'14 shops a day' closing in Britain, PwC report finds

Retailers shut 2,700 shops in first half of the year

The PwC/LDC analysis across multiples retailers in the top 500 town centres across Great Britain covered 66,961 outlets run by retailers operating more than five outlets across the country, found that in the first half of 2018, 98 shops opened and 215 closed across Yorkshire and Humber representing a 117 outlet net reduction.

Fashion and electrical stores were affected seriously, and restaurants and pubs also lost many consumers for people's preference in eating and drinking at home.

Andy Lyon, partner and head of retail at PwC in the Midlands, said: "Our latest research highlights the challenges facing the retail and leisure sectors on Britain's high streets". A net total of 1,123 stores disappeared from Britain's high streets as only 1,569 shops opened, compared to 2,692 closures. "Store closures in H2 (the second half of the year) due to administrations and CVAs (Company Voluntary Arrangements) already announced will further intensify the situation".

Which sectors were hit hardest?

Jamie's Italian, Prezzo and Strada have all closed restaurants as well.

In the first half of 2018 there were 58 new store openings in Scotland's main cities and towns, but 107 closures, figures from the Local Data Company (LDC) show.

According to PwC, Greater London had the largest number of store closures of any United Kingdom region, with a fall of 716, while only 448 were opened.


None of the United Kingdom regions analysed by PwC recorded a net gain in store count in the first six months of the year.

In Edinburgh there was a net reduction of 13 stores and in Glasgow 11, to 992 and 887 respectively. However, Nottingham had the highest net loss in the region with -35 stores, followed by Derby which saw a net loss of -24 stores.

Retailers are facing a ideal storm of pressures as consumers rein in their spending and do more of their shopping online.

"The British high street is in urgent need of new ways of thinking and new forms of retail", she said.

Jake Berry, the minister responsible for High Streets, said the government was determined to make them thrive. "The high street is adapting to an overcapacity in retail and leisure space resulting from these channel shifts", said Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC.

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