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Shop closures at lowest level in five years

The rate of store closures in the UK fell from 16 closures per day in 2014 to 14 closures per day in 2015, claims a new report.

According to PwC analysis compiled by the Local Data Company (LDC), 5,138 outlets closed in 2015 compared to 4,640 openings, equating to a net reduction of 498 shops. This is a drop of 50.4 percent when compared to 2014 where 5,839 outlets closed compared to 4,852 openings, a net reduction of 987 shops.

This is the lowest rate since 2012, when up to 20 stores a day were closing. In the period up to the 2nd week of March 2016, there was a net decline of -217 units across the top 500 town centres. Experts believe the tough winter trading has had an impact on the occupier market.

Mike Jervis, insolvency partner and head of deals retail specialist at PwC, said: “The lower rate of closures in 2015 reflects optimism amongst retailers and indeed most consumer confidence indices support this. In addition, retail insolvencies are at an historical low.

“The openings are concentrated on experience type outlets, especially food and beverage and I’d also expect to see more growth in discount store openings this year. The closures reflect ongoing structural changes in retail banking and the higher regulatory hurdles facing so called ‘money shops’.”

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