Death Of The High Street: 1 in 5 stores to close by 2018

It seems that every day there’s a Death of The High Street story, but according to a new study carried out by the Centre for Retail Research, it really could be falling apart faster than a Primark vest.

British high street

If the popularity of online shopping continues, they predict that one in five high street shops are set to close by 2018. That’s approximately 62,000 stores boarded up and 312,000 people out of work. According to the doom-laden report compiled by Professor Joshua Bamfield, health and beauty stores will be first to go tits up, followed by stationery shops, gift shops and DIY stores.

‘The total number of UK retail stores will fall by 22% over the next five years from 281,930 to 220,000 in 2018.’ The Professor said, woefully. ‘If no action is taken, store vacancy rates could almost double to 24%.’

It's a pessimistic view, but how accurate is it? Surely it's preferable to examine and try on your purchases rather than peering at a misleading thumbnail of a 7 foot Brazilian model on your mobile and hitting ‘add to basket’.

Is online shopping really so wonderful that it will replace the traditional Saturday trip to the high street, with its aimless traipsing about and misguided visits to Millies Cookies? Isn't being British all about standing around in TK Maxx waiting for death?


  • Bob S.
    Lower business rates, leave the low margin retail to the out-of-town mega stores and get back small individual shops that are useful to the local population.'re all welcome.
  • Justin A.
    People will always want and need to try on clothes before purchase in many cases, but that has no relevance to "health and beauty stores... stationery shops, gift shops and DIY stores."
  • Rin T.
    Low rates or no rates. High Street shops are no longer what the people want. Or we wouldn't be having these topics weekly.
  • badger
    Start charging charity shops full business rates and spend the money on heavily subsidised buses/park & ride.
  • Cookie M.
    No visit to Millie's Cookies is ever misguided! Rarrrr! *Crunch crunch gobble gobble buuurppp*!
  • Wavydavy
    I agree with Badger.Charity shops can't fail.Stock for free.Voluntary Staff.Pay little or no Business Rates & no VAT
  • LL J.
    It's not a pessimistic view, quite the opposite as it assumes the popularity of online shopping will continue as it has been, I think it's going to grow much faster. Online shopping is held back somewhat because a lot of people find taking deliveries a pain in the ass. Once widespread, Amazon Lockers and their derivatives will be another nail in the coffin.
  • Castaway
    Most shops in my town are closed by 20:18
  • Bob S.
    You can't Amazon Locker a freshly baked loaf of bread. You can't mail order your stuff to be dry cleaned... or your fried chicken. That's high street stuff - most of the other stuff can be done cheaper by other means so just let it die.
  • Shiftyniftysshadow
    Hairdressers, clothes, foodie shops, shoe shops , flower shops, will be okay....the others will die a thousand deaths
  • Dick
    > You can’t Amazon Locker a freshly baked loaf of bread. No, but you can get it delivered in a specific one or two hour time slot to your home.
  • gaybrain
    Someone needs to take the initiative, rent one of these abandoned shops or retail warehouses and set up a leisure business. People are fed up of the cinema but will pay £25 for a night there for two, so why not offer something else that they can do? Buster and Daves- arcade gaming and food/beer seem to do really well in the USA, i'd pay £10 for unlimited arcade gaming for an hour, and top off the night with a few beers and a burger. There's f all to do in the UK, this is where money can be made.
  • shiftynifty
    yeah your right...fuck all to do in britain....they are either on that internet thingy...or watching that box thing in the corner
  • The E.
    This is assuming that Amazon and the likes are allowed to kill off our high street while getting subsidised to do so.
  • LancerVancer
    Please Andy, don't beat me!!
  • Anna
    What a bunch of idiots who have commented on this article, with an absolute lack of respect for our small high st retailers, who work their butts off! Not one of you actually got the point!!

What do you think?

Your comment