Big retailers shut shops at rate of 20 a day in 2012

The impact of the recent collapses on the high street is laid bare today in figures that show a rapid acceleration in the number of stores closed by major chains.

Big retailers exited 20 stores a day in 2012, while last month's collapse of three chains has further increased the rate of closures, according to the accountancy firm PwC and the research specialist Local Data Company.

If all the near-1,000 shops in the administrations of the camera specialist Jessops, the entertainment chain HMV and the DVD rental firm Blockbuster were to close, this potential figure would jump to 28 shops a day between December and February.

Mike Jervis, an insolvency partner at PwC, said: "2012 saw more retail chains go into insolvency than ever before. The failed chains generally shared two problems – too many stores and too little multi-channel activity. 2013 has seen the downward trend become even worse." Chains reduced their store numbers by 2.7 per cent last year, compared with a 0.25 per cent decline in 2011 and an increase of 1.2 per cent in 2009.

Retailers of cards, clothes, health foods, jewellery and sports goods were among the hardest hit in 2012. Computer game specialists suffered the biggest fall of 45 per cent in store numbers.

But the growth of cheque-cashing, pawnbrokers and pound shops continues apace, with them increasing their stores by 20 per cent, 13.2 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

Similarly, discounters and supermarkets have also been bagging stores from administrators to HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster, with Morrisons alone picking up 63 shops from them.

Christine Cross, PwC's chief retail adviser, said: "What is surprising is the speed at which stores have been picked up by value and grocery retailers in particular. Good businesses with good operating models and good people don't fail."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you looking to take your ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Exciting career prospect for ...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935