Convenience stores bucked the trend in a poor six months for independent shop closures, a Local Data Company (LDC) report has revealed.
The first half of 2023 saw a record number of independent store closures, with 21,000 ceasing trade, resulting in a net loss of 1,915 independent shops in the UK.
Newsagents – independent and chain-owned – were one of the biggest casualties, with 138 fewer trading than in 2022.
The picture is rosier than at first glance for independent newsagents, as the decline likely reflects the 132 McColl’s sites shut at the end of 2022.
Conversely, there are now 62 more convenience stores than at the beginning of the year, building on the 531 new convenience stores added in the first half of 2022.
LDC attributed the shop closures to rising energy prices, weaker consumer spending and higher borrowing costs. LDC commercial director Lucy Stainton said there is “a significant swing from record growth to troubling net losses”.