Last year saw a sharp rise in the number of shops closing, according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).
More than 17,000 stores in the UK’s High Streets, shopping parades, and out-of-town retail parks closed during 2022 – the highest number for five years, according to the data. Total closures were nearly 50% higher than in 2021.
CRR said shops were closing at a rate of 47 per day in 2022. During the year, 11,090 independent shops were closed, compared to 6,055 shops in large retail chains. However, more than a third of closures were due to independent stores deciding to wind up their businesses voluntarily, rather than through insolvency.
CRR director Joshua Bamfield said: “Rather than company failure, rationalisation now seems to be the main driver for closures as retailers continue to reduce their cost base at pace.”
The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) called the closure figures “frightening”.
Chief executive Andrew Goodacre said: “The number of shops closing is frightening and has accelerated throughout the year. It is due to a toxic combination of reduced consumer spending and rising costs.
“I feel that after three years of dealing with Covid from lockdowns to trading restrictions, and now coupled with the cost of living crisis, that indie retailers are worn out and tired.”
He added: “We can, however, look forward to lower business rates in England and Wales – but not in Scotland where rates are being increased – as from April this year, but that coincides with the end of the energy support scheme. This report shows the urgent need to retain the energy support or 2023 will see many more shops closing.”