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The current year could prove to be even ‘worse’ for corporate insolvency than 2012, according to data from the Centre for Retail Research.

In its regularly updated Who’s Gone Bust? report, the organisation tracks the total number of corporate insolvencies for the year so far, along with the approximate number of employees affected.

So far in 2013, 39 companies have failed – which is already more than the full-year total for 2009, 2010 or 2011.

More than 21,000 employees have been affected, at more than 2,000 stores throughout the UK retail sector.

Only 2008 – when the recession really started to set in – and 2012, which saw several high-profile retail chains collapse, have been worse for the sector in recent years, and each saw 54 companies fail.

But the rate of corporate insolvency so far in 2013 would seem to indicate a likely year-end total of close to 60 failures.

The Centre for Retail Research explains that its figures typically incorporate medium to large businesses only, and when a company is rescued or taken over, a decision is made as to whether that constitutes an example of corporate recovery – and so is omitted from the data – or is effectively equivalent to collapse, in which case the figures are still taken into account.