Times are tough for a number of high street retailers, even if they are one of the big names.
The continued dominance of Amazon and the emergence of a number of budget online retailers has made things difficult for a number of stores.
But three types of shop haven’t found it too tough, according to new data released today.
Chicken shops , pet shops and gyms saw more openings than closures in the last six months.
The new data, from accountancy giant PwC and the Local Data Company, uncovered that a net 1,234 chain stores closed in the first half of 2019.
A total of 2,868 stores closed over the period, with 1,634 stores opening.
During that time, several retailers sought to close stores or reduce rents through insolvency processes known as company voluntary agreements (CVAs), including Arcadia and Debenhams.
Other retailers, such as LK Bennett, Pretty Green and Coast , went bust.
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But researchers uncovered that takeaways, and chicken shops in particular, have been opening in significant numbers, with independent businessmen and women keen to fill vacant high street space.
Kien Tan, a research director at PwC, said: “Even if big chains aren’t opening, local businesses are.
“Local entrepreneurs know their local market and know where the demand is. That’s why they are willing to take that risk.”
He also pointed out that although it would appear that chains are opening, the vast majority of these are operated by franchisees.
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Zelf Hussain, retail restructuring partner at PwC, added: “A number of high profile business administrations have contributed to the record net decline in high street store numbers.
“This reinforces our view that any business restructuring needs to happen alongside a wider programme of change.
“Regionally, London was hardest hit, with the biggest number of net closures, with the East Midlands, North East, South East and Yorkshire and the Humber the only regions to see a fall in net closures compared with the final six months of 2018.
“There were some signs of growth, with the number of units opening – 1,634 – beating the 1,569 in the first half of 2018, with the LDC suggesting this is a sign of cyclical change rather than long-term decline.”
Lucy Stainton, head of retail at the LDC, said: “The reality is that UK retail space will continue to look very different over the coming years, and this is demonstrated by the sheer number of stores opening and closing on an ongoing basis.
“The biggest number of closures by category were fashion retailers, pubs and bars, restaurants, estate agents and charity shops, while the largest number of openings were fashion retailers, charity shops, convenience grocery stores and takeaways.
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