Lingerie store owners, rejoice: The number of retail chain closures in Great Britain has plummeted to the lowest level since 2010, according to a new study by the Local Data Company for PwC.
The research revealed that 2,564 outlets shut down in the first half of 2017 alone (14 closures per day). Meanwhile, there were 2,342 chain store openings in that time frame, equating to a net total of 222 high street chain shops that closed.
That’s quite a change from 2016, during which there was a net loss of 503 in the first six months of the year. In fact, it’s the smallest decline since the first half of 2013, when there were 209 more stores that closed than ones that opened.
So, what do these numbers mean for your lingerie store?
Read on for some additional insight into this new research, and some actionable tips for how to take advantage of current conditions in the retail landscape.
Thriving and suffering sectors
According to the report, which examined 67,521 outlets operated by multiple retailers in 500 town centers across Great Britain, certain types of shops seem to be seeing more success than others. For example, beauticians, coffee shops, tobacconists, booksellers, and supermarkets are faring well, while shoe shops, charity shops, and women’s clothing stores seem to be suffering the most. At the same time, card and poster shops, as well as gift shops, appeared in the bottom six categories (with the largest net change) for the first time.
A noteworthy trend
One research figure that may prove especially relevant and important to lingerie store owners is that the UK retail sector boasted higher online sales as a percentage of total retail sales than any other country in Europe and the U.S.
“The UK is one of the world leaders for consumer online purchases,” said Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, in a comment on the findings. “Retailers must continue to evolve if they are to make the most of both new digital opportunities and the country’s high streets.”
PwC insolvency partner and retail specialist Mike Jervis noted in the report:
“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.”
The fact of the matter is that women’s clothing stores took the third slot in terms of the hardest hit sectors. Fortunately, though, there are steps you can take to remain competitive in today’s retail landscape.
For example, as the study shows that more and more consumers start shopping from their digital devices, you’ll definitely want an online store that’s both easy and enjoyable to shop. This also obviously allows you to reach a wider customer base, as even shoppers that don’t live within close proximity to your store can browse your selection. And making SEO a priority in building out your website and blog will help to drive traffic to that store.