Though we are still seeing a net decline with more shops closing than opening, the rate seems to be slowing. Statistics from Local Data Company for Accountants PwC and reported in Insider, show 132 closures and 90 openings in the last year giving a net loss of 42. In the previous year there were 203 closures and 116 openings giving a net loss of 87.
Across the country there was some variation with Paisley, Dundee and Falkirk all showing net increases. Glasgow and Edinburgh had the most closures dropping from 50 to 44 and 82 to 37 respectively. The quite large decline, greater than the overall national decline at 45, in Edinburgh is surprising given the city’s overall economic health reported before here:
There is presumably a local explanation for the Edinburgh figures and they must be distorting the overall Scottish picture to suggest a decline nationally which is not actually there. Perhaps the declines in Edinburgh and Glasgow can been seen as signs of over-reach or saturation in already buoyant centres while the increases in the smaller and less affluent centres in Paisley, Dundee and Falkirk can be seen as very good news and signs of recovery there. The main decline was in banks, women’s clothing and shoe shops and the main increases were in recruitment agencies and fast food takeaways.
The slowing decline or the actual lack of decline outside of Edinburgh is one more factor suggesting growing strength in the Scottish economy. At risk of over-repeating, see these as other recent indicators: