More shops are closing than are opening and the trend is set to continue according to the latest research by accountants PwC.

In a survey compiled by Local Data research for PwC 17,000 chain store outlets closed last year with a net loss of 10,059 outlets across Britain – the largest slide in the sector since 2014. The firm surveyed 200,000 retailers in High Streets, shopping centres and retail parks where a company owned more than five shops. It didn’t record the numbers of stand-alone shops that have opened or closed although the proportions are thought to be similar. It meant in the chain sector for the last two years in a row around 45 shops closed every day.

“This is bad news for all the companies that supply them,” said Ian Carrotte of ICSM, “a some of these chains closed completely leaving the staff out of a job and suppliers usually high and dry. The pandemic hasn’t help with a surge in online shopping and the working from home policy of the Government. Hopefully we will see a rise in footfall in the high street this year as without all those cafes, pubs, shops and chains stores there is fewer jobs and fewer suppliers.”

The main casualties have been in the high street with the lowest numbers of closures in retail parks, with fashion retailers seeing the largest number of closures followed by banks, convenience stores and charity shops. On the positive side there’s been an increase in take-aways, cakes hops and not surprisingly job centres.

“Independent shops, fashion retailers and convenience stores and small supermarkets need a lot of signage and point of sale items,” said Ian Carrotte, “so printers, and of course couriers and lorry firms are missing out if they close. Councils need to make town centre parking free or low cost and landlords need to free up leases to new businesses that will attract the public back. Shopping online only makes the likes of Amazon who pay little tax richer and traders poorer.”

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel – while at the moment there’s a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach – ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website or email Ian at on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website or send an email to

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