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H1 saw more than 1,200 net store closures

ClosedsignMedium and large retailers on the country’s main high streets closed a net 1,234 branches in the first half of this year.

This is 111 more than the first half of 2018 and the highest since the Local Data Company/PwC survey began in 2010. The research covers the country’s top 500 high streets and retailers with five or more outlets. A total of 2,868 stores closed and 1,634 branches opened.

All regions except the East Midlands, North East, South East and Yorkshire and the Humber saw store closures increase.

The national closures rate was an average of 1.8%.

‘One of the most striking things about this latest Local Data Company and PWC analysis is the level of market churn identified in such a short space of time. Whilst the overall net change number, a loss of 1,234 occupied units in only six months, is certainly significant, the level of openings and closures activity beneath this is hugely notable as the industry continues to reset,’ says Lucy Stainton, Local Data Company head of retail and strategic partnerships.

‘In our experience, retailers are being that much more cautious and risk averse as far as both planning for new store openings and in making decisions across their existing property portfolios. The reality is that UK retail space will continue to look very different over the coming years, and this is demonstrated by the sheer number of stores opening and closing on an ongoing basis.’