British high streets see accelerated shutdown of stores

LONDON, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) — Britain’s top 500 high streets saw accelerated shutdown of stores during the first half of this year, a research released Friday by consulting company PwC show.

According to the report, 2,692 shops closed in the first six month of this year, while 1,569 shops opened, which means a record high net number of closures of 1,123.

The report attributes the decrease of the traditional brick-and-mortar shops mainly to online shopping and residents’ in-home leisure habit.

Fashion and electrical stores were affected seriously, and restaurants and pubs also lost many consumers for people’s preference in eating and drinking at home.

“The continued rate of store closures reflects the new reality that many of us prefer to shop online and increasingly eat, drink and entertain at home. The high street is adapting to an overcapacity in retail and leisure space resulting from these channel shifts,” said Lisa Hooker, a consumer markets leader at PwC.

She also expressed a pessimistic opinion on the future development of the high street stores. “Looking ahead, the turmoil facing the sector is unlikely to abate,” she said.

British administration already paid some attention to the shrink of high-street shops.

In the latest budget issued last month, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond committed to giving a 900 million-pound tax-cut to small high-street retailers to support them rejuvenate.

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