CFOtech UK - Technology news for CFOs & financial decision-makers
Story image
One in 10 retail tech businesses in UK up for sale
Wed, 13th Dec 2023

One in 10 retail technology businesses in the United Kingdom is currently up for sale, according to a new study. The results mark the second highest proportion amongst all verticals studied in the research.

The figures were compiled in the UK Business Investment Report, which was carried out by equity management platform, Vestd. This report comes as the latest UK government figures reveal firms facing bankruptcy are at their highest levels since 2009.

The Business Investment Report was developed subsequent to these findings, analysing business data from sale platforms, RightBiz and BusinessForSale. The figures were then compared to the number of registered businesses in each industry to establish the proportion of businesses for sale. Among the 5,664 registered retail technology firms, it was found that approximately 559 were currently up for sale.

According to the report, the sectors most likely to witness sell-offs in 2024 according to the study are hospitality, with one in every 9.88 businesses up for sale, followed by retail technology and medical businesses, with one in every 12.11 businesses up for sale. At the other end of the spectrum, agricultural businesses appear to be the most stable, with only one in every 943 businesses on sale, followed by transportation and software/IT companies with one in every 802 businesses available for a potential merger or acquisition.

The report highlights the ongoing challenging period for businesses in the aftermath of continuing pandemic-related restrictions and the escalating cost of living crisis, which together have created a difficult landscape for business owners wishing to devise exit strategies. Ifty Nasir, founder and chief executive officer at Vestd, advises businesses, "Think about this process well in advance and familiarise yourself with the different ways you are able to sell your business and the pros and cons of each."

Nasir also emphasises the need for careful planning and team engagement in this process; suggesting one way to encourage productivity and customer engagement is through the sharing of enterprise management incentives. He added, "Planning an exit that meets your individual requirements, as well as those of your business, will make the process of selling as stress-free as possible but that is easier said than done with the current set of challenges."

As well as sector-based data on businesses for sale, the UK Business Investment Report contains data from November 2023 that helps to identify regions and areas with the highest proportion of businesses on the market.