LONDON, June 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- A Third of Independent High Street Shops are now Cafes, Pubs, Restaurants and Takeaways
- Independent Clothes Retailers and Newsagents in Decline
- Hairdressers and Beauty Salons Thriving
Independent and start-up hospitality businesses, such as restaurants, pubs and cafes, are trumping independent retail stores on the high street, according to research by Simply Business, the largest business insurance provider in the UK. A study of 75,000 high street businesses quoted by Simply Business since 2008 shows that last year 31 per cent were restaurants, pubs or cafes, an increase of two per cent since 2008.
In contrast, the number of independent clothes shops has declined, making up only five per cent of high street businesses in 2010, compared to six per cent two years ago. The results suggest that independent fashion retailers are struggling to compete with the big high street chains and the increasing number of shopping malls, such as Westfield in London and the Bullring development in Birmingham.
Independent newsagents are also struggling according to Simply Business, with the proportion of shops having halved between 2008 and 2010. The decrease suggests that traditional corner shops are finding it hard to compete with the proliferation of local supermarket chains on Britain's high streets. Tesco, for example, is due to open 292 more stores this year alone.
Jason Stockwood, CEO at Simply Business, commented: "The business climate has clearly been more favourable for some retail businesses than others and this has influenced the make-up of high streets across the UK. While it's great that food and drink businesses are doing well, it's worrying to see that certain sectors such as fashion and newsagents are in the decline, with competition from the big high street brands a likely cause."
The findings are timely given the recently announced review into the decline of the high street headed by 'Queen of Shops', Mary Portas. Portas aims to reduce the number of "clone towns" and increase diversity in town centres, with fewer big chains and more independent businesses.
"With the Government currently focused on increasing the number and diversity of independent retailers in Britain's towns, it's crucial that start-ups don't fall at the first hurdle and have every opportunity to compete with the big boys," continues Stockwood. "This means favourable planning laws, affordable business rates and easily accessible advice, support and finance."
Two success stories however are hairdressers and beauty salons, showing that high street chains haven't had such a large impact when it comes to personal grooming. The proportion of hairdressers has increased from four to five per cent since 2008 and the proportion of beauty salons from two to three per cent.
The figures also highlight some regional high street hot spots:
- Wales is the place to go for a drink - 17 per cent of high street businesses in the area are pubs or bars, two per cent higher than the national average.
- Predictably London is the restaurant capital of the UK - 11 per cent of high street businesses are restaurants, a massive five per cent higher than the national average.
- Scotland is the place to go for a haircut as seven per cent of all outlets are hairdressers. That's two per cent higher than the national average.
- South West, Wales and the North East are top for a caffeine hit, with 12 per cent of shops taken up by cafes or coffee shops, one per cent higher than the average.
- Two per cent of high street shops in the South East are florists, one per cent higher than the average.
- London is the independent fashion capital with the highest proportion of clothes shops - six per cent compared to five per cent nationally.
- Scotland is also top for takeaways - six per cent compared to five per cent nationally.
Comparison of the top 20 high street shops in 2008 and 2010 (not including food and drink)
National ranking - National ranking - 2008 2010 Change since 2008 1 CLOTHES SHOP 1 HAIRDRESSING Up one place 2 HAIRDRESSING 2 CLOTHES SHOP Down one place 3 GROCER 3 GROCER No change 4 NEWSAGENT 4 BEAUTY SALON Up one place 5 BEAUTY SALON 5 GIFT SHOP Up one place 6 GIFT SHOP 6 OFF-LICENCE Up two places ARTS, CRAFTS & 7 TEXTILES 7 BAKERY Up four places ARTS, CRAFTS & 8 OFF-LICENCE 8 TEXTILES Down one place 9 FLORISTS 9 NEWSAGENT Down five places 10 FURNITURE SHOP 10 FLORISTS Down one place 11 BAKERY 11 SWEET SHOP Up five places 12 COMPUTER 12 PET SHOP Up one place 13 PET SHOP 13 FURNITURE SHOP New entry 14 ELECTRICAL GOODS 14 COMPUTER New entry 15 SPORTS SHOP 15 ELECTRICAL GOODS New entry 16 SWEET SHOP 16 SPORTS SHOP Down one place 17 BUTCHER 17 BRIDAL SHOP Up two places 18 CHILDRENS CLOTHING 18 JEWELLERY New entry 19 BRIDAL SHOP 19 CHILDRENS CLOTHING New entry 20 CORNER SHOP 20 DELICATESSEN New entry
Figures are based on quotes requested by 75,198 business between 2008 and 2010.
Infographic about the research can be seen here:: http://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/news/2011/06/2011-06-16-hospitality-wins-big-as-Britains-high-streets-evolve/
About Simply Business
Simply Business is the UK's largest business insurance provider.
Launched in 2005, the full service insurance specialist identified a need to improve insurance offerings for the UK's millions of small businesses whose needs were neglected by established insurance and broking companies. Where the traditional broking model was slow-moving and inflexible, Simply Business developed an agile and online brokerage service which was able to deliver bespoke policies tailored to their individual and often very specific requirements. Its online offering is supported by a dedicated, UK based team of insurance specialists who provide a tailored and personal service more commonly associated with broker relationships.
Today, Simply Business insures over 170,000 small business customers, more than any other UK broker. It has been a Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company for the past three years, with offices in London and Northampton, and employs over 140 people. Simply Business revenues have grown 44% a year from £4.2 million in 2006, to £12.5 million in 2009.
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SOURCE Simply Business