There was a net reduction in shops of 174 in 2011, over the whole of Britain, however Wales managed an increase of 12, with 146 stores closing and 158 opening. In Wales, England and Scotland, retailers closed an average of 14 stores per day. Bookshops, electrical, home furnishing, menswear, off-licences, bars and pubs and travel shops were hardest hit. The companies bucking the trend and showing an increase were charity shops, pound shops, shoe shops, bakers, credit unions, supermarkets and convenience stores.
Welsh fashion chain Peacocks has become one of the casualties of the retail sector crisis, which has continued into 2012. Other retailers such as Thorntons, Barratts, Priceless, Blacks Leisure and Thomas Cook all announced administration plans and job losses in 2011. Our source at Junior Enterprise commented saying, “High street businesses may be suffering now from being overly ambitious in the past, and not reacting quickly enough to market pressures.”
Rob Lewis, PWC regional chairman for Wales, said that a common feature of retailers in trouble was that they have too many locations. “Relatively long leases have been entered in to in a growth phase of the economy which are no longer appropriate,”
Richard Dunstan, senior lecturer in accounting at Swansea Business School pointed to competition from online shopping and a slump in consumer confidence, as contributing factors. Our Junior Enterprise source agreed, adding, “The climate is changing quickly for retail and businesses need to react quickly. Consumers are increasingly turning to online stores to purchase products traditionally sold in high street stores. If these stores don’t seek to meet that demand, then they will suffer.”
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Junior Enterprise Ltd was established in late August 2010. Junior Enterprise Ltd is a fast growing sales and marketing firm located in Cardiff.