London a paltry 6th among UK cities for high street growth 

Mark Johnson's picture

The capital’s high streets came only sixth in a survey of the health of the UK high street by online investment platform Asktraders.com.

According to the data which is compiled of ATM, bank branch, store closures and retail percentage growth, London has the sixth highest growing high-street performance in the UK. 

Retail growth was up 13% across the year with over 4,000 new stores hitting the high street since 2017.  

With the Christmas shopping season revving up, and many consumers preferring to shop online, Asktraders conducted an analysis of the UK- High Street, looking at ATM, bank branches, retail store closures and ONS percentage growth of the retail sector over the course of 2019.

The research reveals the top 20 cities with the best high street in terms of retail growth and less store and ATM closures compared to the top 20 cities with the biggest declining high street.   

Despite its huge population and numerous high profile shopping destinations like Oxford Street and the Westfield shopping malls, London lagged behind other cities such as Peterborough, Huddersfield, Coventry, Hull and even Slough. 

On the high street: Asktraders found the top UK cities for high street growth.

Asktrader also discovered that a staggering 6,000 plus cash machines closed between January 2018 and August 2019, an average 12% reduction, or around 300 per month. 

Steve Miley, Senior Market Analyst at AskTraders, said: “The UK high street has been weathering tough trading conditions with many UK retailers dropping by the wayside. Traditional retail store closures are on the up as businesses grapple with a weak consumer in the face of Brexit uncertainty, the unabated rise of e-commerce, higher costs and changing tastes.”

“There are, inevitably, going to be winners and losers. High street retailers with inflexible business models that have failed to adapt to their changing environment are and will be the most noticeable casualties. 

“Big names have just vanished from our high street and there will certainly be more to come.

“The challenges that the High street is facing aren’t going anywhere fast. This will be a case of survival of the fittest. Those retailers that can evolve whilst still giving their customers exactly what they want could have a lot to gain.”

Bank closures  

Over 1,100 bank branches have been closed in the UK since January 2018. RBS, Barclays and Natwest are amongst the worst hit. 

The London-based broker said that more than 1,200 high street stores have closed during the first half of 2019 with over 5,000 in the past 12 months in the UK, that's nearly 416 per month. 

Worst cities 

Poole, Dorset is the most declining high street in 2019 with an overall -4% retail growth in 2019, with 2 bank branches and an estimated 48 stores closing in the past 12 months. 

This is closely followed by Blackpool, Lancashire (-2% retail growth) and Warrington, Chesire (-4%). 

Top city 

Peterborough, Cambridgeshire has the most thriving high-street in the UK with 1% retail growth 30 new ATM's opening over the course of the year.  

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