The 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).