New data shows that 43,000 retail sites have also been left vacant since 2010.
New data has shown that over 20,000 shops have ‘disappeared’ from the high street since 2010.
Official government data analysis by Altus Group has found that between 2010 and 2019, 20,143 shops in England and Wales (which were liable for business rates) have been converted into homes, different types of use or demolished, reported Retail Sector.
The total number of shops in England and Wales has fallen from 430,360 on April 1, 2010 to 424,531 today according to Altus Group. The Centre for Retail Research also suggests within the next five years the overall number of shops will fall by 8,500 to around 416,000.
In addition to this, the national town centre vacancy rate rose to a four-year high of 10.2% in April, as reported by the British Retail Consortium, putting the number of empty shops at 43,302.
“We are witnessing a repurposing of surplus retail space,” said Robert Hayton, head of UK business rates at Altus Group. “Over the coming months and years ahead, as retailers continue to reduce their store portfolios with the growth of online shopping, there will be an increase in the intensity of that repurposing.”