Up to 15,000 shops could disappear from the UK’s high streets by the end of 2025, a new report has warned, as more and more consumers choose to online over in-store shopping.
Data from the Local Data Company showed that between 2018 and 2022, over 41,000 stores opened and 79,000 stores closed, resulting in 37,700 fewer retail outlets across the UK over the five year period.
LDC forecast there will be between 8,000 and 15,000 fewer retail outlets by the end of 2025.
The Retail Sector Council warned that many towns and high streets face a “vicious spiral” because “the more stores that close, the more stores that are likely to close”.
Richard Pennycook, the former chief executive of the Co-op and co-chair of the council, told The Telegraph that more towns and cities were at risk of becoming “wastelands” because of a lack of incentives for retailers to invest in stores.
“If we don’t incentivise regeneration, then these places are getting hollowed out,” he warned.
The prevalence of this issue can be seen in London’s most popular shopping district, Oxford Street, where there are some 42 vacant shops.
Westminster City Council recently launched a new £10m scheme to transform London’s iconic high street and reverse the decline.
The council will make shops vacated by illicit candy stores, which have blighted the leading retail destination, available to small business owners rent free and lower their business rates by 70 per cent.