Over the last few years the retail sector has evolved significantly. As consumer shopping habits have changed, retailers have had to adapt in order to keep up with the constantly shifting trends.

The rise of online shopping, for example, has had a major impact on the retail sector, particularly where the opening and closure of stores is concerned.

According to new research by the Local Data Company (LDC), the number of new retail store openings in the UK during the first half of 2016 was the lowest for five years. Just 2,153 shops were opened, slightly higher than the 1,809 in 2011.

However, LDC’s data reveals that during the same period 2,656 stores shut up shop, resulting in an overall decline of 503 stores, which according to LDC can be attributed to the growth in online and multi-channel shopping. In the first six months of the year, 2,200 click and collect points were established throughout the UK.

Many of these are on out-of-town retail parks, which interestingly were the only locations to see growth in retail occupiers in the first half the year. Furthermore, more than 50 new retail parks are set to be opened across the UK over the next six years, suggesting that the trend in out-of-town shopping looks set to continue.

The retail sector has always been highly competitive and equally fragmented. To be successful, retailers need to work hard to ensure they are continuing to meet consumers’ ever increasing demands, be it online or in store.

We have created three ‘retail revelations’ which explore in greater detail some of the key issues currently impacting the retail sector.

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This blog is intended only as a synopsis of certain recent developments. If any matter referred to in this blog is sought to be relied upon, further advice should be obtained.