High street closures at five-year low

New research from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Local Data Company (LDC), shows coffee shops led the rise in new store openings last year.

According to the report, the number of coffee shops increased by 4% (or 80 units) last year. British high streets lost 14 stores a day in 2015. And around 5,138 shops closed down in town centres in 2015, compared to 5,839 high street closures in 2014.

This was offset by 4,640 new openings last year, taking the net number of store losses to 498, compared with 987 in 2014. PwC and LDC said this was the lowest closure rate in five years, since the peak in 2012, when 20 stores were closing on average each day.

Mike Jervis, partner at PwC, said: “The lower rate of closures in 2015 reflects optimism among retailers, and indeed most consumer confidence indices support this. In addition, retail insolvencies are at an historical low.”

He added: “The openings are concentrated on experience-type outlets, especially food and beverage, and I’d also expect to see more growth in discount store openings this year.”

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