Struggling retailers face a multimillion-pound rental payment on Wednesday that could lead to a fresh wave of administrations in the sector unless they are able to secure last-minute rescue deals.
JJB Sports and Jessops, the debt-laden camera retailer, both face a crucial week of discussions with their banks. Other retailers under pressure include Allied Carpets, the flooring specialist, and Robert Dyas, the hardware chain, though both have defied gravity for several years, said restructuring experts.
On Wednesday, many sickly retailers have to fork out huge sums to pay their rent for the next three months, despite facing a string of other financial ailments, such as breaches of banking covenants, the withdrawal of credit insurance and falling profit margins. A large number of retailers have already managed to secure a move to monthly rental payments, but some landlords have refused to offer stores this concession.