Around half of independent UK retailers would leave the High Street behind for a cheaper site out-of-town, new research has found.
53 per cent aren't considering moving, according to a poll of 640 retailers carried out by retail software specialist Cybertill.
The firm conducted the research after a report by the Centre for Retail Research warned that one fifth of UK stores could close within five years.
Cybertill says that around one in five retailers would consider moving premises to out-of-town locations, while 28 per cent were undecided.
Reasons for moving away from the High Street included lower rents, free parking, better access for deliveries, more space and an environment better suited to multi-channel retail. Meanwhile, the majority of those who didn't want to leave the High Street behind said that out of town locations would provide less footfall.
Additionally, less than half of all retailers said they planned to invest in e-commerce over any other sales channel, while one in six plan to invest in stores.
40 per cent of respondents sell on eBay, plus around 20 per cent sell on Amazon.
Cybertill's chief exec Ian Tomlinson commented: “The High Street is struggling with many retailers complaining about excessive rent and rates. This survey clearly shows how retailers are focusing more online than ever before.
“Retailers will leave the High Street in droves and relocate if it helps them deploy a more successful multi-channel approach to retail where they can trade online, in-store and over the phone.”