Recently published figures have revealed that 2012 saw over 350 stores closing throughout Scotland, whilst the UK suffered a net loss of nearly 1,800 shops.
The figures, revealed in research conducted by the Local Data Company in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers, show that 353 stores closed last year. The numbers represent an increase of 14% from 2011.
As many Glasgow factoring companies will likely testify, the city saw the highest number of store closures, at 113. However, it was also home to the highest number of new openings, with 95.
The net losses experienced in the country’s largest city were reflected in all major towns and cities, with the exception of Aberdeen.
PwC’s head of business recovery services, Bruce Cartwright, said:
“While the data is a little disappointing, it is perhaps important to acknowledge that a number of businesses with closures had anticipated these for some time.”
Card shops were amongst the highest number of casualties seen, though chains with multiple locations and narrow channelling were all badly affected. Discount stores were a winner in the year, as were most retailers diversifying operations, financial strategies and quickly adapting to local needs.
Cartwright went on to say:
“What is pleasantly surprising, however, is the speed at which some of these stores have been picked up, by value and grocery stores in particular.”
He continued to say that local authority economic development teams, strong operating models and emergency preparation were key to firms seeing future success.
The figures for Scotland were reflective of the national picture as a whole, which saw record numbers of high profile failures in retail.