The number of UK retailers falling into administration in the first half of 2013 fell by nearly one-third, with new research suggesting those that remain in business are now stronger and more robust.

The data from business advisory firm Deloitte shows there were 87 retail administrations in the six-month period, compared with 124 last year - a drop of 30%.

Of the high profile casualties during the first-half of last year, around 2,300 stores were affected. By comparison, in the first six months of 2013, this almost halved to around 1,400 stores.

"These latest figures show that the overall picture is improving," said Lee Manning, restructuring partner at Deloitte.

"Whilst the economy remains relatively flat, the retail sector has seen the weaker players fall by the wayside and as a result others are now stronger and more robust.

"Regional prospects are also improving as the number of retail administrations fell in every part of the UK. The sector has suffered significant pain in the past couple of years but we should take some confidence from [the] results. Retailers are better equipped to succeed in today's tough market and we are beginning to see the sector turn a corner."

Retail administrations this year have included the Republic youth fashion chain and outdoor brand Gelert, both of which were acquired by Sports Direct. And retail group JD Sports Fashion has rescued the Ark fashion chain and youth clothing brand Gio Goi.