Tayside businesses bucking national trend for shop closures – The Courier

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Tayside businesses bucking national trend for shop closures – The Courier
© DC ThomsonMenswear shop Cooper and McKenzie closed earlier this year in Dundee’s Reform Street.
Menswear shop Cooper and McKenzie closed earlier this year in Dundee’s Reform Street.

Tayside businesses are survivng a national trend of shops closing, new figures have shown.

Stores are closing at a rate of five every week across Scotland but the failure rate is slower in Dundee and Perth, with new businesses opening to replace the ones that do close.

A total of 140 shops closed in the country’s main shopping destinations between January and July – an increase of 30% on the same period in 2018, auditor PwC said.

Just four of them were in Dundee and they were replaced by four new businesses, making it the only city in Scotland without a net loss of shops.

In Perth there were 12 closures and seven new openings, less than the national average.

Online retail, the impact of business rates and Brexit uncertainty were cited as reasons behind the closures.

Jason Higgs, head of business recovery services for PwC in Scotland, said: “In the last six months the sectors growing their presence on the high street are the likes of convenience stores, coffee shops and fast food restaurants, we are even seeing an increase in the number of bars after a long period of difficulty for the licensed trade.

“Casual dining has been one of the hardest hit sectors as consumers watch their spending.

“Going out for dinner is one of the first luxuries to go, and that has been reflected in the number of large restaurant chains facing challenges.

Nationally, new store openings rose in the last six months, up to 86 from 58 in the same period last year, but it was not enough to offset the closures.

Mr Higgs added: “The increase in new openings in Scotland is welcome news and indicates that with more vacant premises than a year ago, there may be favourable deals out there for retailers looking to expand, though what is good news for operators is bad news for landlords who are increasingly seeing requests for rent reductions through Company Voluntary Arrangements.”

Glasgow saw 46 closures offset by 34 openings, while Edinburgh saw 37 closures and 20 new openings.

In Aberdeen, 20 outlets closed and 13 opened.

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