Every store closure to have impacted on Yorkshire's High Streets during 2019

Hull city centre - pic by James Hardisty
Hull city centre - pic by James Hardisty
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The year is only just over half over but already Yorkshire's high streets are counting the cost of hundreds of store closures.

The High Street is suffering a torrid time as it loses shoppers and their spending power to the web.

Hull city centre

Hull city centre

Footfall remains a giant issue for the high street. Yorkshire had it worst May for six years with footfall down by 3.9 per cent according to the British Retail Consortium.

In April it was confirmed that store closures in Yorkshire had reached a five-year high.

A total of 226 shops closed on Yorkshire’s high streets during 2018, the largest net fall in stores in a single year since 2013, with one commentator warning that retail outlets looking to survive during 2019 faced “an uphill battle”.

Research published jointly by PwC and the Local Data Company shows that a record 2,481 stores closed in the UK last year, a total of 16 shops each day in the country.

Filmore & Union - picture by Gary Longbottom.

Filmore & Union - picture by Gary Longbottom.

The towns most affected by the continuing decline of Yorkshire high streets were Leeds, Wakefield, Hull, Sheffield, Harrogate, York, Doncaster and Bradford.

And this year has not fared much better.

January saw Santander confirm 140 stores were to go nationally, including 10 in Yorkshire.

These included stores in Leeds, Selby, Cleethorpes, Yeadon, Otley, Driffield, Goole, Ripon, Skipton High Street and Wetherby.

M&S foodhall in Leeds earmarked for closure.

M&S foodhall in Leeds earmarked for closure.

That same month upmarket cafe and cake chain Patisserie Valerie revealed five store closures in Yorkshire after it came close to collapse. Outlets in Beverley, Bradford, Doncaster, Leeds's White Rose Centre and Leeds city centre were all earmarked for being mothballed. A total of 721 stores nationally were placed at risk of closing, impacting nearly 1,000 jobs.

In March B&Q owner Kingfisher confirmed 15 stores would be closed nationally amid tumbling annual profits.

Yorkshire restaurant chain Filmore & Union went to the wall in May, with eight of outlets closing and 80 jobs being lost as a result. It lost its branches in York city centre, Harrogate, Skipton, Moortown, Harrogate Deli, Wetherby Deli, Jesmond and its Head Office in Wetherby.

In May Yorkshire Bank confirmed it was to close six branches - with its units Bramley in Leeds, Redcar, Skipton, Tamworth, Widnes and Sutton-in-Ashfield all to go.

Patisserie Valerie store in Leeds city centre. Pic by Bruce Rollinson.

Patisserie Valerie store in Leeds city centre. Pic by Bruce Rollinson.

Later in May Arcadia confirmed 23 stores would close nationally. The chain owns Dorothy Perkins, Top Shop and Top Man.

In June Wakefield-based Bonmarche announced that it was reviewing its estate as part of new chief executive Philip Day's attempt to turn the chain's fortunes around.

No details have been released as yet but Bonmarche has 300 stores nationwide and some of these are likely to close in the not to distant future.

That same month William Hill announced a dramatic reduction in its estate with the news that it plans to close 700 betting shops nationwide.

The move will put 4,500 jobs at risk and see it reduce its number of betting shops by a third nationally.

The Yorkshire Linen Company also collapsed in June, with the loss of 150 jobs.

And just this week M&S confirmed its food outlet in Kirkstall will close, putting nearly 30 jobs at risk.

The issue was not confined to retail. The Post Office has closed down 43 of its outlets since 2013 in Yorkshire.

While the web is often blamed for the High Street's woes other factors continue to play a significant role, such as car parking charges, business rates and accessibility.