Data released by LDC and British Independent Retailers Association (bira) show that indies opened the fewest number of shops in Britain’s top 500 town centres since LDC records began in 2009.
Independent shops saw an increase of just +117 shops (+0.11 per cent) in 2015 versus a peak of growth of 4.01 per cent (+3,949 shops) in 2010.
Analysis of town centres, shopping centres and retail parks showed that chain retailers have continued to decline with a net loss of -1,147 shops (-0.59 per cent) in 2015 across the UK, which compares to -1,436 shops (-0.76 per cent) in 2014.
In 2015 a total of 68,100 Independents either opened (34,288) or closed (33,812), down on 2014 where 69,207 opened (34,833) or closed (34,324).
The report reveals that UK indie openings have reduced from 11 a day in 2010 to just one a week in 2015.
The research found that Greater London continued to show the greatest decline of independents at -347 units (-0.51 per cent versus -0.34 per cent in 2014).
Wider analysis of in and out of town locations shows that retail parks continue to see a positive increase in occupancy (+0.31 per cent), whilst High Streets increased by +0.37 per cent.
Shopping centres still saw the biggest net increase in occupancy of +1.41 per cent in 2015, a swing of +139 units from 2014.
Shopping centre owners are starting to see the value of having independents in their shopping centres, said LDC.
Independents now account for 65 per cent (-1 per cent change from 2014) of all retail and leisure units in Great Britain.
UK shopping map via Shutterstock