Multiple retailers closed 14 stores a day in 2011
New data released by PwC and the Local Data Company has revealed that multiple retailers closed 14 stores a day on average across the UK in 2011.
From a net increase in 2009 of 1.2%, multiple retailers reduced their high street presence by 0.25% in 2011 - a reduction of 174 shops.
Bookshops, electrical, home furnishing, menswear, and off-licence stores were the hardest hit with all seeing falling numbers. In contrast, charity shops, pound shops, shoe shops, bakers, credit unions, supermarkets and convenience stores all bucked the trend by showing growth during the year.
Mike Jervis, PwC insolvency partner and retail specialist, said: "A common feature of the retailers in distress who we are dealing with is that they have too many locations.
"Relatively long leases were entered into in a growth phase of the economy which are no longer appropriate.
"Electricals and bookshops have suffered as these products are now increasingly bought online but retailers in this sector are typically carrying unnecessarily large property portfolios."
Matthew Hopkinson, director of LDC, added: "Significant changes have happened in the way multiple retailers operate and locate. With a significant number of leases expiring the opportunity to drawdown to a smaller number of stores that more suit the needs of omni-channel retailing is happening.
"In the past the closures were offset by openings but 2011 has shown a true decline in multiple retail and leisure outlets across Great Britain. With the move to out of town locations and the numbers of closures being announced currently, this decline is likely to continue into 2012 and thus lead to a rise in vacancy rates."
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