NAJ News

BRC calls for action on business rates as number of physical shops falls 3200 over past four year

05 Oct 2018

New figures published today by the ONS (see below) show that the number of physical shops in the UK has fallen by almost 3,200 over the past four years, down 1.2% to 263,070.

Commenting, Rachel Lund, Head of Insights and Analytics at the British Retail Consortium said: 

"Retail is undergoing a transformation driven by changes in shopping habits, new technology, stiff competition and an increasing regulatory burden. Many retailers are responding by refining their business models, investing in technology, improving their logistics capabilities and reducing their store portfolios.

"The continued cumulative burden of public policy costs is accelerating the pace of this change. This data reinforces the need for the Government to demonstrate their commitment to "backing business" and use the upcoming budget to reduce the disproportionate cost of the outdated business rates system."

Estimates of changes in shop numbers

Local Units of retailers, excluding those owned by online only businesses (SIC 47)

 

  2018 Change
2017-2018
% Change 
2015-2018
%
North East 9,345 -55 -0.6% -200 -2.1%
North West 28,740 95 0.3% -75 -0.3%
Yorkshire and The Humber 21,660 -145 -0.7% -465 -2.1%
East Midlands 17570 -100 -0.6% -355 -2.0%
West Midlands 22335 -85 -0.4% -220 -1.0%
East 22815 -135 -0.6% -460 -2.0%
London 39635 35 0.1% 800 2.0%
South East 34575 -85 -0.2% -375 -1.1%
South West 23530 -75 -0.3% -495 -2.1%
Wales 12230 -110 -0.9% -475 -3.9%
Scotland 21995 -90 -0.4% -900 -4.1%
Northern Ireland 8640 60 0.7% 55 0.6%
UK 263,070 -690 -0.3% -3,165 -1.2%