Store Closures Rise
On average 20 stores a day were being closed across the UK last year as big names such as Jessops, HMV and Comet all felt the impact of the downturn.
7,337 stores were closed down in 2012 while only 5,558 were opened leaving some 1,779 stores still empty as the financial pressure took it’s toll on the high street.
Industry Store Closures
Worst: Computer Games -45% – Stores selling computers have been impacted heavily by the financial downturn with many supermarkets offering better prices.
Best: Payday Loans +20% – While banks and other financial organisations have decided to cut back on lending, high interest loan companies have thrived.
It doesn’t seem this trend will stop with more expected in the next year as more companies choose to not update leases or sign new ones.
Matthew Hopkinson, director of The Local Data Company, said,
“The end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 has seen the most dramatic period on record as companies controlling more than 1,400 shops went into administration.
“It equates to more than 7million sq ft of space – the equivalent of 131 football pitches, or just over four Westfield London’s.
“We can expect to see this trend continue as more leases come up for renewal.”
As shown from retail sales figures over the past year, online sales have meant companies are choosing to have less of a high street presence.
Mr Hopkinson said,
“[There are] increasing demands from consumers for a shop that delivers an experience good enough to pull them away from their technology devices. Town centres will have to adapt faster than ever before to maintain their attraction to consumers.”
Experts have been critical of HMV going into administration because they believed it was possible for the entertainment business to move online.
The Director of web design company, Access Web Solutions, Craig said,
“While there is a lot of companies going into administration because of low demand, others such as HMV could have survived.”
“Online sales are growing and whether it’s a plumbers, hairdressers or a multinational company having an online presence is a must.”
The high street as well know it will likely be changed forever, even after the economy recovers because the online marketplace is thriving more than ever.