Three times as many UK stores closed in 2014 as in 2013, new report finds
In 2014, 5,839 high street stores closed in the UK and just 4,852 opened. The closure rate of the year was three times that of 2013, despite the rate of high street closures stalling at 16 per day, PwC and Local Data Company found.
The changes are a response to the advance of online sales, as well as changing consumer demand, PwC says. In 2014, there was a reduction of 987 shops, compared with 371 in 2013. The largest decline was seen in traditional goods-stores, such as clothes and shoe stores, and among service retail stores like opticians, travel agents, hairdressers and recruitment agencies.
Mark Hudson, retail leader at PwC, said: "We're again seeing the continued effects of the digital revolution and consequent change in customer behaviour play out on the high street - these trends have been with us for some time and we should expect the rate of closures to continue. Customers are embracing new mobile technologies, traditional retail channels to market are being wiped out and new channels are being created, often in the online rather than the 'real' world."
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