Stat of the day: 20

The number of shops closing in the UK each day.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
The full extent of the retail gloom is becoming clear: shops are shutting up, er, shop at the rate of 20 a day, as rising prices and flat wage growth put consumers off spending, figures show. 

According to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers, more than 4,000 high street shops closed in the first five months of the year. Book stores, jewellers and clothing shops were hit hardest, but it seems anything food-related is holding up fairly well: supermarkets, cafés and take-aways actually reported growth (and growths, in the case of dodgy kebab meat). 

The data follows a string of high-profile closures in recent weeks including Jane Norman and Habitat, who were forced to call in the administrators after sales slumped, leaving them struggling to pay the rent. And with online shopping posing an increasing threat, alarm bells are likely to carry on ringing on the high street for the rest of the year. 

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