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Opening & Closures Report from H1 2019 shows good news for Indies

The latest Opening and Closures Report using data from the first half of 2019 provides good news for independent retailers across the UK. Losses of independent units have decreased whilst the net decline of multiples increased when compared to H1 2018. Read the full report here.


Andrew Goodacre, CEO at bira commented:

“Andrew Goodacre, CEO of the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) said: “Seeing a greater number of independent retail businesses opening on our high streets is great news. They are the life blood of our town centres. They provide a service like no other and they allow people to come together, to prevent social isolation and they keep money in the local economy. It’s great to see landlords working with businesses to come up with creative ways to use larger retail spaces left by the multiples and it is clear that the support from the government with a 30% reduction in business rates has encouraged more people to open a shop.

The problem however is that, as we can see in the figures, the long-term prospects for independent retail businesses aren’t so good. To see thriving town centres we need investment and we need even more support from the government. The business rates reduction is only guaranteed until 2021 so it is vital that a longer-term solution to this outdated tax is found. With the results of the government’s business rates inquiry being released we now need to see action, so that we can keep independent retail businesses open for longer than five years. We don’t want to just see them survive, we need to see them thriving.”


Lucy Stainton, Head of Retail and Strategic Partnerships at the Local Data Company commented:

“The latest analysis from the Local Data Company shows that independent retailer and leisure businesses continue to be as critical a part of the UK retail market as ever. As legacy chains battle with higher fixed cost bases and the significant adjustments required to meet changing consumer demands, independent operators are proving more agile and are able to take advantage of an increase in available property.

The performance of independent businesses in the first half of this year is also illustrative of our increased preference as consumers for a more diverse offer and newness which is reflected in the top growth categories. The challenge will be with the larger institutional landlords who will need to embrace this trend to create more varied and distinct shopping destinations in spite of the shorter ‘survival rates’ of key independent categories which we are seeing currently.”


Read the full report


The Local Data Company and Bira work in partnership to produce the Opening and Closures Report.