According to research by PWC and the retail data provider Local Data Company (LDC) shops on the UK high street are closing at a rate of 30 a day in August and September.
High-profile administrations such as Game Group, Peacocks, Past Times and Clinton Cards helped push the number of closures of town centre chain store outlets to 953 in the first half of the year. This compares with 174 in the whole of 2011.
The changing face of town centres can be seen by looking at which types of retailers are doing well. There are 7% more discount stores in the UK the first six months and 11% more payday loan outlets, and 8% more pawnbrokers.... The lack of expansion plans by the more established retailers has also been blamed in as one reason the High Street is floundering. Expansion plans need the banks to lend and they have not been keen to do this. Especially since some well known brands such as HMV are heavily indebted.
Despite these figures the vacancy rate has remained fairly stable at 1 in 7 and this in part has been helped by new independent shops opening. However, they tend to pick their spots and so some parades can decline quite rapidly.
The most common factor that the large multiples have is that they have too many shops that were opened during boom times and are stuck in long leases at relatively high rents.
However even for smaller multiples there is a way out. A Company Voluntary Arrangement or CVA can help a retailer close down stores that are dragging the whole company down. Read our page on retailer CVAs