UK High Street Shops Closing Down At An Alarming Rate

With hardly a month going by without a high street store closing down or major chain of shops going into administration, it is no wonder that people working in the industry are referring to it at the ‘retailpocolypse.’

Experts agree that the model that worked for high street stores 10 years ago is outdated and no longer serving these outlets, leading to closures all over the country.  This high street crisis is set to continue, and stores need to adapt if they want to survive.

One of the biggest problems they face is the steadily rising rent costs of these locations, exasperated by the fact that shops are huge and generally have no shoppers in them.  Recent research suggests that 150 of the top UK retailers have 20% more space in their stores than they actually need and can afford.  This has led to closures all over the country.

Some brands are actually able to take advantage of these closures, for example, the online fashion chain Boohoo, which has been snapping up closing brands like Karen Millen and Coast.  Of course, Boohoo doesn’t want to run the physical outlets, so they are relaunching the brands as online stores. 

Some chains however have not been so lucky, and many of them practically went out of business overnight.  These include big stores like Toys R Us, Maplin and Poundland, proving that the epidemic can affect any brand, including the large well-established ones.

There has been a massive shift in spending patterns over the last 5 years, and this is also contributing to high street stores struggling.  Online shopping is rising and will continue to be one of the fastest-growing shopping methods, growing 18% from 2016 to 2019.  Smart decisions must be made by retailers if they are to survive.