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Store closures hit fashion and footwear

One in 10 retailers closed their doors between January and September this year according to research released today by the Local Data Company.

Fashion and footwear was one of the worst casualties of the recession with 17.9% of stores in the womenswear and kidswear sectors and 12.4% of menswear stores shutting their doors in the first nine months of this year. Footwear also fared badly with 14.9% of stores closing.

Figures broken down further by The Times suggest that the independent sector was a casualty of rising rates and limited access to credit during the period, with 15% of independent fashion stores reported to have closed in the nine months.

From a survey of 251,462 firms across over 705 centres across the UK, a total of 25,090 closed their doors during the period.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “Clearly no one is escaping the recession and it’s vital that ministers offer real help to businesses through a sensible mitigation of the impact of next year’s rise in business rates and a cut in empty property rates. In order to maintain investment in retail regeneration, developers need to be able to maintain returns which are generated from keeping rents at a certain level.

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