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UK indies return to growth for the first time in four years

New figures have shown that the independent retail market has returned to growth in the first half of 2021.

The Local Data Company (LDC) has this week released figures for the first half of 2021, which show a net addition of 804 independent retail stores for the period, showing more openings than closures.

The growth has been attributed to an increase in consumers wanting to shop locally, as well as concerns around sustainability and a desire to support local businesses. The LDC also attributed the growth to the Government’s furlough scheme and business rates relief.

By contrast, chain stores saw a net loss of 5,251 in the first half of the year, which although signifying a reduced rate of loss on the previous six months, was still reported to be higher than pre-pandemic closures.

Lucy Stainton, commercial director at LDC, commented: “Independent operators are also benefiting from the volume of available units, many of which come with attractive deals from a new market of shopping centre landlords who are now looking to the independent sector to fill the significant number of stores being vacated by chains.”

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