14 shops closing across UK every day

14 shops closing across UK every day

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The woes of the High Street only deepen, it seems, with an average of 14 shops closing across the UK every day. That’s according to a report from accountancy firm PwC, which has found 2,692 stores shut in the first half of this year and only 1,569 new ones opened.

Fashion and electricals were the biggest casualties – Maplin, New Look, Debenhams, House of Fraser, to name a few. Restaurants and pubs also suffered, including the likes of Prezzo, Jamie’s Italian and Strada. London was hit worst, but cities like Leeds, Reading and Newcastle also saw significant losses.
The reasons are familiar – the continued shift to online combined with the pressures of business rates and a rising minimum wage. We also seem to have fallen out of love with the department store. The solutions, however, remain elusive. In last month’s Budget, the chancellor promised to cut business rates for small firms and tax online giants – but will that help?
It’s not all bad though. Supermarkets, booksellers, ice cream parlours and coffee shops all saw slim net gains in their store counts. The BBC has spoken to Asian businesses bucking the trend and visited one town that may have found the recipe for success. This week, we also heard from influencers about what Marks and Spencer can do to turn things around. -BBC

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