// 83% of UK department store space has shut down for good since BHS collapsed in 2016
// 79 stores remain today compared to 467 five years ago
// While 388 department stores have closed, 237 are still stand vacant
New research has shown that more than 80 per cent of department stores in the UK have been lost in the five years since the collapse of BHS.
According to data compiled by commercial property information specialist CoStar Group for the BBC, 83 per cent of UK department store space has shut down for good since BHS collapsed in 2016, and many former branches are still empty.
The data suggested that major department store chains such as BHS, Debenhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis had 467 branches five years ago – but with the collapse of BHS, closure of Debenhams and some restructures undertaken by John Lewis and House of Fraser, only 79 remain.
In addition, while 388 department stores have closed, 237 are still stand vacant – although there are plans for a change of use or repurposing of 52 of them.
”The data undoubtedly highlights the acceleration of change in the retail sector in recent years, which the pandemic has only exacerbated,” CoStar Group head of analytics Mark Stansfield said.
On a more upbeat note, he added: ”We are increasingly seeing forward-thinking real estate owners getting ahead of the problem and reshaping what are key assets in our town centres to provide a focal point for regeneration.
“I think we’ll see many more plans come to light in the coming months. With these store closures come new opportunities.”