Shopping

Nearly 3,000 stores were closed by retailers in the half of 2019, according to the latest figures. 

Research by PwC and the Local Data Company suggests that an average of 16 stores were closed every single day.

There were just over 1,600 new stores opened, however, leaving a net loss of 1,234 bricks and mortar shops. It’s an increase of just over 100 on the same period last year, and represents the highest figure since the survey began in 2010.

The research showed fashion retailers were the worst affected, followed by restaurants, estate agents and pubs. Of the new stores, most of the increases were seen among takeaways and sports and health clubs.

Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, said: “The decline in store numbers in the first half of 2019 shows that there’s been no let-up in the changing ways that people shop and the cost pressures affecting High Street operators.”

Retailers right across a range of different industries are continuing to struggle when it comes to their physical stores as they face growing costs and increased competition from online sales. Even some of the largest and most established retailers are falling foul to the problems. Debenhams is trying to get restructuring plans approved by shareholders, while Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia group, which owns brands such as Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, narrowly avoided administration earlier this year. Meanwhile, fellow fashion retailer New Look has announced large-scale store closures.