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Traditional high streets are on the decline, and have been since before the Covid-19 pandemic emerged to accelerate the process. The rise of online shopping, and high-profile acquisitions by leading retailers that solely operate online have underlined the trend.
The recent deals conducted by ASOS in purchasing high street brands like Topshop and Miss Selfridge from the Arcadia group, and the acquisition of Debenhams by online brand Boohoo have shown that in the battle for brick and mortar shopping, it’s the digital retailers that hold all the cards.
The Covid-19 pandemic led to lockdowns that sped up the loss of high street stores, leading to fewer reasons for shoppers to leave their homes and take to the streets when greater choice exists online. There may be as much as 40 percent excess retail space across the country, according to UK estate agent Savills.
As BBC data shows, the first half of 2020 alone saw almost twice as many store closures across the UK, with some 6,001 shops closing their doors for the last time.
Statista data shows that this trend isn’t just limited to UK high streets, with store closures in the US forecast to more than double in 2020 compared to the rates of the previous year.
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