A new survey has found that the number of shops in 500 UK town centres has fallen by a total of 1,800 over the past year. This represents a 10-fold increase from 2011.

The research by PwC and the Local Data Company showed that chains closed an average of 20 shops per day last year.

There was a sharp decline in shops selling luxury items like computer games and clothes, while supermarkets have expanded their presence by opening convenience stores in empty units, suggesting fast moving consumer goods are on the rise.

The growth of online shopping has meant that chains do not need as many stores anymore, a trend that will likely continue to accelerate.

The study shows that more high street chains fell into insolvency in 2012 than ever before.

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