Store closures hit record levels as restructurings drive largest net decline in testing retail climate

11 September 2019 by PwC and the Local Data Company
  • The first half of 2019 saw a net decline of 1,234 chain stores on Britain’s top 500 high streets - the highest number since analysis by PwC and the Local Data Company began in 2010
  • In total, an average of 16 stores a day closed, as restructurings and the online migration of shopping and services continue to hit the high street
  • However, store openings rose by c.4% highlighting the potential opportunities for new entrants as well as established retail and leisure brands

Heightened restructuring activity has seen the half-year net reduction in stores on Britain’s high streets hit record levels according to research by the Local Data Company  and PwC.

The first half of 2019 saw almost twice as many store closures (16 per day) as openings (9 per day). In total, 1,634 stores opened and 2,868 stores closed over the period, leading to a net decline of 1,234 stores (compared with a net decline of 1,123 in the first half of 2018).

On a sector by sector basis, only 15 out of 96 sectors showed a net growth in store numbers, and all but two grew by only a single digit number of outlets: takeaways with a net increase of 26 outlets, and sport and health clubs with a net increase of 17. Meanwhile, the biggest net declines were seen amongst fashion retailers (-118), restaurants (-103), estate agents (-100) and pubs (-96).

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[Videos] Expert opinion on the retail and leisure market

20 June 2018 by Sarah Phillips

Earlier this month we held our 17th bi-annual retail and leisure summit. This year we were lucky enough to be joined by fantastic speakers from some innovative and ground-breaking organisations. We grabbed a few of our speakers after the event to quiz them on innovation, what retailers can do to survive in today's challenging market and their predictions for the next 12 months and five years. We've got their answers for you here:

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Lego named as UK's strongest brand, Tesco and Morrisons reported as the fastest growing supermarkets, and Westfield London becomes the largest shopping centre in Europe

04 April 2018 by Nikki Sheinkop

A bank holiday always lifts the spirits and from everyone at LDC we truly hope you had a very "hoppy" Easter! 

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Kidswear lines are on the rise, McColl's revenue reaches £1bn, and NewRiver looks for opportunities in the purchasing of retail parks

05 March 2018 by Nikki Sheinkop

February may have been a bit colder than usual, but LDC knows that warm weather is on the horizon (and we are definitely looking forward to it!)

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Matthew Hopkinson talks about the reasons some towns in Greater Manchester could be at risk of losing their M&S store on BBC Radio Manchester

18 November 2016 by Sarah Phillips

Following the announcement that M&S are due to close 30 of their larger stores selling fashion and homeware products to focus on their food offering, Matthew Hopkinson released a blog on how M&S might look at which stores they will close, with a list of stores that could be in danger.

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10 Key Findings from the Convenience Stores: The Inconvenient Truth Report

26 June 2015 by Mark Colgan

For those who haven't downloaded our latest report Convenience Stores Report "The Inconvenient Truth" we have put together a summary of the key findings here:

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How do you relate to the digital natives of the world?

16 June 2015 by Matthew Hopkinson


As ever it is great to have the opportunity to listen to views on what is happening in the UK retail and leisure sectors and last week was no exception when I attended the BCSC North conference near Chester. Below are some of the key takeaways I noted down.

  • An increasing volume of space in stores is being given over to non-merchandise areas – essentially this is about creating social spaces. Niketown has for a long time been good at experience areas but it seems that places to just go and chill out within a shop are taking off.
  • Where political will exists for redevelopment then things happen. Grand Central in Birmingham was the case in point where the drive for a grand entrance to Birmingham resulted in the new John Lewis anchored development by the train station. That said one person observed that the dominance of the John Lewis store makes it more of a welcome to John Lewis Birmingham rather than the city itself – I shall leave that for you to decide when you next visit.
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Britain’s shop vacancy remains at 13.0% in April

07 May 2015 by Local Data Company

The picture across Great Britain. Britain’s vacancy rate remains at 13.0% in April from a rate of 13.0% in March. The overall retail and leisure vacancy rate has also remained the same at 11.6%.

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Vacancy rates back to 2010 levels as Britain’s shop vacancy falls to 13.0% in March 2015

09 April 2015 by Local Data Company

The picture across Great Britain. Britain’s shop vacancy falls to 13.0% in March from a rate of 13.1% in February. The overall retail and leisure vacancy rate has also fallen slightly to 11.6% from 11.7% in February.

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Bridging the Gap Between Ecommerce and Bricks-and-Mortar: How Retail Will Change in 2015

05 March 2015 by Local Data Company

Over £100 billion worth of sales in UK retail all happened via digital channels last year.

Reported by IMRG and Capgemini, online sales figures surpassed the hundred billion pound mark for the first time last year in an upward trend that’s set to continue. Forecasts suggest a further 15% uplift in 2015, meaning online sales will account for over £116 billion.

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