Economic Collapse: Shop closures hit record levels in the UK
The Telegraph. September 11, 2019
Shops are shutting at a rate of up to 16 a day across the country, with closures hitting record levels as the crisis engulfing the high street escalates.
The first half of this year saw 2,868 store closures, almost twice as many as openings, as retailers increasingly resort to controversial rescue deals to cut rents and shut unprofitable stores.
The net fall in the six-month period was 1,234 sites, the highest number in nine years, with fashion retailers, pubs, bars and restaurants the worst hit, according to PwC and the Local Data Company.
Bricks-and-mortar retailers have been struggling with rising business rates, fewer shoppers visiting stores and a shift to online orders.
Businesses including Debenhams, Mothercare and Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail empire have used company voluntary arrangements, a form of insolvency that allows them to cut a deal with landlords and other creditors to stop them from going bust. This typically results in the closure of unprofitable stores and lower rents on others.
Meanwhile casual dining chains such as Prezzo, Carluccio’s and Byron Burger have either closed sites or sought rent reductions.
These restructuring efforts, as well as firms such as Maplin, Toys R Us, Bathstore and Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain going bust, have led to the increase in closures. London, the south east and south west of the country have suffered the most.
Categories: Economic Collapse