Retail businesses in the UK have been having a tough time of late, with the twin pressures of increased competition online and rising rent costs affecting profits.

We wanted to assess the landscape with 20 statistics about retail businesses that give a flavour of what these business are experiencing.

Many of these statistics are from our survey of retail businesses undertaken in 2019.

Check them out below to get an idea of what retail business owners are thinking!

Retail attracting customers

1. 56% of small retail business owners complain that expensive high-street rents are the biggest threat to their business.

2. There were 319,000 retail businesses in the UK in 2018.

Source: Retail sector in the UK Report 2018. Briefing Paper #SN06186

3. 62% of small retail business owners chose printed advertising such as signs and banners as their most profitable means of advertising.

4. The value of the UK retail sector was approximately €426 billion in 2018 and is predicted to grow to €440 billion in 2019

Source: Statista

5. 72% of retail business owners say Christmas is their biggest annual sales period.

6. 39% of all retail sales in the UK were from food shops.

Source: Retail sector in the UK Report 2018. Briefing Paper #SN06186

7. 64% of retail business owners chose Facebook as the best social media channel for advertising.

8. Online sales accounted for 20% of all retail sales in 2018.

9. 55% of retail business owners forecast a positive future for their physical store.

10. There were 7,500 net store closures in 2018, a 36% increase on 2017.

11. 60% of retail business owners stated that the 'ability to sample goods' was the main advantage of shopping in-store vs online.

12. Spend on online retail sites on Black Friday reached £1.49bn in 2018 – a 7.3% increase from 2017.

13. 73% of retail business owners stated that the government 'lowering business rates' would help them.

14. GDPR: 64% of consumers are actually fine with retailers saving purchase history and personal preferences if they benefit from more personalization.

15. 52% of retail business owners run in-store promotions between 1 - 5 time a year.

We hope you enjoyed these statistics about retail businesses, and they helped paint a picture of the state of the sector in 2019.

If you have any additional statistics you'd like to share, please feel free to comment below.