1. Comment
August 2, 2021updated 30 Jul 2021 4:15pm

The pandemic has sped up the demise of the UK high street as vacancy rates increase

Many major stores on the UK high street have closed, which has worsened due to the pandemic and the competition from online retail.

By MarketLine  

The pandemic has taken its toll on the UK high street, further accelerating store closures.

Free Whitepaper
img

What is the impact of historically high inflation on the UK consumer landscape?

The average UK consumer is experiencing a severe cost-of living crisis as inflation surges to a forty-year high and the price of goods continues to rise. This shock is the result of the sharply increasing costs of commodities, energy, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and is threatening FMCG manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators’ ability to survive and grow. Inflation will have a profound effect on many consumer-facing industries in 2022 and beyond. Consult GlobalData’s new whitepaper, Inflation in the UK: The Impact of Historically High Inflation on the UK Consumer Landscape, to better understand shifts in consumer behavior and their impact on spending patterns, as well as the implications for UK businesses. This whitepaper covers:  
  • Why has global inflation returned with a vengeance?
  • What is the current inflation situation in the UK?
  • What impact is inflation having on UK retail sales?
  • What tactics are businesses relying on to tackle the effects of high inflation?
  • How are consumers changing their behaviors to cope with the higher cost of living?
  • Which industry sectors are most vulnerable to reduced consumer demand?
  • How is the government responding to high inflation?
  • How long will high inflation last in the UK?
  • How can your company survive and thrive in a high inflation environment?
Enter your details here to receive your free whitepaper and ready your business for these increasingly uncertain times.
by GD50 Custom
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

According to a report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Local Data Company, the vacancy rate across high streets, retail parks and shopping centres rose to 14.5% in the second quarter. It was up from 14.1% in the first quarter and 12.4% in the second quarter a year ago.

Shopping centres have suffered the most, with vacancies standing at 19.4%, while for retail parks the rate was slightly less stark at 11.5%. Greater London has an 11.1% vacancy rate, the lowest nationally, while the worst affected region was the North East where 20.6% of units have shutters down.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson stated: “It comes as no surprise that the number of shuttered stores in the UK continues to rise after retailers have been in and out of lockdown for over a year.”

A number of major chains have left the high street in recent years, including the entire Debenhams department store chain and a number of John Lewis outlets. The collapse of the Arcadia Group has also meant that iconic stores Topshop and Miss Selfridge have now vanished.

The increase in vacancies is the latest in a continual series of increases over the past three years, highlighting that the pandemic isn’t the sole cause of the high street’s woes.

Lockdowns have intensified competition from online retail

According to MarketLine data, the UK online retail sector had total revenues of $92.7bn in 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4% between 2016 and 2020. The impact of Covid-19 on the online retail sector during 2020 was evident through a steep increase in demand and supply amid lockdown measures.

The Covid-19 pandemic also further accelerated the expansion of e-commerce in supply terms, fuelling the creation of new e-commerce businesses and the digital transformation of existing ones, especially at the level of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). As a result, consumers are now able to purchase almost everything they need online.

Even prior to the pandemic the online retail sector was growing at a strong rate, in 2017 it grew by 9.5% and then a further 8% the following year. The lockdowns imposed in 2020 have further intensified the competition from online retail, accelerating the consumer shift toward shopping online.

Free Whitepaper
img

What is the impact of historically high inflation on the UK consumer landscape?

The average UK consumer is experiencing a severe cost-of living crisis as inflation surges to a forty-year high and the price of goods continues to rise. This shock is the result of the sharply increasing costs of commodities, energy, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and is threatening FMCG manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators’ ability to survive and grow. Inflation will have a profound effect on many consumer-facing industries in 2022 and beyond. Consult GlobalData’s new whitepaper, Inflation in the UK: The Impact of Historically High Inflation on the UK Consumer Landscape, to better understand shifts in consumer behavior and their impact on spending patterns, as well as the implications for UK businesses. This whitepaper covers:  
  • Why has global inflation returned with a vengeance?
  • What is the current inflation situation in the UK?
  • What impact is inflation having on UK retail sales?
  • What tactics are businesses relying on to tackle the effects of high inflation?
  • How are consumers changing their behaviors to cope with the higher cost of living?
  • Which industry sectors are most vulnerable to reduced consumer demand?
  • How is the government responding to high inflation?
  • How long will high inflation last in the UK?
  • How can your company survive and thrive in a high inflation environment?
Enter your details here to receive your free whitepaper and ready your business for these increasingly uncertain times.
by GD50 Custom
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.