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The year so far has seen quite a large number of retail company insolvencies – 35 by July, according to the Centre for Retail Research.

Putting that into perspective, it’s more than in the whole of 2011, and more also than in 2010 or 2007.

But the gross number of retail company insolvencies does not tell the whole story, and it is important to consider the size of the companies that have collapsed too.

For instance, in 2013, 49 companies failed, compared with 31 in 2011.

However, in both years, roughly 2,500 stores were affected, with around 25,000 employees affected in each year – showing that differences in company size can mean different numbers of company liquidations can have the same overall effect on the retail sector.

In 2014 so far, the company liquidations seen in the retail sector have been relatively small; just 722 stores have been affected, with a total workforce of just over 6,000 people.

But the Centre for Retail Research are warning that it is still not clear how well different retailers will deal with trading conditions since Christmas, and with erratic consumer spending patterns, meaning there could be more business insolvencies in the retail sector before the year is out.