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Industry News

Published on April 10th, 2019 | by The GC Team


Record loss of UK high street stores in 2018

According to PwC research carried out by the Local Data Company, the net loss of bricks-and-mortar stores from the UK’s top 500 high streets in 2018 was 2,481, the highest since PwC began tracking this data in 2011 and 40% higher than in 2017.

The net decline (calculated by subtracting the number of store openings from the number of closures), shows that the rising number of closures (16 per day) is not being offset by falling number new openings (9 per day). Over the last five years store openings have fallen more than 40%.

Electrical retail was among the five worst affected, with a net loss of 110 stores (158 closures, 48 openings). Shoppers say that 23% of their Consumer Electronics purchases and 17% of their Household Electricals purchases were made online over the last year. As the character of UK high streets begins to evolve, the growth areas in bricks-and mortar outlets are now low-cost gyms, bookshops, ice cream parlours, cake shops & patisseries and vaping & tobacco shops.

Lisa Hooker, Leader of Industry for Consumer Markets, PwC UK, commented: “High streets still have an important role to play. But given the continued trend of shopping online, retailers, landlords and policymakers need to think about the amount of space dedicated to retail. We believe that in future Britain will need less, but better invested, high street space that gives consumers variety, service, convenience, ease of access, entertainment, and, above all, a reason to visit.”

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