MORE shops closed in Scotland than in any other part of Britain last year with one shutting each day, research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found.

Banks, fashion outlets and charity shops were hardest hit as 366 stores closed and 254 opened across Scotland in 2016, according to PwC research compiled by the Local Data Company.

The net change of a 3.44 per cent drop is almost double the UK average of a 1.32 per cent fall, and is the highest across Britain.

All areas in Scotland surveyed recorded an overall decrease in shops, with Leith having the highest rate of closures at a 10.53 per cent drop, followed by Ayr’s 8.3 per cent fall.

Falkirk, which traditionally has more store openings than closures, was the most resilient with a 0.78 per cent drop. Fashion stores had the largest number of closures at 32.

Mark Addley, deals director at PwC Scotland, said: “The average of around one closure per day has been the Scottish average for most years since 2012 – but that will be of little comfort to people who have lost their jobs and livelihoods.

“Overall, we are seeing far fewer closures due to outright insolvencies, but more due to the lower key restructuring of store portfolios.

"Where there is some good news in that Scots are also leading the way in openings and we shouldn’t lose sight of that. In this era of mobile banking, internet shopping and less people going to high streets, there will be change. What we have to see is companies adapting to that.

“I doubt the figures are going to improve by the end of 2017.”