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TMCNet:  Seasonal bad tidings for online retailers

[December 21, 2013]

Seasonal bad tidings for online retailers

(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Knock, knock. Yes, that's the cheery sound of commercial landlords across the land and their once-a-quarter tap on the door as they collect their dues.

It's never a high point for retailers, and this week's call promises to be as brutal as recent years, even though the economy is supposedly convalescing. So expect some fraught renegotiations and offers by shopkeepers to cough up in January. If those pleas fail, then some shopkeepers will make a sneaky trip to a local court to file paperwork that might keep the rent man at bay (notices of intention to appoint an administrator are not published).

In any case, according to insolvency firm Begbies Traynor, 151 UK retailers now have critical financial problems, up from 140 at the same point last year. If that statistic is slightly surprising given recent news on the economy, then the source of the rise certainly causes an eyebrow to arch. The increase is not so much to do with old-fashioned shops, but online retailers.

Julie Palmer, a Begbies partner, explains: "There are a lot of new start-up businesses on the internet and with start-ups there is always a larger proportion that fail in the first year." Not such a merry Christmas.

(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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