A majority of the world's largest retailers expect their businesses to continue to feel a lingering impact of the global economic downturn, new research has found.

Nearly three-quarters of the world's largest retailers said they expected their businesses to feel the affects of the recession for another two years, a survey from AlixPartners has found.

The survey, which canvassed the opinions of around 100 retailers, found companies planned to cope with the fallout of the downturn by cutting costs and making significant structural changes, including closing stores and warehouses, cutting staff and pruning products.

The survey also highlighted the increased risk the financial crisis has brought to suppliers. Almost three quarters of retailers said they were not in frequent contact with their suppliers' credit insurers while nearly half have had their suppliers' credit limits cut.

"This study shows that retailers across Europe, and elsewhere, are not communicating regularly enough with credit insurers," said AlixPartners director Sanjay Bailur.

"This lack of communication, coupled with a lax approach to cash management can quickly result in companies facing serious liquidity issues."