UK Retail Chains Closing at a Rate of 20 a Day
Research released this week has indicated that UK retail chains are closing around 20 stores every day. Many of these stores have been involved in the home improvement industry such as Focus DIY, Moben, Habitat, TJ Hughes and Dolphin.
Latest figures from PriceWaterhouseCoopers have shown that 375 retailers went into administration during the second quarter of 2011, which is a 9% increase on the same period one year ago.
These figures show that around 4,000 individual stores closed in the first five months of this year, putting the national vacancy rate for retail units at 14.5%.
One of the most recent casualties has been the Homeform group which owns Moben, Doplphin and Sharps bedrooms. They have made 557 staff redundant after they failed to find a buyer for the kitchen and bathroom parts of the company. Their administrator has warned that 453 customers who have paid deposits in cash would be unlikely to be refunded.
Stephen Robertson from the British Retail Consortium has commented that some parts of the high street are in trouble. He points out that non-food retailers are finding things particularly hard. He suggests that high streets need to be promoted and that rates need to be kept down to help out those still in business.