According to research by PwC and the Local Data Company, the number of shops closing on the high street is increasing. In the first half of 2014, shops were closing at twice the rate of the same period last year. A staggering 16 shops were closing every day, a total of 3,003 over the six months.
Despite betting and discount shops doing well, clothes and shoe stores are shutting up shop across the country, along with pawnbrokers and building societies.
Looking at regions, the North West, East and West midlands have seen the most store closures while London and the South East show a fall in the number of high street retailers closing.
With online shopping booming and well-known firms entering administration, it’s no surprise high street shops have taken a hit. This has left a large number of vacant properties in high street across the UK, with many retailers opting to move to retail parks outside of towns.
PwC retail leader, Mark Hudson said, “This data shows that we are now really starting to see the full effects of the digital revolution and consequent change in customer behaviour play out on the high street.”
Let’s not forget that Phones 4u, La Senza and pawnbroker, Albemarle Bond, have all been in serious financial trouble, resulting in hundreds of store closures across the country.
With more traditional retailers closing or moving away from the high street, it seems independent shops and discounters are taking up the space instead. Richard Jenkings from Experian commented the high street has “clearly become a more social environment”, indicating that restaurants, gyms and salons could also expand in city centres.