Wolverhampton hit hardest by high street closures in the West Midlands

Wolverhampton suffered the region’s biggest fall in the number of high street shops last year, according to new figures.

Shoppers in Dudley Street, Wolverhampton city centre
Shoppers in Dudley Street, Wolverhampton city centre

In 2016 there were 38 closures in the city compared to 20 openings, a net reduction of 18.

This amounted to a 7.38 per cent fall in high street outlets – leaving the city with the highest numerical and percentage drop in the West Midlands. 

Dudley, Kidderminster, Walsall and Bloxwich saw a net reduction in the total number of businesses of four, one, six and one respectively.

There was no change in Cannock or Stourbridge while Halesowen and Lichfield both saw a net gain of one. 

Stafford was the best-performing area with 17 openings compared to just 13 closures.

The research conducted for accountancy firm PwC by the Local Data Company also reveals a trend away from shopping to leisure – with jewellers, coffee shops and tourist information growing at the fastest rate in the West Midlands.

With a net increase of seven, jewellers were the fastest-growing retailer and, with a net increase of six, there are now 135 coffee shops in the region. 

Meanwhile, fashion shops, including women’s clothes shops and department stores, were among the hardest hit in 2016 as the move to online continues. 

Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership board member, Ninder Johal, said: “With Wolverhampton, the city is going through a massive regeneration and I am sure the figures will go the other way once the new developments are in place.” 

In 2016, 392 outlets closed across the West Midlands, a rate of more than one a day, compared to 332 openings, equating to a net reduction of 60 shops.

This compares to 464 closures and 445 openings - a net reduction of 19 - in 2015.

Andy Lyon, partner and head of retail at PwC in the Midlands, said: "As the West Midlands becomes a go-to destination we are seeing an appetite for coffee shops and tourist information, filling the void left by clothing shops, department stores and banks."

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Comments for: "Wolverhampton hit hardest by high street closures in the West Midlands"


Look on the positive side. More empty units means more doorways for the homeless to sleep in and bother people with their dogs


No surprise when you keep messing with the roads, making it as hard as possible for drivers and there is no reasonable parking. I am surprised Debenhams have decided to invest in a new store- they will certainly make a loss. Would have been better to go to Bentley Bridge/ Wednesfield - the new Town Centre for Wolverhampton in the 21st century.


Oh and lets not forget the stupidity of the new bus station too. I don't think the council committees can manage joined up writing; never mind a joined up transport policy.

Old bilstonion

Wolverhampton missed the boat with the collapse of Summer Row new developments will definitely see a shift towards the leisure industry as more people will have more time on their hands being out of work. You have to keep with the times I buy most things on-line, use click & collect down @ Bentley Bridge (Free Parking). Also there is a rise in the media platform selling groups i.e. on Facebook etc but also a growing trend in markets and boot sales. Wolverhampton needs to understand that once you have lost your customers that's it, and instead of focusing on shops and retail maybe its time to be the first at something else.


there might be more people with time on their hands but they won't be able to afford the leisure activities

Last week we changed our mind about going to look at the lego in the art gallery when we realised it would cost us £14.00 altogether to go in so we contented ourselves with looking at the automata instead.

civic centre parking cost £3.00 for about an hour, hour and half max.

we then went over to Cosford aerospace museum, total cost £3.00 to park for up to 3 hours.

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