Independent store openings soar as multiples close branches

9th March 2018

The closure of UK stores by multiple retailers is being offset by soaring growth in the number of independent stores, according to a new study from

According to the study, 2017 saw a fall in multiple store numbers in every region of the UK except for Yorkshire and Humber.

The West Midlands saw the most store closures (143), followed by Greater London (92) and the East of England (86) by retail chains Newsagents and bookmakers, and traditional pubs and inns, have been at the highest risk of closure.

However, the number of independent stores increased everywhere except the East of England, and the South West.

The North West saw 230 openings, followed by the West Midlands (194), and Scotland (114).

Traditional store categories such as barbers and beauty salons are seeing extensive independent growth, accompanied by cafes, conveniences store and tobacconists and vaping stores.

Store vacancy rates had only increased in three regions between 2016 and 2017.

“In the grand scheme of things, vacancy rates are low. The fact that only three regions have seen an increase in vacancies is positive and we must focus on this. Otherwise, we risk consistent, unobliging news of multiple closures obscuring our vision and progress to develop the retail world,” says managing director Cas Paton. “It is sad to see well-loved, British companies closing–but we must move with the times. Keen business men and women have their eye on vacant spaces across the country and we must support our local independents, bricks-and-mortar businesses. It’s the only way for retail to survive.”