Non-food retailers are amongst UK businesses most likely to fail in the next 12 months.
Figures released in the latest Insolvency Index from Experian also show that the financial position of non-food outlets was weaker in October than in the same month last year.
Experian’s financial strength score predicts the likelihood of a business becoming insolvent in the year ahead, with 100 denoting least likely to default and 1 being the most likely. The average score for UK businesses as a whole in October was 78.44, but non-food retailers scored only 76.94 – down from 78.78 a year earlier.
The index monitors all businesses, from construction, agriculture and engineering to transport, telecommunications and banking.
Food retailers remained at the bottom of the table, with 73.75, while businesses in the oil industry continued to have the highest financial strength at 83.89.
Business insolvencies overall are up: 0.10% of the business population became insolvent during October, compared to 0.09% in September 2011 and 0.08% in October 2010.
Businesses in the south west of England were the best performers, with only 0.06% of insolvencies, while the West Midlands overtook the north east as the worst-performing region with an insolvency rate of 0.13%.
The most financially secure businesses are the largest, with 500-plus employees. The most vulnerable are businesses with anywhere between three and 50 employees.