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22 Apr 2024

Small shops have been more "agile" at fighting COVID sale slumps than chain stores, according to a new report.

22 Apr 2024

For the first time in its campaign to help the city address escalating lithium-ion battery fires, the Fire Department of New York filed criminal charges against a Brooklyn e-bike shop owner for...

22 Apr 2024

The managing director of Brompton has backed a campaign to introduce stricter e-bike battery regulations in the UK, amid "too many examples of e-bikes, e-scooters and light electric...

15 Apr 2024

The Rediscovery Centre, the National Centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland, today announced its partnership with Cytech, the internationally recognised training and accreditation scheme for...

12 Apr 2024

Just two weeks remain for the UK cycle industry to have its say on the current Government consultation to double the permissible power of e-bikes, and to remove the need for pedalling.

10 Apr 2024

Award-winning cycling business Spokes Bikes has added a new shop in Greenock to existing shop in Bridge of Weir.

9 Apr 2024

Communities across England are to be given access to £101 million of government funding for high-quality walking and cycling routes, improving the quality of local public engagement for...

9 Apr 2024

The founders of a Wirral bike recycling scheme have opened a hub across the River Mersey as part of a campaign to encourage more people into cycling.

8 Apr 2024

 A new video from the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) launched ahead of the mayoral election on May 2 urges followers to “make sure London’s next Mayor knows just how much we all...

8 Apr 2024

A new study has suggested that cities need to take into account the rapid growth and serious potential of electric bikes in moving people.

Independent shops better than big retailers at surviving COVID in the UK

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

Small shops have been more "agile" at fighting COVID sale slumps than chain stores, according to a new report.

Parked cycles

While independent firms suffered a net decline of 1,833 shops in the first half of 2020, chain stores lost a staggering 6,001 units following the first UK lockdown. Overall shop vacancies increased at the fastest rate since records began in 2013, reaching 13%, according to research by the Local Data Company (LDA).

But the closure trend has seen independent businesses more resilient than larger retailers. Independent shops lost 0.54% of occupied units compared with the 2.77% lost by chains.

Government support initiatives such as furlough, business rate relief and suspension of tenant evictions helped independents weather the pandemic storm. They were also faster to adapt than chain operators, quickly switching to takeaway food and drink services and online selling.

By comparison many high street chains such as Victoria's Secrets, Cath Kidston, Debenhams and Harvey’s furniture have collapsed into administration this year with the closure of thousands of stores.

LDA surveyed every high street, retail park and shopping centre for the report, including more than 400,000 independent stores, between January and August 2020.

Their data reveals some 20,019 closures of independent shops and 18,186 openings compared with 11,120 chain-store closures and just 5,119 openings. The UK has seen a net decrease of 7,834 shops with the largest proportion amongst chain retailers.

Independent service retail was the only sector to experience net growth with a slight 0.1% increase compared to a 1.9% decrease in service units run by large retailers.

Lucy Stainton, head of LDC retail and strategic partnerships said: "The independent market has seemingly fared better as these businesses have been able to be more agile, bringing in new products lines and offering food deliveries; have a smaller cost base to cover during periods of little or no trade and have been able to take advantage of government support schemes."

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