A total of 9,500 shops are to close in the UK this year, up 30% on 2017, retail experts have predicted
The figure equates to 26 shops shuttering every day, as tough trading takes its toll on the high street.
Professor Joshua Bamfield at the Centre for Retail Research said: “The retail industry is now in crisis, caused by slack demand and escalating business rates.
“The government must act now to protect the range of large and small shops by freezing rates as the very minimum. If not, then thousands of jobs and stores [will be] forced to close.”
Bamford predicts 2,000 stores will close this year as a result of entering administrations, while a further 7,500 stores will shut as chains seek to cut costs.
A further 10,200 shops are predicted to close their doors for the final time in 2019.