Shoppers in Cumbria and the south of Scotland have been braving the bad weather as they hit the Christmas sales.
New research from Begbies Traynor, an independent business recovery practice, suggests many shops need it.
It says 151 UK retailers are now facing "critical" financial problems, up 8% from the last quarter of 2012, while the number of retail businesses with "significant" financial issues rose by 15% to 15,792.
The number of shops in each sector experiencing "significant" distress has become worse in second hand stores and market stalls, followed by food, drink and tobacco retailers, electrical goods merchants and clothing and footwear retailers.
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