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Clothing stores shutting at record rate

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Fashion

Some of the UK's finest independent boutiques are closing at a rate of 18 a day as high street retailers continue to suffer, according to the latest figures. More stores are closing than opening with fashion and clothes store retailers suffering the most,

data from the Price Waterhouse Coopers and the Local Data claimed without providing specific figures. Meanwhile, charity shops, betting shops and cheque-cashing outlets continue to grow.


Southeast
and Midlands' retailers suffer most

The data also reveals that the Southeast and East Midlands regions suffered the most in the first six months of the year, with both seeing a net fall in stores over the period, while Yorkshire performed best with a slight increase.

PwC retail partner Mark Hudson said: "This set of figures represents the continuing transformation of our traditional retailers and stores estates as they respond to the changing behaviour of their digitally-enabled customers."

Analysing 500 UK town centres, data showed 3,366 stores closed while just 3,157 opened, a net reduction of 209 stores. This was an improvement on the same period last year when the net reduction was 953, but shows the high street is still struggling.

Many retailers have blamed the high business rates for causing a decline, with some arguing for an online sales tax because online retailers are not burdened with the same rates bill.

Elsewhere, convenience stores have also seen a rise in high street openings, as supermarkets continue to tap into groceries, one of the biggest growth areas.

Image: Shop closed
Crisis
High street
Price Waterhouse Coopers
PWC
Survey