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High street closures anticipated in wake of e-commerce boom

03 January 2013 - 16:16 by Sarah Collinson

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A new report suggests that 2013 could be another fairly difficult year for bricks and mortar retailers, as CRP analysts predict that up to 5,000 outlets will be closed over the next 12 months.

This is directly tied to the 20 per cent rise in safe shopping online, which means that many of these closures will occur in the spring, according to the Daily Mail.

It seems that the high street continues to display an inability to compete with the cheaper, more convenient form of retail that is available via e-commerce sites.

In fact, many major high street chains will be scaling back their focus on this area and instead looking to put more effort into pushing safe shopping online, so that they can claw back their customers who have jumped ship and now spend most of their cash via the web.

A CRP spokesperson said that retail chains are now looking to close money-losing stores, rather than allowing the more profitable outlets to support them until things pick up.

This does mean that the face of Britain's high streets will continue to shift, as retailers embark on a bit of an exodus. However, this is not entirely a bad thing, as there are plenty of projects which are looking to take the place of empty stores, as well as room for more independent retailers to open in spaces previously dominated by the big brands.

In addition, it seems unlikely that high streets will ever be completely deserted, since many retailers are taking a multichannel approach, which combines e-commerce with in-store purchasing to help keep the market thriving.

There is no doubt that 2013 will be a choppy time for the British economy as a whole, but growth online will help to create jobs and take up the slack left by the flagging high street.