According to a study by local data firm and accounting firm PWC, some 11,120 chain stores were closed between January and August this year.
About 5,000 stores opened, leaving a net decline of more than 6,000 stores, almost doubling over the same period last year.
Lisa Hooker, PwC’s consumer market leader, said: “We know the infection will continue to affect the way we work, relax and play; However, as far as how we shop is concerned, this is nothing new.
We have just seen the acceleration of existing changes in shopping behaviors with mandatory testing from the Govt-19 regulations.
“We all know that consumers can shop online or change their priorities based on the products they buy, but what Covid-19 has done is make a step change in these basic trends and now they have become the new nature.”
Data show that there has been a steady increase in store closures since 2017, when the total was 6,453, which has increased to at least 1,000 each year.
Business categories that have seen steady growth over the past five years include value retailers and discount supermarkets.
The local data agency predicts that local merchants will increase sales outlets, building products and lock workers as services such as banks and post offices move away. Main Street.
Lucy Stinton of the local data company said: “As with any economic turmoil, retailers who can weather the storm have the potential to increase core availability, increased activity and spending at local centers and change consumer habits. .
“Active retailers can innovate and adapt quickly Price Pure Electric, its coffee subscription service or e-bike retailer that opened 13 stores this year, will be the most flexible when we go at the end of a year, which is the most challenging in recent history. ”