debenhams store closures

13 Apr 2018

Lowest rate of high street store openings in seven years

Research suggests that the opening of new UK high street stores is at the lowest rate ever seen in seven years. According to a recent research more shops closed down than opened in the last year.

The top 500 British town centres were studies by The Local Data Company, which found that in 2017 there were 4,083 new store openings, recorded as the lowest since 2010. Moreover, 5,855 stores were closed which resulted in a total loss of 1,772 stores.

Lisa Hooker from PwC, who commissioned a separate research looking into the different sectors in the market, said 2017 had been “tough for the British retail industry, especially the second half of the year”.

She also said that online shopping had resulted in many retailers, particularly within the fashion, travel, banking and real estate sectors losing a significant number of outlets.

With wage growth not keeping up with inflation levels, many shoppers have been forced to think sensibly about their shopping habits.

There was an uneven distribution of store closures across the country with Greater London being impacted the most, with a net loss of 336 shops alone.

Senior relationship manager at The Local Data Company, Lucy Stainton, said 2018 is to be the year when younger companies and new entrants will take advantage of this ‘shake-out’ in retail and take it as an opportunity to pick up the available property.

She added:

“There is of course no doubting that we are experiencing a period of great change in retail, and the question around the relevance and role of stores is still very much on the industry agenda”

“Businesses with a relevant proposition and a strong understanding of their customer can absolutely still thrive in the right locations.”

By Lyba Nasir