Rossendale Free Press

36,000 shops in trouble as Omicron bites

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Almost 36,000 retailers are in “significan­t trouble” as the virus slowdown continues.

The warning comes after research by insolvency experts Begbies Traynor.

Partner Julie Palmer said: “Despite the economy showing signs of recovery, we are now seeing the number of struggling retailers slowly increasing.”

She added that the fallout from Omicron could lead to a wave of shops going to the wall in the first half of next year.

The research also found 20,762 bars and restaurant­s in significan­t financial distress, along with 7,371 hotels and accommodat­ion providers.

Ms Palmer said: “The hospitalit­y sector had been brought to its knees.

“Many now face trading through the leanest part of the year with the double whammy of falling trade and very limited Government support.”

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