According to a new analysis, in the last 6 years, the quantity of stores closing on the high streets of Scotland has fallen to the lowest recorded level.
In 2018, 256 closures were reported in 8 different Scottish cities whereas 146 new stores were opened which means the net loss was of 119 as compared to the 2017’s record number of 148.
However, the auditors PwC said that the figures still showed that high streets were being “blighted by closures as the retail landscape faces a new future”.
According to research for PwC done by the Local Data Company, the no. of shops closing were outnumbering the ones being opened in all the 8 areas.
Glasgow and Edinburg both ended their year with 32 lesser shops, having 89 and 68 closures respectively. However, in Aberdeen, fifteen new shops were opened but 42 closed as well. Paisley had to suffer the greatest impact of shop closing as a proportion of the total shop nos. down 9 to 114. Perth, however, had the least no. of shops closed i.e. 7 in comparison to the 4 new ones opened. Dundee and Ayr both faced a net loss of 5 stores each and the no. of shops dropped to 124 from 130 in Falkirk.
From PwC Scotland, Mark Addley observed that the no. of shop closures must be weighed against the no. of shops opened at roughly half the total of 5 years ago.
Addley said: “There remain enormous challenges across our high streets.”
He further added: “We have already seen casualties in 2019 and we fully expect to see more, with retail companies facing an uphill battle to survive, never mind thrive.”
“To be in the best possible shape to get through this, retailers must focus on ensuring they have the right proposition, and the investment required to deliver it.”
303 stores were closed in 2013 and the number was increased to 312 in 2014. However, in 2015, it fell to 280 before rising greatly again in 2016 at 366. In 2017, although the number of shops closing reduced to 290, there was a major reduction in the opening of new shops which led to a record figure of net loss of almost 148 shops.