New retail research shows that the High Street in 2017 has suffered the lowest number of store closures since 2010 – but BikeBiz has recently reported that bike-shop closures appear to be accelerating. Last month BikeBiz revealed that bike shops are currently closing at a rate not seen since the 1960s. Some have opened in the last 12 months, but many more have shuttered.
According to research done for PwC by the Local Data Company the net difference between general retail store openings and closures in 2017 has shrunk significantly to 222 stores compared to a net loss of 503 in 2016. This represents the smallest net decline since 2013, when 209 more stores closed than opened.
The analysis tracked 67,521 outlets operated by retailers in 500 town centres. In the first six months of 2017, 2,342 shops opened on Great Britain’s high streets, retail parks and shopping centres alongside 2,564 closures, equivalent to 14 closures per day.
The analysis of the 67,521 outlets in 500 town centres found that overall volumes of activity – openings and closures – have plummeted from a record 7,749 in 2010 to 4,906 so far in 2017.
Tobacconists, beauticians and coffee shops are among those growing at the fastest rate during the first half of 2017. Ice cream parlours have also seen an increase.
PwC insolvency partner and retail specialist Mike Jervis said:
“The relatively low level of net closures in the first half of this year reflects a more stable environment, with consumer confidence proving more resilient than expected as the year unfolded. Historically the number of retail insolvencies has been a major factor in the volume of store closures. 2017 is on course to post the lowest level of administrations for more than a decade, with a favourable impact on overall store numbers.
“The environment is, of course, uncertain, with recent data showing a more challenging retail environment. I expect net store closures to be an ongoing feature of the market. Retailers will choose specific closure stores very carefully and will aim to capitalise on leases expiring in the ordinary course of their businesses.”
The British retail sector has higher online sales as a percentage of total retail sales than any other European country or even the US. This online growth may see an already leaner, fitter high street evolving further, PwC suggests.
According to PwC, shoe shops, charity shops and women’s clothes shops were the three hardest hit sectors. Bike shops are not included in the data.
2017 has been tough in bike retail across the world. In a video to US dealers Trek Bicycle CEO John Burke said:
“2016 was not a great year in the bike business, and 2017 has not been either. We've seen declining sales, and from our numbers it's about down three and a half percent, so if you're worse than three and a half percent you're losing, [but] if you're better than down three and a half percent in today's market you are winning.”
According to BikeBiz research, 2017 has seen a greater rate of bike store closures than at any time since the 1960s. This research is compiled from data culled from the archives of defunct trade titles Cycle Trader and Cycle Industry.
BIKE STORE CLOSURES SO FAR IN 2017
At The Hub Swindon
Harveys Cycles, Bristol
Ben Hayward Cycles, Cambridge
M Steels, Newcastle
Chiltern Bike Barn, Chalfont St Peter
London Fields Cycles, Hackney
Cadence Sports, Needwood
Cycle City, York
Bicycle Workshop, London
Speeds of Bromsgrove
Skyline Cycles, Wales
Hinckley Cycle Centre
On Yer Bike, Oadby
Luciano Cycles, London
Stuart Barkley cycles
Independent Bikes, Weston Super Mare
Tarmac and Trail
2Wheels Better, Nottingham
Ratcliffe's of Leigh
Simply the Bike, Torquay
City Cycles, Chichester
Rad Bike Shack
Rutland Water (acquired Pitsford Cycle Hire)
Velorution (acquired Mosquito Cycles and Fitzrovia Cycles)
Bike Stop, Glasgow
That Tiny Bike Shop, Flixton
Velo Works, Glasgow