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Industry News

Published on October 12th, 2017 | by The GC Team


Electrical stores in decline as high street independents enjoy growth

Data released by The Local Data Company (LDC) and British Independent Retailers Association (bira) shows that traditional independents opened significantly more shops in the first half of 2017 than in the same period last year, while the national chains continued to see a fall.

Independents saw an increase of 762 stores (+0.27%), a significant rise on the net increase of four shops in the first half of last year.

A net rise of 562 units on high streets was one of the main drivers of H1 2017 growth. The chain retailers, meanwhile, remained in decline, with a net loss of 659 shops (-0.33%).  

Sectors in decline included women’s clothing shops, newsagents and electrical goods, the latter seeing store numbers fall 6.1%.  Growth sectors included barbers, beauty salons and cafes.

LDC Director Matthew Hopkinson said: “As the numbers show, independents are an increasingly important stakeholder in every town centre up and down the country and therefore an understanding of how they are performing is key. 65% of all the retail and leisure units across Great Britain are independents and this number has increased in recent years. The internet, customisation and providing a personal service is something that will fuel the openings of independents on our high streets.”

Hopkinson added, however, that history tells us that independents also have the propensity to change rapidly from growth to decline due to the marginal nature of some businesses.

“For now,” he said, “it is a good news story and one that we should celebrate and support.”

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