World Footwear


Great Britain with a record of 17 500 stores closing in 2020

Apr 9, 2021 Great Britain
Great Britain with a record of 17 500 stores closing in 2020
According to new data by consulting firm PwC, Great Britain had an avalanche of store closures during 2020, with some 17 500 stores not resisting the impact of the pandemic. On the other hand, 7 655 opened, representing a net loss of 9 877 stores
Last year was not a good year for many countries and businesses. As final numbers for the year start to be known that is being confirmed in different ways: Great Britain, for example, reported a record net decline (-9 877), number of closures (17 532), and a new low in the number of store openings (7 655). That is equivalent to an average of 48 chain stores closing every day, and only 21 openings.

According to the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, although it was expected that many closures would occur as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the data might actually be “worse than expected”. The information confirms that the drop is the largest recorded since data is available. The average number of daily closings in 2020 was 48 stores, compared to 21 openings per day.

And the big concern is that we are still to see the real impact of the pandemic: “it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. With our primary research methodology assuming “temporarily closed” stores remain open, we expect to see the full effect over the next couple of surveys, as those temporary closures return or disappear”. PwC stated.

Looking at absolute figures, London, South East and the North West have seen the most closures, unsurprising given those regions generally have more chain stores. Similarly, Wales, Scotland and the North East have had the fewest closures, but historically fewer retail centres and fewer chain stores. Even on a percentage basis, London has been hit harder than other regions, with a record 5.8% increase in net closures. Conversely, Wales, Scotland, East of England, South West have been more protected from closures.

Image credits: Simon Mumenthaler on Unsplash