Renfrew and Annan in UK's 10 worst towns for high street shop closures, claims study

Renfrew and Annan are two of the 10 worst areas in the UK for unused shops on the high street, according to new research.

The report from property developer Harper Dennis Hobbs highlights the two towns’ high streets for having the highest shop vacancy rates and on how available shops meet local needs.


The report says that in 2018 there were around 1300 store closures across the UK as many large retailers focus on maximising profits by jettisoning branches, leaving unused shop units on high streets.

This has led to more than seven million square feet of of UK retail space sitting unused.

While some areas have moved with the times to provide shoppers with the high street experience they’re looking for, others have languished, the report says, leading to shuttered ghost towns dotted around the UK.

It says: “Sadly, things haven’t got any better into 2018. Based on research by Ipsos – footfall on the UK’s high streets footfall was down by 4.2 per cent across the entire UK between the end of 2017 and the end of 2018 – equivalent to a drop of three million high street customers.”

Survey research by commercial specialists ABC Finance questioned people on why they were no longer making regular trips to the high street.


The results found that:

– 75 per cent of respondent claimed to be saddened by the decline of UK high streets with 25 per cent saying they were indifferent

– 38 per cent said they do all or most of their shopping online – this is also supported by the Office of National Statistics which says that £1 in every £5 is being spent online by UK shoppers

– More than half of those surveyed (56 per cent) said they prefer to spend their money with independent local retailers as op[posed to big-name chains

The Centre for Retail Research says that more experience-focused retailers are opening whilst the traditional product-based stores are closing.


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