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How Preston defied North West trends to see shop increases in 2016

Posted on - 13th April, 2017 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business
New look Fishergate is continuing down to the train station
Fishergate has undergone significant rejuvenation in recent years

Preston defied the trend across the North West to see retail growth.

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More shops closed than opened across the region in 2016, according to data compiled by the Local Data Company.

However, this year saw 17 openings and five closures for businesses in Preston leaving 268 in total. This compares to the general trend of 368 openings and 441 closures across the North West.

Mark Whittle, manager for Preston BID, said: “The way people shop continues to evolve but our high street remains a strong proposition. Preston is performing sturdily against its regional competitors, the latest figures acutely show this.

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“The city has to continue to support current businesses and attract new ones to ensure we remain a great place to visit, work and invest.”

The growth in Preston was in contrast to the large amount of net closures seen in Manchester, Liveprool, Lancaster and Blackpool.

Mike Jervis, retail specialist at PwC, said: “The research clearly highlights the changing face of town centres – leisure and experience destinations continue to replace traditional high street stalwarts. The insatiable appetite for fast food and coffee shops fills the void left by banks, mobile phone and clothing shops.

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“Fashion is migrating to online at a faster rate than ever, leaving closures in its wake. Last year was relatively benign for restructuring and insolvency in all sub-sectors of retail, so the net closures points to structural changes in customer behaviour more so than a consumer slowdown.”

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