According to the Centre of Retail Research, one in five of Britain’s high street shops could close by 2018 as more customers turn to the internet for their shopping. The analyst company warned that, as a result, around 62,000 shops could close in the next five years – putting around 316,000 jobs on the line.
A further 164 major or medium-sized companies were also predicted to go into administration, involving the loss of 22,600 stores and 140,000 employees.
“Many of these companies will survive but at the cost of closing more than half their stores,” the company said.
Retail Futures 2018 forecasts found that consumers were shunning the high street with the share of consumer spending declining from 50 percent in 2000 to a predicted 40.2 percent next year. As fewer shop in stores, online retail is set to account for 21.5 percent of total retail sales by 2018, from 12.7 percent today, the highest online retail share in the world.
It also pointed out with such a high number of transactions carried out online, retailers with a strong web offering now need just 70 high street stores to create a national presence compared to 250 in the mid 2000’s.
Wales and the North West are predicted to see the highest number of closures, with nearly one in three expected to fold, while the South East is expected to see a 13 percent decrease in the number of shops by 2018.