High street sees 11,000 stores close in 2020

retail sales
MANCHESTER, UK - APRIL 22, 2013: People visit shopping area in Manchester, UK.

Over 11,000 shops across the British high street closed in 2020.

New data from the Local Data Company (LDC) found a net total of 9,877 chain outlets and 1,442 independent retail, restaurant and leisure stores to close last year.

A further 18,000 stores on the high street could close after the collapse of major retail groups such as Debenhams, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins.

“Our latest report shows a marked increase in the structural decline across the physical retail and leisure markets but we would also argue that we aren’t yet close to seeing the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Lucy Stainton, the head of retail at LDC.

“What remains to be seen are the consequences of government support ending, effectively ‘defrosting’ a significant portion of the market which has been frozen in time since the onset of the pandemic. With this in mind we would expect to see the state of play in terms of vacancy rates and net change worsening over the course of 2021 and 2022 before levelling out,” she added.