Insight: gap between store closures and openings widens to record level
New data has shown that a net 1,123 stores disappeared from the UK’s top 500 high streets in the first half of this year.
The figures from PwC and the Local Data Company reveal that only 1,569 shops opened compared to 2,692 that closed. The rate of store closures was 14 shops a day.
The research found that the closures were most marked in the categories that are more likely to be affected by online shopping such as fashion and electricals. Outlets such as restaurants and pubs also suffered due to people showing an increasing preference for in-home leisure.
Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, said: “Our latest research highlights the challenges facing the retail and leisure sectors on Britain’s high streets.
“Openings simply aren’t replacing the closures at a fast enough rate. Specifically, the openings across ‘experiential’ chains, such as ice cream parlours, beauty salons and vape shops, haven’t been enough to offset closures in the more traditional categories."
Greater London saw the biggest number of net closures, with leisure making up nearly half of the net closures in the capital in the period. Meanwhile, Wales was the best performing region with a decrease in chains of 22.
Hooker added: “Looking ahead, the turmoil facing the sector is unlikely to abate. Store closures in H2 due to administrations and CVAs already announced will further intensify the situation.”
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