This story is ostensibly about Northampton but it has a far wider resonance. It makes me ponder on the need for the recently opened Stronger Towns Fund to be open to places below 30,000 population. In its more general analysis it tells us:

Each year, more shops close than open in the UK and the gap is getting wider.

According to figures from PWC and the Local Data Company, 2,692 shops shut in the first half of 2018 – about 14 per day – while 1,569 opened, a net loss of 1,123.

That compared with a net loss of 222 in the same six months of 2017. Clothes shops and pubs were the biggest casualties.

In January 2008 the internet accounted for 5p in every £1 of retail sales. By August 2018, it was 18p in every pound.

In 2018, 43 retailers with multiple stores either closed or went into administration, affecting 2,594 shops and 46,000 jobs according to the Centre for Retail Research.

A further 15, with 266 stores and 2,706 employees, did so by the end of February 2019.

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