Research - OCTOBER 19, 2020

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Store closures: Twice the rate of last year as net decline now at highest level in five years

by Andrea Zander

A record number of stores closed during the first half of 2020 across the United Kingdom, according to figures revealed by the Local Data Company and advisory firm PwC UK. About 11,120 chain-store outlets shut between January and June.

The data shows that 11,120 chain-operator outlets have closed this year so far, with 5,119 shops opening, creating a net decline of 6,001, almost double the decline tracked last year (3,509).

The steep decline comes amidst a challenging year for retail and leisure, which has seen many stores have to close either temporarily or permanently as the impact of COVID-19 continues to influence consumer behavior. The data shows that COVID-19 has accelerated previous trends that have changed the way consumers shop, so, although retail sales already recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels by July, there have been greater shifts in categor

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