Yes There Are Still Plenty of Shops to Shut on the High Street

By Gary Cutlack on at

Stats tracking the continuing death of the UK's high streets show that 2019 has been an on-message zinger of a year thus far, with 2,870 shops closing across the country's 500 busiest high streets this year.

That's the gross figure that excludes new openers, though; the net number of closures is 1,234, so as an average of 16 outlets a day close, around nine open in their place. The hardest hit sectors have been the fashion retailers and the higher-end restaurants, although there are some growth areas too; takeaway food outlets are opening at a faster rate than they're closing, as are the numbers of sport and health clubs, as we try to burn it all off again.

Retail expert Zelf Hussain from PWC – which handled this research along with the Local Data Company -- said: "A number of high profile business administrations have contributed to the record net decline in high street store numbers, for example in fashion retail and casual dining. Several of these were in turn caused by a culmination of CVAs that reduced rents and store numbers, but did not sufficiently improve the consumer proposition or cost structure of those brands."

In other words, things might get better next year, because a lot of the lame duck retailers have already gone bust or moved to cheaper premises vacated by a defunct rival. [LDC via BBC]