BIRA comments on high street report

The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) has issued a comment on the recently released Ordnance Survey which analyses changes in high streets since 2020 across the UK.

The report was compiled from 1.5 million records of mapping data, which shows a comprehensive quarterly survey of businesses, facilities and services operating in England, Scotland and Wales. It has shown that the number of clothes shops dropped to 4,300 which was a fall of 8.5%, while more than 800 High Street banks and building societies also closed their doors during the pandemic.

Andrew Goodacre, CEO of BIRA, said: “This report is interesting and conforms trends we have noticed over the past few years. There has been a growth in ‘service retailing’ and a decline in the traditional ‘comparison goods retailer’ – and the pandemic seems to have emphasised this change.

“The closure of large chains, and now banks, is well documented. We have seen many traditional indie retailers change their offer by including services – repairs, product hire and inclusion of cafes in the shop. We expect these changes to continue but we must remember that every vibrant high street needs diversity and should not be dominated by any particular sector.”

Goodacre added: “A good high street is a series of inter-dependent businesses working together to create a great place to visit, and independent retail is absolutely integral to that future vision.”

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