High street shops closed at a rate of around 14 a day in the first half of the year, while openings were down a third, a report suggests.
Retailers are battling the worst trading conditions for five years, with the growth of internet shopping and business rates blamed for the challenging climate.
The rise of “in-home leisure” – people preferring to spend free time and entertain at home rather than go out and about – is also suspected of taking a bite out of earnings.
Streaming service Netflix, for example, said it expects to increase the number of its subscribers by 9 million globally in the next three months.
But back on the high street, Italian restaurants including Jamie Oliver’s chain are said to have been particularly badly hit by the change in habits, while retailers such as Toys R Us and Maplin have gone to the wall as more people shop online.
Ministers have been urged to take concerted action to help Britain’s beleaguered town centres, with experts warning the turmoil is “unlikely to abate”.
The government said the
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