the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects



Workforce development 


Business &

Property &
Development sites




Consultation opportunities

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 29 May 2013

A fifth of all shops could close by 2018

The Centre for Retail Research [CRR] is warning that High Streets could see one in every five retail outlets [over 60,000] close down within five years as more people buy online and bricks & mortar shops struggle to compete.

The CRR believes that as many as 316,000 workers could lose their jobs as large areas of Britain’s High Streets become housing. Sixteen major retailers have gone into administration this year alone, with the loss of almost 15,000 jobs. The CRR suggests that the cause will be the continuing expansion of online shopping which is currently about 11% but is expected to double to 22% by 2018. The report even predicts which will be the first shops to disappear: pharmacies and health & beauty stores followed by retailers specialising in music, books, cards, stationery and gifts.

The report contrasts the costs of opening a shop with opening an online warehouse. Opening a small store on a High Street in the Midlands would cost about £10,000 a month, whereas opening an equivalent space in a warehouse on the outskirts of a similar town would cost between £650 and £1,800 a month.


In 1999 the Business Forum’s newsletter [pictured] carried the headline “The future of retail . . .  in the palm of your hand”.

Still in the days of dial-up internet connection, it made the statement, “Without doubt traditional High Street shops are going to lose a chunk of their turnover to the internet" and asked the question, "how much and how will the High Street respond?” Fourteen years later, we know the answer: it’s heading for 22% and rising.

Retailers in Brighton & Hove have so far been either lucky or clever or both. Many of the small shops that make up the majority of our retail offer have embraced e-commerce and it complements their over the counter sales. Also, in Clone Town Britain the quirky nature of shopping areas like the North Laine and The Lanes has made them a tourist attraction in their own right. Hence our retail vacancy rate is just below 6% compared to a national figure over 14%.

That’s quite an achievement when you compare Brighton city centre, with over 1,400 shops [not including London Rd or St James’s St] with towns of similar profile like Oxford, Guildford and York with an average of just 580 shops. We need a lot of visitors to feed the retail supply.

It has become a cliché to say that town and city centres must offer a holistic experience to keep on attracting spending visitors with clean environments, high quality public realm, free entertainment and great customer service.

Brighton, like most places in the UK, had a disappointing retail Christmas and a wash-out Easter. It needs a good summer or the vacancy rate will start to creep up as shops in the rain struggle to compete with the comfort of the armchair for the average shopper’s custom.

Shortened url for Tweeting this story:

Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


23 May 2018
Gingerman Restaurant Group to Open Restaurant at Hanningtons Estate Brighton
16 May 2018
Can you help us help rough sleepers? Search for a venue to provide shelter 15 May 2018
New Research Reveals Cost of Opening A Business in Brighton: £6,000 11 May 2018
Tech firm SaleCycle to open new office in Brighton, creating 30+ new jobs 4 May 2018
Get involved - National Numeracy Day This 16 May 1 May 2018
Barclays' High Growth & Entrepreneurs Awards 2018 launch to celebrate start-up leaders in the UK 30 April 2018
Barclays launches major drive to help SMEs tackle Cymbercrime 24 April 2018
An evening with Chris Fox, Lib Dem Peer 24 April 2018
"A triumph of innovation" 13 April 2018
Brighton city Centre Vacancy Rates continue to buck national trend 12 April 2018
The Ivy in the Lanes Set to open 2 May 2018 11 April 2018
Free Dr Bike Service Returns 20 March 2018
Brighton named most entrepreneurial city AND second best for student happiness according to Fresh Student Living 19 March 2018
A Meeting with Chris Fox, Lib Dem Peer - Why Business Matters 14 March 2018
Better Business for All Event with BEIS 7 March 2018
Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year 6 March 2018
Six months of success for BTN BikeShare 2 March 2018
Sustainability in Action masterclasses for Sussex businesses 2 March 2018
Doing Business in China comes to Brighton 1 March 2018
Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce presents: Protecting your brand- a guide for fast growth businesses 1 March 2018
Long haul passengers boost local economy and jobs, according to new Gatwick report on the 'Visitor Economy' 28 February 2018
Save time reporting crime 27 February 2018
Warren Morgan Resigns from Brighton & Hove City Council 23 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company, Paxton Ranks in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 23 February 2018
Greater Brighton's Commercial Property Database 22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton 19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017 19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you?