Butchers maintaining stable high street presence

Independent butchers are maintaining their presence on the UK’s high streets, according to a new survey. 

According to the latest Local Data Company research, convenience retail, which includes butchers, saw a net increase of 219 units over 500 towns and cities across the UK during the first six months of 2016.

Although traditional convenience stores make up the majority of this growth, the number of independent butcher’s shops declined by just one, compared to the first half of 2015. Overall, including butchery chains, the number of butcher’s shops increased by one.

Michael Weedon, of the Local Data Company, said the industry shouldn’t be discouraged and that this represented a period of stability for butchers on the high street.

“While it’s not going the same way as the rest of the convenience market, it’s very stable at the moment. The decline has most definitely flattened and while that doesn’t always seem positive, it does mean that the rate of death of shops is in line with the rate of birth of shops, which is better than it has been in previous years.

“Independent butchers, over a five-year period previous to this year across 2,700 locations, saw a decline of 103 sites, so I would say it’s very stable at the moment.”

AHDB Beef & Lamb research from earlier this year showed that there were 5,240 independent butchers in England, accounting for one in every nine jobs outside the retail multiples. According to AHDB findings, the sector generates £2.3bn in turnover and £555m in gross added value in England.

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