Possible store closures top 1,400

December and January administrations have led to more than 1,400 stores across the UK being at risk of closure (or have closed), according to the latest analysis from the Local Data Company.

Its analysis shows that some 45.6% of stores from recent administrations – Stead & Simpson, Jessops, Comet, HMV and Blockbuster – are located on the high street, with 19.5% in shopping centres, 17.4% on retail parks and the same percentage in standalone locations.

The South East is the worst affected region with 23.7% of the stores, followed by the North West at 10.3% and the South West at 10.1%.The North East is the least affected, with just 3.5% of the stores.

The Broadway in Ealing, west London and Heathrow Airport are the most affected locations with five stores, followed by Winchester and Birmingham with five.

LDC director Matthew Hopkinson said: “The administration and potential closure of over 1,400 stores in less than a month far surpasses Woolworths’ 807 in January 2009. This has the potential to increase the national shop vacancy rate by nearly 5% to an all time high of over 19% if all the stores close and are not reoccupied.

“The big question is how many more retailers are struggling out there to the point of administration? Those who are not will no doubt be looking to reduce their store numbers significantly as consumer trends continue to reduce the need for large store portfolios. There are 92 comparison goods retailers like Comet, HMV and Jessops, which have store portfolios of over 300 units.”