Chain stores closing at lowest rate since 2014

1st March 2023 | Jack Oliver

The amount of net store closures (openings minus closures) has reached its lowest number in five years, as chain outlets are now shutting down at their lowest rates since 2014.

Figures from Local Data Company and published by PwC found that 11,530 chain outlets closed in 2022, the lowest in eight years. This equates to 32 closures a day, in comparison to nearly 50 a day seen during the height of the Pandemic.

The net change for store closures in 2022 was -3,627, an improvement from 2021’s figure of -10,059.

At 10 net closures a day, the overall rate at which shops shut down in 2022 was less than half of the levels recorded in 2020 and 2021 (33 and 29 per day respectively).

These changes were felt nationwide, as the gap between closures and openings began to narrow in all regions, with a particular turnaround noted in the Capital which struggled during the Pandemic.

The data found that retail parks were the most resilient locations, benefitting from being able to remain open during COVID-19 lockdowns. Net closures for chain outlets in retail parks saw a decrease of -0.3%, compared to a fall of -4.4% in 2021.

Takeaway restaurants led the charts for fastest growing chain outlets in 2022, the only chain outlet type to see triple-digit net growth in the year. Leisure businesses are also driving openings.

However, closures within the services sector continue, especially within high street banks, which are closing at a rate of one in eight every year.

PwC says that the resilience of retail parks, alongside increased rates of hybrid working, means that high street retailers have a lot of work to do to recover footfall to levels seen before the Pandemic.

Overall, the numbers suggest some positivity for retailers, however many will be cautious over the current economic outlook and low consumer confidence.


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