Retail chain store closures fall to lowest level since 2010

Helen Cahill
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Fashion stores and estate agents have been affected by online growth (Source: Getty)

The number of retail store closures occurring each day has fallen to its lowest level for seven years.

In the first six months of the year, 2,342 shops opened across Great Britain, and 2,564 shops shut, representing 14 closures each day, according to figures released today by PwC and the Local Data Company.

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The leisure sector has been performing particularly strongly, with the net number of food, drink and entertainment outlets rising by 116 over the period. In the same half last year, there was a net increase of 57 stores in this sector of the economy.

The sectors hardest hit over the six months were charity shops, shoe shops and women's clothing stores, with net declines of 55 stores, 38 stores and 37 stores respectively.

The rise of online property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla had implications for high street estate agents; 114 estate agents closed, representing a net decline of 36 outlets for the industry.

Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, said: "It's encouraging to see the high street holding up, and even rallying in some cases. The twin cannons of increased online purchases and a tough economy have seen many retailers take a long, hard look at their store portfolios.

"There will always be a physical presence on the high street, but developments in technology are accelerating and impacting future staffing and operating models."

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