There has been a big fall in the number of chain stores shutting across Britain, new figures show. Closures in the first six months of 2022 dropped by a third compared with the first half of last year, accountancy firm PwC said.
Shop openings are still below pre-Covid levels, but closures are now at their lowest level for seven years. PwC said the shock of the pandemic had "eased" but warned that high inflation will hit the retail sector.
The firm produced the research in partnership with the Local Data Company (LDC), which tracks over 3,000 locations, including High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres in England, Wales and Scotland.
"The good news is that we're back on High Streets, there are more people out shopping and eating," said Kien Tan, director of retail strategy at PwC. "But the bad news is inflation hangs over us. It will affect shoppers in their pocket. But it will also affect businesses in terms of higher bills to pay. So there could be more closures to come," said Tan.
The analysis covers businesses with more than five outlets and includes everything from retail and hospitality to gyms, banks and hairdressers. It does not include independent traders.