One in eight shops close across the UK

9 September 2010

openallhoursGrim news. It has been estimated that 117,000 shops in town centres are now boarded-up or empty, according to a report. It's clear that the public still isn't ready to start throwing their cash around like it was the '90s all over again.

Unsurprisingly, it's the North and the Midlands which have been hit hardest. Apparently, the highest number of empty shops is in Blackpool, at 29%. With the increase in VAT in January, things are looking like they'll remain pretty rough.

The Local Data Company report called A Gathering Storm? says that town centres that rely on public sector funding the most are likely to be the worst hit in the coming months.

The report warns: "Combined with the increases in VAT in January, this will likely be a double blow for the big retail centres, in the North and the Midlands particularly."

Some of the big boys are suffering too, with Argos reporting that sales have continued to fall. The company are expecting profits to be down by 20-25%, report the BBC.

Tough times are ahead and, if things don't sort themselves out soon, we'll be living in an image of The Specials' 'Ghost Town' and buying all of our goods online.

TOPICS:   High Street News

17 comments

  • Gunn
    i do most of my shopping online, maybe the town centres should be redeveloped for residential instead.
  • Villa
    Everyone should be buying online. There really isn't a need for stores anymore.
  • Darren
    Its true, eventually we will reach the point as in Wall-E where we all just sit in our chairs and never move. lol. Now myself, I much prefer to go down the shops every now and again, I do my main grocery shopping on-line, but only because there are usually £7 or so off home delivery @ Tesco and the like. And most electrical s I Buy online, shows rarely can match the price online due to the overheads. If they could match the price, I would rather go to a shop!
  • The B.
    So what this report is saying is "it's grim up North", is it not?
  • Yue
    @Gunn, well said.
  • mizzle
    Most people who work in actual reality shops are one step up from being on the dole with no social skills, let alone customer service skills. The middle classes now prefer to shop online so these people are made redundant and we can keep them housed together on the edge of society. In the meantime, we go about our business, safe in the knowledge we will not have to interact with 35 year old Grandmothers and blokes with more earrings than GCSEs in order to buy a toaster. The irony is, that these people will probably end up hanging around our derelict town centres (outside Greggs) on weekdays when jobless, and then the Daily Mail will moan about them anyway.
  • spunki
    So if everyone shops online, where will all the people who work in retail stores work? millions more out of work and claiming dole higher taxes its a vicious circle stores have higher overheads and cannot compete with online retailers so customers use the store to see what they want, like a showroom, then buy online store doesnt make money and closes
  • Mark H.
    'So if everyone shops online, where will all the people who work in retail stores work?' For the online retailers?
  • Mark C.
    My local town centre is mainly pawnbrokers and betting shops these days already. Even the grotty Giro day special pub has closed down now.
  • BobF
    "So if everyone shops online, where will all the people who work in retail stores work? millions more out of work and claiming dole higher taxes its a vicious circle" No no, we let them starve to death. Could do with a large bout of population thinning.
  • The B.
    "if everyone shops online, where will all the people who work in retail stores work?" Um, home delivery, warehouses, transportation, how do you think the goods you order on-line get from the supplier to your door?
  • Nobby
    > Um, home delivery, warehouses, transportation, how do you think the goods you order on-line get from the supplier to your door? Magic.
  • Charlie O.
    Nobby, Goods get to your door via trained foxes of course!
  • Charlie O.
    Actually that was for Bob
  • spunki
    so people working in sales now have to bundle things into boxes in a factory. like it or lump it? FUCK YOU ALL
  • tin
    It's not just online that's killing the shops, it's the supermarkets. They're just being allowed to muscle in on whatever traditionally business they fancy a crack at - Petrol, Pharmacy, Dry Cleaning, Cafe, Electrical, Music & Video, Newspapers, Cards, Books, Clothes, Bank, Post office, etc - and in anything but the largest towns the corresponding shops can't sustain the business and close. That's a lot of shops, a lot of workers, and a lot of empty boarded up vandalised crap in our town centres that further inspires us not to go there any more. The vast majority of petrol stations and newsagents have gone. Now the supermarkets have control of the market they are suddenly not quite so arsed about opening 24x7 or stocking anything but a core selection of the biggest selling papers and magazines. Not to mention a complete lack of any kind of personal service. The newsagent used to depend on his regular customers for business - the supermarket checkout operator couldn't give a toss (with good reason). Ever tried getting petrol at 2am recently? It's starting to get very difficult to find somewhere open in a lot of places. No, your local town council planners will rejoice at the new wonderful uber-Tesco opening up in their shitty little town, emphasising the number of jobs it will create - neglecting to mention that it will shut most of the useful shops in the town itself, putting a shedload of people out of work and giving the privileged few the opportunity to work in Tesco for minimum wage with no prospects for any kind of job satisfaction, eliminate any small time entrepreneurs the town might have had, make the chains decide their stores are not profitable, and make their town centre a desolate boarded up vandalised shit hole generating them little if no revenue from rent and tax. So once in a while, if your town hasn't yet died, go down there and buy something, from an independent if you can or at least a struggling chain, even if it's a couple of quid more than you could buy it from Amazon. That might create the possibility that your local town centre might not end up a complete bin!
  • Ten B.
    [...] One in eight shops close across the UK [...]

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