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Highlighting the changing face of the high street

01 January 2011

The latest figures from Ordnance Survey, Great Britain’s national mapping agency, reveal the effect of the recession on the high street, with the presence of estate agents, building societies and auction houses being most significantly reduced.

Data from Ordnance Survey, which compares the amount of retail addresses across Great Britain today with the number in October 2008 (just after the collapse of Lehman Brothers), shows that:

Estate agencies are down by an average of 9.2%. Ordnance Survey figures show that the North West and Wales were hit hardest, with numbers of estate agency offices falling far more than the national average at 15.4 %. The South East (down by 14.8%) and West Midlands (down by 11%) also suffered significant falls.

Building societies are down by 28.2%. London suffered the biggest fall, with the amount of building society offices decreasing by 46.9%. Meanwhile, the South East, Scotland and North West were also hit hard, experiencing drops of 33.8%, 33.7% and 30.1% respectively.

The findings also showed that:

  • The number of auction houses across the UK have fallen by 14%
  • The amount of employment agencies on the high street has shrunk by 13.4%

In comparison, one of the only types of outlet on the high street to increase in number was betting offices, which increased by 280 locations, reflecting a jump of more than 5%.

Dan Hughes, Sector Manager of Land and Property at Ordnance Survey, said: “It is no surprise that there have been changes on the high street due to the turbulence of the past two years, but our mapping data shows that some high-street firms have been hit harder than others.

“Location is key and location data is increasingly being relied upon by retailers and property companies to aid their decision making. Their key priorities are to reduce risk and lower costs, in which location-based data often plays an essential part.”

Ordnance Survey provides the most accurate and up-to-date geographic data, which is relied on by business, government and individuals.

Contact us

For more information:

Contact: Rob Andrews, Head of Corporate Communications

Email: rob.andrews@ordnancesurvey.co.uk

Phone: (+44) 023­80 05 5563

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