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Leeds tops town centres for shop openings

Crowds gather for the opening of the New Trinity Shopping Centre, Leeds..21st March 2013....Picture by Simon Hulme

Crowds gather for the opening of the New Trinity Shopping Centre, Leeds..21st March 2013....Picture by Simon Hulme

A study of the top 500 town centres across the UK has shown that Leeds saw the highest net change in the number of retailers operating in the city according to PwC research compiled by the Local Data Company.

During 2013, while Leeds had 80 outlets close over the year, there were 135 openings in the same period, a net increase of 55 shops.

This is the largest net change of the 500 town centres in the study and a significant increase from 75 openings in 2012.

Randal Casson, head of retail at PwC in Leeds said: “Yorkshire fared well last year when looking at the rest of the UK.

“The opening of Trinity in Leeds has played a part in this and has been a huge success for the city, boosting consumer confidence and spending.

“2013 saw a continuation of the high street metamorphosis driven by consumers changing behaviour as they adopt the newer digital channels and technologies available to them.

“Casualties have been in those areas where we have seen a rapid shift online - travel, fashion, digital photography and DVDs, and banks. Those trends will continue.”

Nationally multiple retailers- shops with more than five outlets- closed 15 stores a day on average across the 500 town centres, down from 20 a day in 2012.

Photographic shops, women’s clothing and fashion shops, banks, video libraries, travel agents, mobile phone outlets, recruitment agencies and shoe shops have been among the hardest hit in 2013.

Charity shops, convenience stores, betting shops, cheque cashing and coffee shops bucked the trend by showing growth during the year.

Matthew Hopkinson, director of The Local Data Company, said: “2013 was a turning point for retail in town centres across Great Britain.

“The data reflects the ongoing structural changes taking place in our town centres.

“The oversupply of shops nationally has resulted in reduced rents and created opportunities for what many perceive as less desirable shops- betting shops, cheque cashing and tattoo parlours) to fill the vacuum.”

 

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