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Almost 2,000 more independent shops left empty in the first half of this year

27 Sep 2023

Almost 2,000 more British independent shops were left empty in the first half of this year, as small businesses struggled to cope with rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.
Read more…

Indie shops in Liverpool create their own security network to combat shoplifters.

27 Sep 2023

An independent shop owner in Liverpool has said that independent shops in the city centre have taken to creating their own security WhatsApp group, warning each other of shoplifters in the... Read more…

Indie shops key to reversing fortunes of struggling high streets – university study finds.

27 Sep 2023

A focus on independent and ‘browse-only’ shops can help to reverse the fortunes of the struggling high street, according to an extensive study by Manchester Metropolitan University.
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Trade association welcomes Home Office ‘back-to-basics’ retail crime promise

13 Sep 2023

The recent pledge by police forces across England and Wales to pursue every lead that holds a reasonable chance of apprehending criminals and solving crimes has been welcomed by Bira, which... Read more…

Hidden basement bar in Liverpool named 'best vegan restaurant' in Britain

12 Sep 2023

A family-run Liverpool restaurant hidden inside a basement is officially Britain's best vegan venue.
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Shoplifters working in organised groups targeting shops with co-ordinated raids

11 Sep 2023

A warning has been issued that shoplifters in the UK are becoming increasingly “emboldened” and appear to be often orchestrated by organised criminal groups, which steal to order,... Read more…

Shops urged to prepare for single-use plastics ban coming into force on 1 October

11 Sep 2023

It has been suggested that some shop owners may be unaware or unprepared for the upcoming change to regulations on single-use plastics on plates, bowls, trays, containers, cutlery and balloon... Read more…

National Lottery retailers urged to transfer retail agreement to new operator.

30 Aug 2023

Allwyn, incoming operator of The National Lottery, has urged independent National Lottery retailers to log on to its new online retailer portal via Read more…

Retailers sceptical about Home Secretary’s call for ‘every theft’ to be investigated.

30 Aug 2023

Shop owners have expressed scepticism that the Home Secretary's recent call for every theft to be investigated by the police will come to fruition, suggesting that police resources are already... Read more…

Consumer confidence shows ‘renewed optimism’ against falling core inflation

29 Aug 2023

Consumer confidence is showing “renewed optimism” against a backdrop of falling core inflation, new figures suggest.
 
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Almost 2,000 more independent shops left empty in the first half of this year

Posted on in Business News

Almost 2,000 more British independent shops were left empty in the first half of this year, as small businesses struggled to cope with rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.

empty shop

The loss of 1,915 outlets across high streets, shopping centres and retail parks this year unwinds most of the 1,335 net openings in the first half of last year and 804 during the same period in 2021, according to research by the Local Data Company (LDC) and reported by the Guardian.

The biggest rise in vacancies in at least eight years marks a reversal in fortunes for independent outlets after two years of growth. Small firms had thrived from a shift towards local shopping prompted by the pandemic and were also helped by government Covid support on rent and business rates.

Hairdressers were the hardest hit, according to LDC, with net loss of 389 businesses. Estate agents, pubs, fish and chip shops, florists, butchers, newsagents and car dealerships also suffered.

However, the number of barbers, beauty salons and convenience stores continued to expand as demand for cheap treats on the return to offices, schools and socialising increased sales. Independent vape shops and health clubs are also thriving.

The north-east of England and Yorkshire were the worst-hit regions for independent closures, while Greater London fared the best.

Lucy Stainton, the commercial director at LDC, said: “In this year’s macroeconomic environment, it’s our independent businesses that have suffered, especially those high-energy consuming businesses such as hairdressers and pubs.

“We have also seen a decline in independent estate agents as the housing market slowed against a backdrop of rising interest rates. And with newsagents struggling to compete with the increase in convenience stores and their broader offering, this was another subsector to struggle in the first half.”

Stainton said the slew of independent businesses that started up during the pandemic were less likely to have the cash reserves to withstand the economic challenges of high-cost inflation and tightening consumer spending, especially as they had not been trading for very long. Their difficulties have been worsened by a slowdown in government support.

Martin McTague, the national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We saw a flourishing of new businesses conceived during the pandemic, which was a real bright spot in a turbulent time, as people suddenly had a chance to put long-held dreams or flashes of inspiration into practice.

“These new additions helped to counterbalance the businesses that sadly had to close as the economic disruption took its toll. News that many of these newer businesses in turn are encountering difficult trading conditions is worrying but not surprising given the huge challenges facing the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.”

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