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The impact the business rates tax regime is having on town centres has been laid bare in new research that shows high street chains have closed nearly 6000 stores so far this year.

Retailers with 10 or more stores have already closed 5834 shops in 2019, up 77 per cent on the whole of last year, according to the Centre for Retail Research.

So far this year, between January 1 and September 30, 708 shops have been closed by large retailers falling into administration while a further 333 shops were closed through CVAs, another insolvency procedure used to close loss-making stores.

Meanwhile, a further 4793 shops have been shuttered by large retailers through “rationalisation” as part of cost-cutting programmes.

In the first nine months of 2019, 2531 more shops were closed by large retailers than the 3303 closed during the whole of 2018.

Major chains including Karen Millen, Jack Wills, Bathstore, Patisserie Valerie and Debenhams all went into administration or pre-pack administration this year.

Meanwhile, Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group retail empire launched a CVA.

The position is set to worsen with Mama and Papas recently announcing that it would be closing stores through a pre-pack administration, Mothercare intends to close all UK stores having gone into administration earlier this month, and Clintons is eyeing the closure of one in five of its stores if its CVA is approved by creditors in the coming weeks.