The UK high street lost 14 chain retail stores every day in 2011, as 5,268 shops were closed by major retailers last year, research has discovered.
According to research undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Local Data Company, 5,094 stores were opened by major retailers on high streets across the UK, leaving a deficit of 174.
The research concentrated on chain-owned stores across 500 of the biggest town centres in the UK.
Matthew Hopkinson, director of the Local Data Company, said: "In the past the closures were offset by openings but 2011 has shown a true decline in multiple retail and leisure outlets across Great Britain.
"With the move to out of town locations and the numbers of closures being announced currently, this decline is likely to continue into 2012 and thus lead to a rise in vacancy rates," he added.