The number of stores operated by multiple retailers edged down in the first quarter of 2013 after retailers including HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster crashed into administration.
According to CBRE’s Chain Expansion Quarterly survey, the number of retail stores fell 0.27% to 101,103, quarter on quarter.
The report found that, in particular, specialist retailers selling goods impacted by online retail and supermarket expansion - including video hire, cameras, stationery and music - had reduced their presence in the past decade.
The data also showed the growth rate of fashion stores has reduced over the past five years.
However, grocery, clothing and chemists’ store numbers continued to grow.
Despite overall store numbers slipping, the report found that floor space grew as retailers increasingly took larger units. However, a lack of development activity since the onset of the recession had made acquiring new big stores “progressively more difficult”.
CBRE said: “Despite a steady trickle of administrations, net shop floorspace levels in occupation have continued to increase, in part due to the aggressive expansion activities of grocers, pound shops and discounters generally.”