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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Mall metamorphosis  – how are shopping centres adapting to changing consumer demands?

27 February 2019 by Ronald Nyakairu

As we are in the middle of the reporting season for the major shopping centre owners (REIT’s), I wanted to shine a spotlight on the shopping centre market to understand the changes across the top 100 shopping centres by size over the past few years. I'm going to share the changes we have been tracking, and what I think the future might look like for these important retail schemes.

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How has the British high street changed since 2012?

13 February 2019 by Sarah Phillips

2012 was a year of challenges for the retail sector. With the country back in a recession, things were not easy for retailers. Spending was reducing and consumers were extremely cautious as they struggled to pay their bills. The move to online shopping was really starting to take hold and retailers were increasingly investing in digital to cater for the new generation of consumer. This was especially true for fashion retailers, who, according to the British Retail Consortium,were enjoying growth in both online and offline at this point. This would come to a halt in 2016 as the scales tipped in favour of online (Source: FT.com).

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What impact do Christmas markets really have on footfall?

07 February 2019 by James Anderson

Christmas is once again a distant memory - we’ve taken down our trees, put away the decorations and Britain’s festive market stalls have closed until they are dusted off once again at the end of this year. We’ve seen big changes in the last decade in Christmas markets; an increase in number, duration, size, and ultimately popularity, but the key question still remains – are Christmas markets having a significant impact on footfall levels?

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An interview with Jamie Robertson, UK CEO of new coffee concept, Roasting Plant

23 January 2019 by Louis Farquharson

I recently attended the launch of the Roasting Plant’s UK store, which to put simply was rather impressive. The main attraction of the launch was the Javabot, which was cleverly designed by the Founder and CEO, Mike Caswell. It is clear that Mike brought out his inner Willy Wonka to develop this intricate system. Javabot stores the beans in a series of clear storage columns, and then when an order comes in, the beans are automatically measured and then “whooshed” into the roaster via bursts of air through clear pneumatic tubes.

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It’s a plant-based life, for us – a review of the vegan food market in the UK

16 January 2019 by Louis Farquharson

After a month of indulgence, the beginning of a new year gives us a chance to start a fresh. January is the month where we all look to make (and break within a couple of weeks) new year resolutions. Dry January is a challenge that is widely accepted in an effort to get fit or to simply make up for all that happened in December. Something that is rapidly increasing in popularity is Veganuary, a challenge which simply involves eating vegan throughout January. 

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Technology in the leisure sector - is it too little too late?

09 January 2019 by James Anderson

Wherever you look, whether it is your weekly online shop, your digital wallet on your phone or your Smart TV, it is clear to see that technology is making its way into every aspect of modern life 

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No frills fitness - a strong and healthy market

28 November 2018 by Sarah Phillips

Just one of the trends we have been tracking over this year at LDC is the increasing focus on all things health and wellbeing, which continues to have a profound impact on the market. For example, in May this year, the ONS released 2017 data on alcohol consumption in the UK which indicated a rise in the number of people that claimed to be teetotal in 16-24, 25-44 and 45-64 age groups. (Source: ONS, May 2018). In line with these figures, we recently released data revealing a significant decrease in the number of pubs, a trend most likely to be linked to the changes in drinking behaviour outlined by the ONS.

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Fashion retail is set to change customer experiences now

21 November 2018 by Richard Hammond, Uncrowd

Nike’s rethinking of its entire distribution strategy has created some of the most interesting and thoughtful retail ideas of the moment. Nike by Melrose is the physical embodiment of the company’s 2017 edict to their wholesale channel that they would in future directly support only those retail partners that offer a differentiated experience. This will lead, they anticipate, to a reduction from 30,000 supported retail partners to just 40 worldwide.

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AI in retail, flexitarianism and simplicity driving efficiencies – a roundup of LDC’s 18th Retail and Leisure Trends Summit

14 November 2018 by Sarah Phillips

Last week saw our 18th Retail and Leisure Trends Summit, held at the beautiful BCLP LLP offices at London Bridge. We had some fantastic speakers who joined us to discuss the theme of ‘Driving Retail Intelligence with Big Data’. For those that missed the event, here is a short round-up of the day:

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