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UK independent retail store count down by 1554 in H1

Dec '18
UK independent retail store count down by 1554 in H1
A record number of independent retail stores in the UK were closed during the first half of 2018, as per a recent report. This resulted in a total decline of 1,554 shops (0.5 per cent), a significant decline from the increase of 762 shops (0.27 per cent) in H1 2017. The net loss of 695 units located on high streets alone was the main driver of this decline.

Chain retailers (brands with more than 4 stores) have also remained in decline with a net loss of 2,848 shops (1.36 per cent) in H1 2018 across GB, which compares to 659 shops (0.33 per cent) in H1 2017, according to data released by the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) and the Local Data Company (LDC).

The data reveals that independents account for 65 per cent of all retail and leisure units in Great Britain, the same as H1 2017. In H1 2018 a total of 32,234 independents either opened (15,340) or closed (16,894), 14.8 per cent up on H1 2017 where 28,076 opened (14,419) or closed (13,657).

The West Midlands showed the greatest increase of independents at 117 units (0.49 per cent) in H1 2018, versus 194 units (0.93 per cent) in H1 2017. Yorkshire & the Humber and Greater London saw the greatest decline of independents at 494 units (1.64 per cent) and 276 units (0.40 per cent), respectively. Portobello Road in London has the accolade of having the highest percentage of independents at 95 per cent (based on locations with 50+ total units) overtaking Sparkhill in Birmingham (2nd) which was the top location in H1 2017, says the data.

Ellenbrook is the town with the lowest percentage of independents at only 19 per cent, against a GB average of 65 per cent (based on locations with 50+ units). Wider analysis of location types (analysis of location types by high streets, shopping centres and retail parks) shows that high streets saw a dramatic decline of 695 units in H1 2018. This represented a 0.41 per cent net decrease in units.

Shopping centres saw a similar pattern in H1 2018 with a decline of 1.55 per cent (versus 0.67 per cent in H1 2017), according to the data by Bira and LDC. Retail parks was the only location type to see growth in units of 1.48 per cent (versus 3.41 per cent in H1 2017) however this location type only accounts for 0.2 per cent of all independents across GB. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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