News: One High Street Shop Closing Every Hour

going out of businessThe UK high street has suffered over the past 12 months, with new research revealing one shop closed every hour in 2012.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and The Local Data Company discovered that major retailers closed an average of 20 shops per day last year. The amount of high street chain closures increased tenfold since the previous year, with a total of 1,779 in 2012 compared to 174 in 2011.

The research spanned 500 town centres in the UK and found that clothes shops, travel agents, banks and computer game retailers were among the hardest hit. However, pound shops, pawnbrokers and cheque cashing shops showed growth in 2012 – perhaps a reflection of tighter budgets and changing priorities in today’s economic climate.

And the research doesn’t only reflect last year – its preliminary data from December-February shows that shop closures could rise to an average of 28 per day for this period.

Christine Cross, chief retail adviser to PwC said: “Although the figures are more disappointing than many had hoped, we have to acknowledge that several of the companies with closures had anticipated these for some time. What is surprising is the speed at which stores have been picked up by value and grocery retailers in particular. Good businesses with good operating models and good people don’t fail.”

PwC is due to release its date for smaller, independent retailers tomorrow (March 1st).

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Kasey writes about the latest small business and website news for bOnline. Find Kasey on Google+, or follow bOnline on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+


  1. Amanda Ruiz says:

    Such depressing news – however there are people out there who can help retailers get their marketing mix right in order to attract more or the right customers.
    However in our town Colchester, they are “demi-pedestrianizing” the high street, and putting in a car ban on March 17th so roads linking up to the high street and other vital routes to get to it will now only be accessible via taxi, bike or bus. The retailers are up in arms about it as this will mean that in a town where footfall is decreasing (direct quotes from retailers) the footfall is only set to go further down as people opt for the easy way out and go to out of town centres where the parking is free and easy. I really hope Colchester doesn’t go the same way as you have talked about in your article but 3 shops closed down in the space of 3 weeks, two of them having traded for 35 years or more.

    • Kasey Cassells says:

      Thanks for your comment, Amanda. It is always a shame to hear about independent shops closing down, and unfortunately it’s a regular occurrence. But you’re right in saying that a good marketing mix can help retailers attract customers. Many smaller retailers really benefit from online marketing, and it can open them up to a whole new target market.

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