The number of high street shops closing may be dropping to the lowest rate since 2010, but it still equates to 14 store closures a day.
Research carried out by PwC showed that there were 2,564 store closures during the first six months of the year – outstripping the 2,342 shop openings during the same period.
The continued closure of stores stresses how far UK high streets have suffered in recent years as online retailers and distributors have grown their business.
Analysis of 67,521 chain stores – accounting for those with more than five national outlets – across 500 town centres in Great Britain showed that charity shops, shoe stores, gift shops and women’s clothing retailers were the hardest hit over the period.
The net difference between closures and openings has shrunk significantly to 222 stores versus the net loss of 503 stores in the first half of 2016, and is the smallest figure since the same period in 2013, when 209 more stores closed than had opened.
Massive store closures
However, it must be understood that the most savage store closure programmes have already been instigated and that the trend is still more closures rather than openings.