More charity shops close than pubs

High street web

The amount of charity shops that closed in Scotland was higher than the national average

13th April 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

More charity shops than pubs closed across Britain last year.

A study of the high street has shown that 271 charity shops shut across the country in 2017.

Data from accountancy firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper - prepared in partnership with the Local Data Company - has revealed a net loss of 69 charity shops from British high streets, with 202 new premises opening.

The number is more than the amount of pubs that closed (212), but is far exceeded by the amount of clothing retailers who had to shut up shop (713).

In Scotland, there were 12 charity shops who closed their doors, however seven opened over the same period.

The closure rate of 3.38% for Scotland was greater than the national average (1.85%) however the north west, north east and Yorkshire regions all had higher percentages of declines. The survey found that there are 143 charity shops on Scotland’s high streets.

Kien Tan, director of retail strategy at PwC, said that the changing nature of the high street presented different opportunities for charities.

"Because there’s more churn across the high street as a whole, with banks and travel agents and so forth closing, that gives opportunities in different kinds of space," he said.

"So we’re seeing charities moving to different locations as well as closures. Charities are businesses just like retailers are, so they want to be in the right place to attract the right kind of customers. They need to be in locations where there is footfall."

John Downie, director of public affairs at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), said the figures are concerning but not surprising.

“The increase in online shopping means not only that consumers are spending their money differently, without the nine to five time constraints, but also that there are less people physically present in our town and city centres where the majority of charity shops are located,” he said.

“While shop closures are a huge loss to both the organisations and local economies, there is an opportunity here for charities to embrace the move towards digital and take their trading online, to be where consumers are.”