The number of physical shops in the UK has fallen by almost 3,200 over the past four years, down 1.2% to 263,070.
According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) the reason for the decline is down to a “transformation” of the industry, driven by changes in shopping habits, new technology, stiff competition and an increasing regulatory burden.
The group added that many retailers are responding by refining its business models, investing in technology, improving their logistics capabilities and reducing their store portfolios.
Rachel Lund, head of insights and analytics, said: “The continued cumulative burden of public policy costs is accelerating the pace of this change.
“This data reinforces the need for the Government to demonstrate their commitment to ‘backing business’ and use the upcoming budget to reduce the disproportionate cost of the outdated business rates system.”