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High streets struggle as 15 shops close every day

Retailers on the high street are continuing to struggle, according to a new report which found that a total 15 shops closed each day in the UK, during the first half of 2016, with fashion shops particularly badly hit. 

The report, from PwC and the local data company, found that 206 fashion stores had closed in the first half of the year, and only 119 had opened. Meaning the total number of stores fell by 87. Tobacconists, jewellers and estate agents saw increases in the number of stores on high streets.

Overall 2,656 outlets were closed, equating to 15 stores per day, slightly up from 14 per day in the same period in 2015.

New openings also fell from 2,197 to 2,153 – the lowest rate of store openings since 2011. The worst hit area was Greater London, which saw a net drop of 164 shops, although no regions in the UK saw an increase in the number of shops.

Commenting on the research, Matthew Hopkinson, director of the Local Data Company, said: “The spaces left by the traditional occupants of our high streets are being increasingly filled by health care operators, food and beverage operators and the ongoing rise of the discounters.”

The period includes the closure of the majority of BHS’s high street stores and comes after US retailer Banana Republic announced last week that they are set to close all of its UK stores by the end of the 2016 financial year.

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