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 21/03/2014Telegraph - 16 shops closed every day in 2013  

Rate of retail closures eases

 The Telegraph reports that according to new figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Local Data Company have revealed that retail chains with more than five outlets closed at a pace of 16 stores a day in town centres last year, down from 20 a day in 2012.
PwC hailed a "return in retail confidence" as the net reduction in stores - those opening minus those closing - narrowed by almost 80pc to 371 in 2013, down from 1,779 in 2012.
It said the marked shift among major supermarkets into convenience store retailing was the biggest positive trend last year, as grocers snapped up shops left vacant by the demise of big names such as Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster.
Convenience stores increased by 10% on a net basis last year, adding to growing numbers of charity shops, cafes, bookmakers, cheque-cashing outlets and sports good shops.
But despite easing conditions, the figures mark the third year in a row of a net reduction in retail stores, down 0.57pc overall.
The report showed photographic shops, women's clothing and fashion shops, banks, video libraries, travel agents, mobile phone outlets, recruitment agencies and shoe shops were among the biggest casualties in 2013 amid a shift towards online shopping and banking.
The PwC report shows all regions across Great Britain saw a net reduction in multiple retail stores last year, except the east and south-west of England, where numbers increased by eight and 15 respectively.
The West and East Midlands were the hardest hit, with 75 and 70 net closures respectively.
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