UK’s independent stores record first rise in four years

Sep 28, 2021
Author: Pete Wilmer
Pete leads the Corporate Finance offering at Hawsons, Pete specialises in advising business acquisitions and disposals, raising finance, business valuations and employee ownership trusts (EOT).
Independent Stores

Due to 5,251 chain stores closing during the first half of 2021. Many independent retail stores have decided to fill the gaps left resulting in the first rise in independent stores for the first time in four years.

A new total of 804 independent retail stores opened during the first half of 2021 according to data from the Local Data Company (LDC), including:

  • Barbers
  • Bakers
  • Cafes
  • Convenience stores
  • Fast-food outlets

The LDC said that independent stores were able to benefit from government support schemes, enabling them to remain open to take advantage of cheaper rent deals from landlords as many wanted to encourage tenants into their vacant premises quickly and mitigate rates liabilities. By the end of 2021, it is expected that an additional 10,549 stores will become vacant and landlords will be hoping that small business owners will step in to help fill these vacancies. Failing that, landlords may have to be prepared to consider redevelopment or conversion of their commercial properties for alternative purposes.

Approximately half of Topshop’s stores have been let to independent retailers when they exited the high street at the beginning of the year. Furthermore, it has been reported that independent retailers are benefitting from customers becoming increasingly concerned about sustainability, the origin of products, and supporting local businesses.

However, retailers are being warned that the true impact of the pandemic may not be felt until March 2022 when the moratorium on evictions is lifted on commercial properties.


How can we help?

Hawsons has a dedicated team of specialist retail, wholesale, and e-commerce accountants in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton.

Our specialist team offers a wide range of services that are tailored to meet your individual needs. Our understanding of the issues faced by the retail, wholesale, and e-commerce sector means that we can proactively seek out ways for you to maximise your profitability and minimise your tax liabilities.

Free initial meeting

Pete Wilmer

Corporate Finance Partner

0114 266 7141

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