2,870 stores face closure in the first half of 2019

Latest research conducted by PwC and the Local Data Company has determined closure of about 16 shops on every day basis, owning to the trend of online shopping and restructuring of businesses.

Reports allege, a net of 1,234 shops were closed on Britain’s top 500 high streets during the first half of the year. The figure was reported to have increased from 1,123 in the same period last year and has been the highest so far since the survey began in 2010.

Furthermore, the survey alleged, 1,634 stores were opened in the past six months to the end of June, which marked an increase of 4% from the same period last year. On the other hand, 2,868 shops were closed. The study particularly focused on retail chain with more than five outlets.

Reports suggest, the biggest loss was felt by fashion retailers in the period, followed closely by restaurants, estate agents and pubs. Sources however also draw attention to the increase in openings of takeaways, health clubs and sports.

According to news sources, High Street retailers faced growing competition from online operators, which made it difficult for them to pay their rents, in addition to other overheads, such as increasing business rates and minimum wages.

As a result, experts believe, top brand names such as Toys R Us are going into administration, whereas Debenhams, Arcadia and New Look have witnessed closures on a large scale.

PwC announced that fashion retail has been the hardest hit industry in the past six months since June with 10 stores closing per week. A net decline in 103 restaurants, 96 pubs and 100 estate agents was also observed.

The study highlights the biggest number of net closures in Greater London as compared to any other region. Areas with comparatively fewer closures included South East, Yorkshire, Humber, East Midlands, and the North East.