Rather predictably, there has been a flurry of retail casualties on the High Street. This sector obviously depends directly on the public and consequently is now feeling the effects of poor consumer confidence.
Job insecurity, VAT increase and government cutbacks are all starting to bite. Also, inflation has eroded spending power so the public are cutting back with a vengeance. Higher fuel prices have contributed to the equation too and retail sales in clothing and non-food have tumbled.
Statistics for the first quarter of this year showed the number of retail companies going into administration increased by a massive 30% compared with the same period last year. Well known operators Focus DIY, Habitat, Jane Norman and now T J Hughes have all recently suffered and HMV and JJB Sports are known to be experiencing problems.