 in 2011.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.