Preston bucks the trend as more stores open than close

Smiggle has moved into Preston this year
Smiggle has moved into Preston this year
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Preston is bucking the trend as more stores are opening than closing.

The city is one of eight in the North West which has seen a net increase, according to research from PwC and The Local Data Company

The number of stores closing exceeded the number of those opening across the North West in the first half of 2017.

The analysis tracked 67,521 outlets operated by multiple retailers in 500 town centres across Great Britain, found that in the first six months of 2017, 174 shops opened and 184 closed across the North West’s high streets.

Whilst on the face of it this might paint a negative picture this is an improvement on the first half of 2016 where there was a net fall of 35 stores.

Overall for the first six months of 2017 there was an increase of 20 per cent in the number of retailers opening and only a small increase of three per cent in the number of retailers shutting up shop across the region compared to the same period last year.

Eight town and city centres in the North West saw a positive net change in the first six months of 2017, with Manchester, Kendal, Lytham St. Annes, Blackpool, Preston, Leigh and Accrington all experiencing more openings than closures.

Mark Whittle, manager of Preston Business Improvement District, said: “It’s a huge positive that the number of businesses opening in Preston was second in the North West, second only to Manchester.

“As a city we must continually look to support existing businesses and work together to attract new ones, whether they be start-up businesses or expansion programmes.“

Leader for Preston City Council, Councillor Peter Rankin, said: “Across the north west, there are more stores closing than opening. Here in Preston there are slightly more opening than closing, which is very encouraging. I would ask residents and visitors to support those new ventures to help keep them going.

“It is a very difficult time for retail all across the UK, and unfortunately Preston is no exception.”

Liverpool and Burnley had the highest net reduction in the region, followed by Wigan, Oldham, Stockport and Bolton.Preston city centre had 272 business in July, compared to 271 in January.

Satellite TV services, fast food shops, sports goods shops, and health clubs were amongst those growing.