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Gap between high street closures and openings at record levels

The latest analysis by PwC-LDC looked at the health of Great Britain's top 500 high streets and found that a combination of the growth in online shopping, shift to in-home leisure, heightened restructuring activity and continued digitisation of services, has seen a net 1,123 stores disappear from Great Britain’s top 500 high streets in the first half of this year alone, the highest levels since the PwC-LDC analysis began.

Only 1,569 shops opened, compared to 2,692 closures. Specifically, the openings across ‘experiential’ chains, such as ice cream parlours, beauty salons and vape shops, haven’t been enough to offset closures in the more traditional categories.

Looking ahead, the turmoil facing the sector is unlikely to abate. Store closures in H2 due to administrations and CVAs already announced will further intensify the situation. Additional PwC research of more than 101,710 companies listed on Company House, shows that of the 65 retailers entering into a CVA between 1987 and 2017 more than half (51%) failed, leading to another insolvency process.

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