Store closures set to get worse

Shopping locations could see store closures escalate this year, after more than 11,000 closed in 2020.

The Local Data Company has warned that 18,000 more retailers, restaurants and leisure outlets could be left vacant this year as high streets, shopping centres and retail parks in England, Scotland and Wales deal with the pandemic increasing online shopping and the end of government support.

Some 11,319 units closed in 2020, according to LDC. The analysis covered 680,000 outlets in 3,000 shopping locations.

‘What remains to be seen are the consequences of government support ending, effectively “defrosting” a significant portion of the market which has been frozen in time since the onset of the pandemic,’ says Lucy Stainton, LDC head of retail. ‘With this in mind we would expect to see the state of play in terms of vacancy rates and net change worsening over the course of 2021 and 2022 before levelling out.’



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