PAISLEY’S high street suffered more than anywhere else in Scotland with shop closures last year.

According to a study by PwC, the town endured the greatest impact as a proportion of its total shop numbers with nine closing, leaving the total number at 114.

The research showed Paisley as one of eight Scottish cities and towns where shops fell by 119 in total in 2018, with 265 closures offset by 146 store openings.

Mark Addley, head of business recovery services for PwC in Scotland, said: “We may have seen a reduction in the number of stores closing across Scotland but this is coupled with store openings at almost half the total we were seeing five years ago so there remain enormous challenges.

“We have already seen casualties in 2019 and we fully expect to see more. Retailers must focus on ensuring they have the right proposition, and the investment required to deliver it.

“Retailers need full-scale solutions which sustainably cut costs and allow for new money investment to bridge the lag between the cost of a restructuring and long-term performance improvements, all while fully addressing the needs of their customers.”

In 2013, a total of 303 stores closed their doors, rising to 312 the following year. This fell to 280 in 2015 before peaking at 366 in 2016. In 2017, the number of closures dropped to 290 but a big reduction in new openings led to the record net loss of 148 shops.