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UK’s retail crisis set to deepen in 2020

by LLB Reporter

The retail crisis across the UK has seen 16,073 shops close their shutters for the last time during 2019 according to new research.

Retailers with 10 or more stores saw 5,901 shops close during 2019 up by 79% compared to 3,303 stores that closed in 2018.

The Centre for Retail Research said that independent retailers fared slightly better as closures are down by almost 10%.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director at the Centre for Retail Research has said store closures will rise by around 9% to 17,565 during 2020.

He said, “The commercial pressures of higher labour costs, business rates and relatively weak demand will continue to undercut profits and force the weakest companies to close stores or enter administration.

“The high street and suburbs will continue to decline.”

He added, “In 2020 further announcements from companies that have already gone through CVAs or administration may well result in cutbacks on their existing operations.”

Robert Hayton, head of UK business rates at the real estate adviser Altus Group said, “Whilst just 10% of retail properties in England are over £51,000 in rateable value, and precluded from the discount, they still pick up 69% of the business rates burden for the entire retail sector.”

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