Exodus: movement of shop people
While slightly down on the 18 per day of 2013, the rate of store openings actually plunged by 15%. So essentially, more and more shops are being left empty.
The new data is part of an analysis of the UK’s top 500 towns by the research firm Local Data Company (LDC) and accountants PwC.
Just over 400 shops were left empty over the period , which is more than in the whole of last year.
London and the East of England saw the number of empty shops actually fall, whereas the North West and West Midlands suffered.
Oddly enough, it is pawnbrokers that are now suffering, when in recent years they've been almost an essential. The shape of the high street is not what it was, with tattooists being a surprising growth area.
Mark Hudson, retail leader at PwC, said: "This data shows that we are now really starting to see the full effects of the digital revolution and consequent change in customer behaviour play out on the high street."
Matthew Hopkinson, director of LDC, said that many big retailers were reducing their overall number : "They now want small stores as a local touchpoint or large stores where they can create an experiential environment and really engage with customers. Where once they would have had three stores including one on the high street now they just want one."
Can we have some nice parks in place of all these boarded up shops then?