Six shops a day have disappeared from British high streets over the past seven years, according to analysis of newly released government data.
In total, 15,856 stores have closed, according to research by business rates advisory firm Altus Group, making way for homes, converted to other uses or demolished entirely.
The Centre For Retail Research reports that so far this year 1,364 stores have been affected by insolvencies, resulting in closures.
Between April 2010 and 2017, the number of shops registered as eligible for business rates had fallen by 3.68% to 414,504.
Commenting on the research Alex Probyn, president of UK business rates at Altus Group, said: “The face of retail is changing. The conversation now to be had, which is a difficult one, is how to level the playing field between bricks and clicks.
“Property taxes should be about physical property. It’s the wrong mechanism for taxing digital businesses. An online sales tax might be used to level the playing field, but it does not belong within a system based largely on rental values.
“An online sales tax, for example, should not be seen as a generator of additional income. But revenue could be ring-fenced and used to provide additional relief for traditional bricks and mortar retailers.”