Billions have been lost by shops across the country as forced closures and travel restrictions were imposed to try and stop coronavirus spreading – and a huge number of shops have gone bust as a result.
Nearly 14,000 shops have permanently closed this year – up almost 40% on the same period a year ago – a new report has found.
Worse, the Centre For Retail Research predicted as many as one in 10 store sites may never sell goods again.
Overall, fashion, home and non-food retailers have lost £9 billion in sales so far this year.
The findings come as a poll of 400 property executives found more than a third are already changing how their retail stores are used and a further 57% are considering changes.
Property specialists Altus Group’s Global Property Development Trends Report also found that at least £155 million has been earmarked for repurposing assets.
Retailers had already agreed before lockdown that the high street had too many stores, with the shift to online remaining strong.
Those with strong online stores and businesses have managed to maintain sales, although those without have suffered.
One of the most eye-catching moments showing the shift was the announcement from John Lewis that it would shut some of its department stores for the first time.
Retail floor space, both occupied, vacant and to let, in England and Wales currently stands at 125,171,104 square metres, according to Altus Group…
Main image: A closed and more or less deserted Putney HIgh Street during the Covid-19 health crisis. Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash