83 per cent of UK department stores lost in five years
By Matt Hall | 27th August 2021
Since the collapse of retail giant BHS, more than 80 per cent of department stores in the UK have been lost according to new research.
Commercial property information specialist CoStar Group told the BBC that 83 per cent of UK department store space had shut since 2016, with many former sites still empty.
Data shows that BHS, Debenhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis had a joint 467 branches five years ago, but now only 79 remain.
CoStar added that while 388 department stores have closed in the period, 237 remain vacant. There are however plans to repurpose 52 of them.
Mark Stansfield, head of analytics at CoStar Group, said: "The data undoubtedly highlights the acceleration of change in the retail sector in recent years, which the pandemic has only exacerbated.
"We are increasingly seeing forward-thinking real estate owners getting ahead of the problem and reshaping what are key assets in our town centres to provide a focal point for regeneration.
"I think we'll see many more plans come to light in the coming months. With these store closures come new opportunities."
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