Indie retailers on the rise across UK, reveals OnBuy study

The North West saw 230 independent openings, West Midlands saw 194 independent openings and Scotland saw 114 independent openings, cited as extraordinary growth in their independent store markets.
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While numerous big name retailers are being put through their paces over the course of the year’s opening months, independent retailers are on the rise.

A new study, conducted by the UK independent online marketplace, OnBuy, has highlighted that multiple store closures have been seen in every region of the UK, apart from Yorkshire and the Humber, including the demise of Toys R Us, New Look and Maplin.

The steepest falls have been documented in the West Midlands with 143 multiple closures, Greater London with 92 closures and the East of England with 86 multiple closures.

However, the same study has revealed that independent retailers are now either on the rise or closing at a ‘much lower rate than multiples,’ across the UK’s regions.

The North West saw 230 independent openings, West Midlands saw 194 independent openings and Scotland saw 114 independent openings, cited as extraordinary growth in their independent store markets.

Cafes, tearooms and convenience stores are among the independents found to be prospering the most among the current retail landscape.

OnBuy.com also considered retail and leisure vacancy rates by region, since the end of 2016, and found that only three regions have seen an increase: Greater London (up 0.1 per cent), the South West (up by 0.1 per cent) and Yorkshire and Humber (up 0.6 per cent).

Cas Paton, managing director of OnBuy.com, said: “In the grand scheme of things, vacancy rates are low. The fatc that only three regions have seen an increase in vancancies is positive and we must focus on this.

“Otherwise, we risk consistent, unobliging news of multiple closures obscuring our vision and progress to develop the retail world.

“It is sad to see well-loved, British companies closing – but we must move with the times. Keen business men and women have their eye on vacant spaces across the country and we must support our local independents, bricks and mortar businesses. It’s the only way for retail to survive.”

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