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The UK Retail Landscape


The UK retail landscape is in constant flux. The high street evolves to accommodate changing trends, and as a result of the economic climate. 2019 saw both growth and decline in a number of retail categories, as well as the emergence of new players in the retail market. 

The latest GB Retail & Leisure Market Analysis report from Local Data Company, GB Retail & Leisure Market Analysis, reveals how the retail landscape changed in 2019.

We have used this data to develop a visualisation that outlines the top performing retail categories based on new openings, the retail categories in decline based on closures, and the top early stage retail growth category.

The top 10 retail categories

  • Barbers (352 new openings) 
  • Beauty Salons (179 new openings)
  • Nail Salons (109 new openings)
  • Cafe & Tearooms (108 new openings)
  • Health Clubs and Gyms (103 new openings)
  • Bars (89 new openings)
  • Alternative & Complementary Medicines (60 new openings)
  • Hair & Beauty Salons (56 new openings)
  • Chinese Fast Food Takeaways (50 new openings)
  • Mobile Phones (42 new openings)

The health and beauty retail category thrived in 2019. They made up 6 of the total top 10 categories (Barbers, Beauty Salons, Nail Salons, Health Clubs and Gyms, Alternative & Complementary Medicines, and Hair & Beauty Salons). 

The top 10 retail categories in decline

  • Public Houses & Inns (282 closures)
  • Estate Agents (270 closures)
  • Petrol Filling Stations (172 closures)
  • Newsagents (147 closures)
  • Gift Shops (128 closures)
  • Women’s Clothing (104 closures)
  • Convenience Stores (101 closures)
  • Electrical Goods (92 closures)
  • Men’s Clothing (91 closures)
  • Furniture Shops (90 closures)

It’s clear from this list that fashion retail is in decline in UK high streets. These categories made up 2 of the top 10 retail categories in decline (Women’s Clothing and Men’s Clothing).  

The top 10 retail growth categories

  • Vegan Restaurant 28.6%
  • Jamaican Restaurant 12.8%
  • Eastern European Restaurant 12.5%
  • Iraqi Restaurant 12.5%
  • Korean Restaurant 10.7%
  • Moroccan Restaurant 8.2%
  • Brazilian Restaurant 6.8%
  • Afghan Restaurant 6.3%
  • Golf Courses 6.3%
  • South American Restaurant 6.3%

Vegan restaurants take the top spot as the early stage growth category. We recently explored the rise in UK veganism and the increase of restaurants on our blog, you can take a look at the article here

If you’re thinking of opening a new retail business, or looking to get better rates, use our online quote tool or call us today on 0800 411 8830. 

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