LDC: December and January retail administrations and closures hit all-time high

Hopkinson: how many more retailers are struggling?

Hopkinson: how many more retailers are struggling?

Analysis by The Local Data Company of Stead & Simpson, Jessops, Comet, HMV and Blockbuster stores shows over 1,400 stores are at risk of closure (or have closed) creating some big holes on the high street.

Key findings:

  • 45.6% of the stores are located in High Street units, 19.5% in shopping centres, 17.4% on retail parks and 17.4% in tertiary/stand alone locations
  • The South East is the worst affected region with 23.7% of the stores followed by the North West at 10.3% and the South West at 10.1%. The North East is the least impacted with just 3.5% of the stores
  • The Broadway in Ealing (London) and Heathrow Airport are the most impacted locations with five stores followed by Winchester and Birmingham with four
  • 53 towns have more than two of the impacted retailers present
  • 11 retail parks and shopping centres have three impacted stores including Bluewater (Kent), Fareham Shopping Centre, Fort Kinnaird Shopping Park (Edinburgh), Lakeside Shopping Centre (Thurrock), Metro Centre (Gateshead), Dolphin Shopping Centre (Poole), The Mall at Cribbs Causeway (Bristol), Portland Retail Park (Mansfield), The Centre (Livingston) and Trafford Retail Park (Manchester) 

Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company, said: “The administration and potential closure of over 1,400 stores in less than a month far surpasses Woolworths 807 in January 2009. This has the potential to increase the national shop vacancy rate by nearly 5% to an all time high of over 19% if all the stores close and are not reoccupied. 

“The big question is how many more retailers are struggling out there to the point of administration? Those who are not will no doubt be looking to reduce their store numbers significantly as consumer trends continue to reduce the need for large store portfolios. There are 92 comparison goods retailers like Comet, HMV and Jessops who have store portfolios of over 300 units. By way of comparison John Lewis has 41.”