The number of restaurants and retailers in the North West continues to rise rapidly despite a string of high-profile failures in both sectors, according to research by insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.
The figures show that the so-called “crisis in casual dining” and the troubles in the retail sector have failed to deter new entrants coming into the market.
The number of restaurant businesses rose by seven per cent from January to more than 8,900 in July, while the number of retail businesses was up by six per cent at more than 22,700.
The figures show that both sectors also have a smaller proportion of companies at elevated risk of insolvency than some other sectors. Among North West retailers, 37 per cent are considered at higher than usual risk, while the figure for restaurants is 31 per cent.
This is well below the most risky sectors – professional services and IT and technology – where almost one in two businesses (48 per cent) are considered at risk and where business numbers are growing more slowly.
Paul Barber, North West chairman of R3 and a partner at Begbies Traynor, said: “Despite some high-profile failures in recent months, these figures show that the restaurant and retail sectors in the North West remain in good health.
“It is great to see that entrepreneurs are still willing to take the risk. Having a regular flow of new entrants coming into the market can only be a good thing in helping to liven up the local food scene and give towns and city centres a fresh appeal.”