According to new figures, there has been a record number of shop closures across the UK during the pandemic in the first half of this year.
Data compiled by accountancy firm PwC shows that between January and August this year a total of 11,000 chain operator outlets had closed.
Some 5,000 stores opened which represents a next decline of 6,001 stores, which is nearly double compared to 2019.
Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, said: “We know that the pandemic will continue to impact the way we work, rest and play; however, in terms of how we shop, this isn’t new.
“What we have seen is an acceleration of existing changes in shopping behaviours alongside forced experimentation from Covid-19 restrictions.
“We all knew that consumers were shifting to shopping online or changing their priorities in terms of the things they buy, but what Covid-19 has done is create a step-change in these underlying trends to where they have now become the new normal.”
Lucy Stainton, of the Local Data Company added, “As with any economic turmoil, there are opportunities for retailers who are able to weather this storm, with the availability of prime property, increased activity and spend in local centres, and changing consumer habits.
“Agile retailers who are able to innovate and adapt quickly, such as Pret launching its coffee subscription service or e-bike retailer Pure Electric who have opened 13 stores this year, will be the most resilient as we head towards the end of a year which arguably has been the most challenging in recent history.”
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