Deathwatch: 35,000 UK shops to close this year?
As many as 35,000 UK shops could close this year as the recession bites hard into the British economy. That’s a prediction included in a report by Experian and featured on The Money Programme tonight on BBC2, presented by retail ghoul Mary Portas (right).
Stats assembled by the British Retail Consortium suggest that sales fell 0.6 per cent in May, following brisk figures for March and April. Additionally, Job Centre statistics reveal that 165,000 shop workers claimed benefits last month – 49 per cent up on the year before.
With predictions that unemployment might reach three million before long, the shops could be hit harder still as money dries up and people resort to buying only necessities. Gateshead, Tyne And Wear has been named as the country’s biggest retail ghost town, with 60% of shop units standing empty.
What does the retail landscape look like where you live? Are you finding that local shops for local people are closing down and driving you more and more into the welcoming clutches of your nearest supermarket. Would you like to openly mourn a favourite retail establishment that has recently gone spectacularly tits up? Tell us now, because we might never meet again.