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High street in decline says BSSA

High streets are facing a 'slow death' as they try to compete with cheaper out-of-town supermarkets and shopping centres, according to The British Shops and Stores Association.

The association, which represents smaller retailers, said that 42% of shoppers think their local high street has declined over the last decade, as an increasing number of independent clothes shops, florists, fishmongers and ironmongers close down.

More than 300 of the association's 4,500 members, all of which are independent retailers, have closed in the past year.

BSSA chief executive John Dean told The Daily Telegraph that the government, local planning regulators and retailers were to blame for the decline of the high street. "The planning and tax environment is not conducive to attracting entrepreneurs to open up shop," he said. "We've got to do something about it before it's too late."

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