Scotland

Shop closures in Scotland's towns and cities 'average one a day'

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Media captionGlasgow lost the largest number of shops out of all the towns and cities included in the research

An average of one shop a day closed during the first eight months of the year, a study of Scottish towns and cities has found.

A total of 188 stores closed in the first six months of 2012, with the situation said to have accelerated in July and August when another 65 closed.

According to figures compiled for financial firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, 175 stores opened in eight months.

But there was an overall net loss of 78 high street shops.

Glasgow lost the largest amount of outlets, with 105 closing and only 47 opening, giving a total fall of 58.

It was followed by Dundee, which had a net loss of nine shops, and Paisley, which lost six overall, while Edinburgh had a net loss of two.

Both Aberdeen and Ayr gained two; with nine stores closed in Ayr and 11 opened, and 22 shops closed in Aberdeen with 24 opening.

Shops selling computer games, toys, clothes, gifts, jewellery, furniture and cards are said to have been the hardest hit so far this year.

Image caption Pawnbrokers and charity shops were among the type of outlets which bucked the downward trend

Pawnbrokers, charity shops, bookmakers, coffee shops, discount and convenience stores and cheque cashing outlets bucked the trend.

Bruce Cartwright, head of business recovery at PwC in Scotland, said: "Despite the promise of an Olympic feel-good boost for retailers, it appears the vagaries of the British climate combined with rising inflation, a squeeze on consumer spending, and dented consumer confidence leading more people to look for the best deal online, have not delivered the much hoped for gold.

"Store-dependent high street retailers continue to experience a drop in sales and reduced footfall and for those in distress, this could be exacerbated by simply having too many locations.

"The insolvencies of Game, Peacocks and Clintons demonstrated this in spades.

"The next six months will be no less challenging for retailers and with the Christmas season fast approaching, they will undoubtedly be hoping to see a flurry of customers in the final quarter."

He said retailers feared that shoppers would continue to be cautious, as the prospect of rising food and fuel bills loomed large in their minds.

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