Homebase join a long list of retailers scrambling to survive in an increasingly hostile retail environment. Led by the restructuring firm Hilco, Homebase is expected to propose a company voluntary arrangement imminently.
With 18 pubs closing every week, what does the future hold for the 50,000 that remain? The environment seems bleak: increased tax on alcohol, a decreasing drinking culture among millennials and economic uncertainty are three headline reasons for pessimism, but is there reason to be hopeful?
Data from Red Flag Alert, which monitors the financial health of UK companies, identifies 472,183 businesses were experiencing ‘Significant’ financial distress at the end of June 2018, up 9% compared to the same stage last year (Q2 2017: 434,492) but down 1% compared to the previous three months of the year (Q1 2018: 477,183).
With a seemingly never-ending list of household names announcing store closures, it may not come as a huge surprise to learn that we are losing high street businesses at an unprecedented rate. Latest research by Red Flag Alert shows that over 180,000 limited companies operating in the retail sector ceased trading in the years between 2010 and 2017.
Philip Hammond has indicated that he is prepared to cut taxes if the UK is denied access to the common market after Brexit. In an interview with the German Welt am Sonntag newspaper, the chancellor suggested Britain may be forced to change its "economic model" if it is locked out of the single market.