Net store closures accelerated above 2022 levels in Britain but remained lower than between 2018 and 2021, according to the latest figures from PwC and Local Data Company (LDC).

Closed stores on Glasgow street

Net store closures rose in 2023 compared with 2022

The research, carried out by LDC, showed 39 chain outlets closed and 25 new outlets opened every day in 2023.

LDC tracks more than 200,000 outlets in over 3,500 locations including high streets, shopping centres, retail parks and other out-of-town areas.

The net store closures figure of 14 a day was higher than the 10 closures per day recorded in 2022 but remained above the levels recorded between 2018 and 2021.

The report said store openings had accelerated back to pre-pandemic levels, “driven by hospitality in retail parks and other out-of-town locations”.

It said closures were “largely due to services such as banks and betting shops moving online, as well as large-scale restructurings and administrations in other categories”.

Lisa Hooker, leader of industry for consumer markets, said: “A combination of the lagged impact of the pandemic together with inflation across the cost base has seen an acceleration in chain stores exiting the market in 2023 at 14 stores a day and some disappointing results across the independent sector.

“We believe the step-up in net closures reflects more one-off failures and will improve this year. It also shows the impact of the trend of wanting to shop and consume services seamlessly across different channels with longer-term growth in spending online mirroring the annual net closures in physical sites.

“There are some bright spots in terms of net openings of leisure operators and in retail parks, reflecting our desire for experiences over ‘stuff’, as well as for convenience.

“Overall, this does suggest a continued need for retailers, landlords and the local government to work together to understand why consumers prefer retail parks and how they can revitalise and reposition high streets to meet future consumer needs, and also for our industry to embrace the latest technology and use of data to win the battle for share of wallet and stomach.”