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Retail stores will remain an important, although smaller, part of retailing in high streets, malls and retail parks as online continues to grow. The 'normal' retail model needs revisiting, under the combined pressures of high costs, consumer reluctance to spend, and rapid growth of online retailing.
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The destinations that do well will be those: serving a mainly prosperous hinterland; areas of growth, new housing and young families; easy-to-reach tourist areas aimed at middle-income families; and areas where unemployment is low. The best performers will be areas like London, the South East, key shopping cities like London, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, and Glasgow, and tourist areas like Oxford, Harrogate, and Brighton. There will be retail problem areas within otherwise thriving decent retail zones (eg Oxford) and successes in areas where we expect large percentage falls in shop numbers. But in very general terms the changes in store numbers reflect the North-south divide.