Chain store closures in the UK continued at an alarming rate in the first half of 2021, with fashion the biggest casualty. A total of 1,063 fashion stores closed in the first six months, alongside 120 department stores.
Just how tough UK retail’s pandemic mauling has been — especially for fashion — came into stark focus on July 30. More than one in seven stores are now vacant on UK high streets, retail parks and in shopping centres.
The UK government has launched a new long-term strategy to “evolve and regenerate” England’s battered high streets. It wants to turn them into “thriving places to work, visit and live… breathing life into town centres”.
A gruelling year for physical retail comes into stark focus with news that up to 70 of 700 UK shopping centres could be set for demolition. Even more ageing centres are in line for redevelopment, a report shows.
Alarm bells are continuing to ring over the future of Britain’s retail industry. Despite a positive return for non-essential retail in England, Wales and Scotland so far, more store closures are due in the months ahead.
The grave state of physical retail, and fashion retail in particular, surfaced Wednesday as a report showed over 11,000 UK stores disappeared last year. Darker still, a further 18,000 stores could close this year.