Monday 30 December 2019 10:06 am

High street crisis: 16,000 shops closed in 2019

More than 16,000 stores have closed this year, according to the latest research, as retailers battle the ongoing challenges facing the high street. 

In total, 16,073 shops have shut down in 2019 – around 61 each working day – with the rate of store closures forecast to rise next year. 

Read more: All the big high street retailers that collapsed in 2019

This year, large retailers that have 10 or more stores closed 5,901 shops – an increase of 79 per cent on 2018.

Meanwhile, independent store closures reduced from 11,280 last year to 10,172 in 2019, according to the Centre for Retail Research. 

Major high street chains including Debenhams, Mothercare and Karen Millen went into administration this year, resulting in store closures. 

The research showed that store closures are expected to increase by around nine per cent to 17,565 during 2020.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director at the Centre for Retail Research, said: “The commercial pressures of higher labour costs, business rates and relatively weak demand will continue to undercut profits and force the weakest companies to close stores or enter administration. The high street and suburbs will continue to decline.”

He added: “In 2020 further announcements from companies that have already gone through CVAs or administration may well result in cutbacks on their existing operations.”