Sheffield among worst for chain stores shutting

Sheffield among worst for retail shops shutting Photo: Press Association

Sheffield has been named as one of the worst hit cities for retail chains shutting shops.

Research shows they are closing at a rate of more than 30 a day.

Figures show that nationwide retailers closed 32 stores a day in July and August, up from 20 a day in the first six months of 2012 as Britain's high street suffers amid a consumer spending slump.

High profile administrations of retailers including Game, Peacocks and Clintons saw the number of town centre chain store closures soar to 953 in the first half on a net basis - those closing less those opening.

This compared with 174 throughout the whole of 2011, according to the study of 500 town centres by the Local Data Company for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Sheffield has been named alongside Manchester, Preston, Bristol, Croydon, Derby and Leicester as the worst affected towns and cities.

Among the retailers to have collapsed in recent months, 133 JJB Sports stores are to close across the country despite a deal to sell 20 to rival Sports Direct International. Many chains are also pulling out of loss-making sites and putting expansion plans on hold to weather tough trading.

Mike Jervis, PwC insolvency partner and retail specialist, said many retailers are failing because they are tied into long onerous leases that they can no longer afford. He said they need to work with landlords to help stem the flow of company failures.

"Where over-expansion has already taken place, retailers need to face that reality and formulate a strategic plan in partnership with landlords, not in confrontation with them.

– Mike Jervis, PwC